Inspire : Public Works Jan Feb 2013
28 Public Works Professional February 2013 QAINTERVIEW WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BIGGEST LESSONS YOU'VE LEARNT OVER YOUR CAREER? You learn something new every day, whether it is something simple on your computer or something more specifc to your role. We all make mistakes. But when you do, you learn from it and know not to do it again. No one is perfect and you can always learn from others. Getting my MBA was a big challenge because I had to complete it by correspondence. Perhaps the biggest lesson was when I lost my job as a works engineer as a result of the Geelong amalgamation, and I didn't get my original job back after it was completed. I was still turning up to the depot each day to super vise the outdoor staff and organise work. I would then go into the new offce and fnd out what I was doing on that particular day. I felt I had a duty to continue on in my work until I was appointed into another job. IN HINDSIGHT, WHAT COULD YOU HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY DURING THE AMALGAMATION? Because I was younger and in a smaller council, I didn't expose myself to all the opportunities to network and make myself known. This showed that you must do that and be more aware of what's going on around you. WHAT DO YOU DO AWAY FROM WORK THAT ALLOWS YOU TO HAVE A BALANCE? I love travelling. I'm always trying to save up time to go on overseas holidays. I've met great friends on overseas trips whom I've since gone back and visited. I like flms, so I enjoy going to events like the Melbourne International Film Festival. Also, my family and I have just built a house, so I'm busy landscaping. HOW IMPORTANT ARE THE EXPERIENCES GAINED WHEN TRAVELLING FOR YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE? You meet people from all walks of life. For instance, if you're on an organised tour, you've got to learn to be tolerant and work with people. Some people might be annoying or always late, for example, but you have to work with that. You learn to accept people for their little eccentricities. Work is much the same. Everyone is different and you work to try and get the best out of people. One trip stands out: China. We climbed the Great Wall and visited the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River -- it was amazing to see both a historic and a modern feat of engineering. It showed the amazing things that are possible. We also visited the small villages and saw all the people who live in very basic conditions, but are self-suffcient. It reinforced how very lucky we are in Australia. We've got a lot of everything and are able to afford what we need. We also have the ability to advocate for improvements. We can be heard. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE A YOUNG ENGINEER? Work hard, talk to everybody and fnd out what people do. Always ask questions -- there are always reasons why things are done, but you must understand the reason. ARE YOU OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THE ROLE PUBLIC WORKS CAN PLAY IN AUSTRALIAN SOCIETY? Defnitely. We’re all working in areas where we can have a major impact on the community. A lot of what we do keeps the country moving. ••• CONTINUE THE CONVERSATION Have your say on this story. Visit http://goo.gl/AQI1h to comment on this article. You learn something new every day ... We all make mistakes. But when you do, you learn from it and know not to do it again.
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