Behind the scenes: What it’s like to be an engineer at FSC

Behind the scenes: What it’s like to be an engineer at FSC

Lachlan Smith

Lachlan Smith

MANAGING DIRECTOR

Studies suggest that as many as one in four engineers believe they’re “often or very often” burned out by work. There’s also a belief across the globe that rewards enjoyed by engineers as a result of their professional endeavours are not commensurate with their level of skill and responsibility. 

While we don’t want to focus on the doom and gloom, it’s important to acknowledge that these factors impact the people in our industry – and ultimately their lives both in and out of the office, and on and off the worksite.  

At FSC, we’ve worked hard to build a business that puts people first. We believe this approach, and the freedom to try new ways of doing things, is our biggest difference.

The industry we’re in

Large Civil Infrastructure Projects, for the most part, haven’t experienced the same level of technological change as other industries. Engineers are innovators at heart though – and we want to provide our team the means to respond to the societal and environmental pressures that demand innovative solutions. 

Consultants will increasingly need to provide innovative technological solutions to expedite processes, saving time, money and resources. We understand that adapting to and developing new technologies can better meet our clients’ needs both in the short and long-term. The bonus is, it’s fun too

Approaching consulting from a different angle

Many are hesitant that innovations that fail will result in increased delays and costs. This is another reason innovation in the industry has traditionally been slow. 

At FSC, our engineers are not afraid to push the boundaries. We have structured our business to innovate and apply learnings across sectors and disciplines to build projects better. Our team has the freedom to be creative, and we invest in ideas that can not only benefit our people and business, but the industry as a whole. 

Sharing knowledge across our divisions is an important piece of this puzzle. Ultimately, the way we share knowledge is what allows us to push forward with better ways of working. It’s also what drives the efficiencies that make our working lives more rewarding. For example, we have Slack channels set up for industry Q&As. If people are looking for an industry contact or a template for a particular report, they can have an answer or solution within an hour. 

Growing sustainably

While we like to think we’re on the right path, we also know that it’s not all straightforward and there will be some curves and bumps along the way. The growth of FSC is something that we’re conscious of. We always want to ensure we have the means to support our people – as we do now – for the long haul. We do this because we know it’s a win-win. It’s good for business and it means our people don’t get burnt out. Clients also get a lot of support because we’re able to attract and retain great people. 

When we sit down with new starters, we tell them all the best things about our business, and we also tell them what we want to do better. Whether it’s related to diversity and inclusion, work-life balance or other important topics, we value ideas, input and the opinions of everyone in our business. We aren’t perfect, we are always working to get better.

Understanding the individual

Many consultancies are very similar. We work on the same projects, often with the same tools. We like to think one of the things that makes us different is the relationship we have with our people. We see people as individuals and value each person’s unique strengths. Often engineers don’t have much of a choice when it comes to which projects they’re on, and we wanted to change that. 

If you’re really driven, you can start a new company with us. If you want to take time off, we support that too. Everyone has different goals in life and we try our best to make sure our people don’t feel like just another cog in a machine.

During the onboarding phase, we take the opportunity to sit down with new starters and understand what they really want from their career. When Sharlott joined the FSC team as a Senior Project Engineer, she told us she had more interest in design. FSC was able to facilitate the opportunity for her – with the support of the team and business – to gain experience in design work. She’s now leading design for a level crossing removal project and we couldn’t be happier for her. We aim to support our people to shape their career the way they want to. 

Later this year, we’re also launching the FSC graduate program. Grads will rotate through the different divisions of the business, so whether they take a liking to design, environmental, infrastructure or something else entirely, we’ll be able to help them launch their career.

The projects we work on

We plan, execute, and close out large, and sometimes small, infrastructure projects over a wide range of disciplines. Projects of different shapes and sizes present different and unique challenges. And because we work on such a wide range of projects, our people have the opportunity to accelerate their learning and build their hard and soft skills. 

We want all our engineers to have access to everyone’s knowledge. Here are just a couple of ways we do this:  

  • Fortnightly webinars – young or old, new or a veteran, everyone has something they can teach our team. By sharing, we not only help reinforce our own knowledge, but we empower others to discover what interests them to add to their own skillset. 
  • Internal knowledge base – Forget Wikipedia. For all our engineering know-how, our team turns to our very own FSC-Wiki. We have our own guides, how-tos, lessons learnt from projects and more.

FSC is a growing business. Are you part of the next big thing?

At FSC, we put our people first. We love out of the box ideas and helping individuals build a career. Keen to join the team? Get in touch today.

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