• This topic has 34 replies, 23 voices, and was last updated 1 day ago by mrjmt.
Viewing 35 posts - 1 through 35 (of 35 total)
  • Civil Engineering employees…
  • Kryton57
    Full Member

    What’s it like working for one of the big globalists in say, the Business / Consulting area? I often hear stories like “Americanisms” “long hours” “just a number” – is it really that bad or worth having on your CV? Sorry I can’t say more but let’s just imagine a friend of mine was being courted for a senior position such as associate director and a step above – ish…

    reeksy
    Full Member

    I used to be work in a consulting engineering firm. Two actually. The first was a lovely small firm. The second a somewhat larger soulless corporation, but not to American levels. Still enough that I remember two people in the transport civil section of the office I worked in collapsed in their offices in the same week.

    Friends who ended up in the bigger firms said it is much worse. But it depends on your personality I guess.

    hijodeputa
    Full Member

    Been in Civils pretty much since leaving school, 27 odd years ago. Worked for some of the UK’s biggest firms on infrastructure projects.
    Some are a bit of a meat grinder, but reading between the lines, does yours rhym with ‘Grace’?

    stingmered
    Full Member

    Depends entirely on the organisation. I work in a huge multinational (but US) based engineering firm… but our department feels very much like a small firm with very much an entrepreneurial spirit and a sense of doing the things we want to because they’re fun/interesting. Yes, some of the corporate nonsense has to be dealt with from time to time, but usually with a sideways eye and a wry smile… I’ve worked for much smaller firms run by tyrants and the culture//working environment was shocking. You’re obviously doing your due diligence on the firm, out them here and see if anybody can give you real life experience.

    Kryton57
    Full Member

    out them here

    The blinder I made many years ago of entering my email address as my user name makes me want to avoid the chance of a connection being made.

    ‘Grace’

    No, it’s got two letters from the common name for a feline pet in it.

    Appreciates it’s a bit of a lottery but my friend is working in a Senior related position in an SME, wondering if jumping ship is worth the name on the CV from an industry perspective in his last 10 – 15 working years. If it isn’t worth the Kudos and my friend changes to little fish in large and difficult corporate pond for no other reason he wouldn’t bother.

    Edit: if the overwhelming feedback was “great places to work and helps strongly with industry kudos for further work opportunity” my friend might be all over it.

    mrjmt
    Free Member

    I worked for the same global engineering consultancy for 15 years (transportation not civils), moved to Australia with them, met my partner at work with them! So great things happen at them. They are a good employer, advantages and disadvantages. I think they had a good balance of freedom and regimen.
    I’m contract now but still working for them.

    Trying to think of who has two letters from cat in their name 😂

    DougD
    Full Member

    Without knowing which one, it’s a bit of a tough one to answer, as stingmered says it’ll depend on which one, what sort of projects they’re working on, who their main clients/type of business are, what they have in the pipeline, where they see their areas of growth etc. They can vary so much. Some look great initially but you then realise that particular regions or business areas are overexposed to specific types of projects/clients so if that dries up it can be squeaky bum time for those teams. On the other hand, one of the benefits of a large company is that you may have more opportunities to diversify, move around on roles/regions etc.

    Happy to have a chat off this thread if that helps. Been working for a fair sized global engineering/solutions consultancy for about 8 years now and stingmered’s comments largely reflect my experience with my company.

    mrjmt
    Free Member

    All I can come up with is Atkins or Jacobs 😀

    VanHalen
    Full Member

    The firm I worked for was bought by a large firm. It wasnt great and I left and set up my own thing. I’m happier with free time and no commute rather than big projects.

    stingmered
    Full Member

    All I can come up with is Atkins or Jacobs

    I’ve worked for one of them in the past and I work for one of them now. PM me if you want more info or to bounce something off me.

    rootes1
    Full Member

    Jacobs, WSP, AECOM ?

    coconut
    Free Member

    I worked for Atkins & Jacobs, preferred Jacobs. It’s hard to answer without knowing what’s being offered (location, projects, wage etc). I now work for a global Civils Contractor and it’s way better.

    pictonroad
    Full Member

    They’re all buying each other at the moment anyway, it may be a different company by the end of the probation period…

    mrjmt
    Free Member

    I agree with that, it’s difficult to keep up with at times. One exception is Motts who are employee owned.
    Actually, does Atkins even exist any more or are they WSP now?

    joshvegas
    Free Member

    I wouldn’t work for AECOM ever again. Also associate director there is one step up above graduate 😀

    steve_b77
    Free Member

    I’ve been in Civils and Track on the railway for over 18 years now, when you’re out and about on site you can end up doing loads of hours and conditions can be utter shite.

    I’ve worked for some of the big players, Murphys – typical Irish approach to construction, work until it’s done and deal with it, rewards were reasonable. Balfour Beatty, less hours, better rewards (not saying much in civils) generally couldn’t give a hoot about their employees – in my experience. Siemens – don’t even go there, great pay and thats about it. subbed to SPL Power Lines, best of those mentioned so far. Now contracting for NR, best role ever, hours are great, flexibility is bang on, employee care (I’ve been there that long I get most of the benefits) and training are top notch.

    One thing worth noting that in the rail industry fatigue management is a huge thing and it’s properly regulated and controlled so you “can’t” do excessive hours without the correct breaks and that has now been extended to desk jockeys like me as opposed to just being for the boots on the ground kind of people previously.

    Actually, does Atkins even exist any more or are they WSP now

    Atkins are still out there, WSP however seem to be flavor of the month.

    Drop me an email if you want

    mrjmt
    Free Member

    Not sure how but I think I’ve caused some confusion on this thread!
    I’m not looking for a new job, kryton’s mate is.
    I’m a happy contractor living in the Melbourne sunshine 🤠

    JEngledow
    Free Member

    thestabiliser
    Free Member

    They can vary massively internally too, theyre often entire workforces bought and sold to cover risks and changes in sectors or provide an offering to a group of clients. Largely shit. Get a foot in and then juml to the best of the client orgs.

    dashed
    Free Member

    I work for one of the bigger ones mentioned above as “associate director and a step above”. Can’t say I recognise any of the stories from the OP apart from the odd Americanism but more (as someone else said) wry smile and move on stuff. As from “name on CV perspective” is that even a thing these days? Genuine question… I just see it as a good place to work and not to further my career.

    PM me if you want to ask anything specific.

    WildHunter2009
    Full Member

    Atkins are SNC Lavalin now I think? Not the best reputation in the canadian motherland I believe. I work for a a multi disciplinary a tier down in size from the big boys (UK only) and have mixed things. From friends Mott’s have a good reputation and I straight up wouldn’t work for WSP.
    Different departments though can make a huge difference.

    dazh
    Full Member

    17 years working for one of the competitors of the firms mentioned above (sounds a bit Danish). I’m not at that level, but from what I’ve seen an Associate Director position seems to be a bit of a poisoned chalice. You have lots of responsibility coupled with a lot of pressure from above and little freedom to do much. I’ve been told more than once from people at that level that it’s the worst job in the firm, but if you’re ambitious and want to get to Director level it’s a penance you have to suffer.

    spot1978
    Free Member

    I work for AECOM on railway projects. AECOM is a big American Company with 40hr week; once you get that big its a little meaningless. Its more about the team you work with.

    Yes you have all the corporate courses etc. Generally I enjoy working for AECOM but that probably down to working as Civils CRE on a major alliance. The work and team have more an impact than the overall American Owned etc.

    At Associate Director role you will be expected to on line management, bidding, succession planning and so on. You have progressively lesser technical roles.

    ernie
    Full Member

    @spot1978 – are you based just outside Paddington working on a certain large rail infrastructure project?

    raleighimpact
    Full Member

    Wow, I’ve just looked at the number of years people have been in civil engineering, and then realised I have been working for almost 20! 3 years in Halcrow (now a small part of Jacobs (Giant American)) and 17 in what is now a Canal charity.

    Sorry I can’t help the OP, as I’ve not been in consultancy for a long time, and will never get to associate level. But I will agree with the comments above. It is less the company, more the team and line management.

    jag1
    Full Member

    As others have said things vary between offices too. I worked for one of the big (not American) firms in a fairly senior role but in a regional office. All the admin of a global multinational with all the resources of an SME. Some places just feel like if its not London it gets left behind.

    rootes1
    Full Member

    I have a zero hours role with WSP at AD level, but not managed to do any work for them at the moment as self-employed stuff is busy – based current and previous roles, Jacobs and Motts been good to work with, AECOM though…..

    But as above the organizations are so large, it just comes down to the teams that you are exposed to dependent on the project(s) you are working on and the discipline you are in, and especially so if on major projects as for those you can become quite detached from your parent company.

    to the OP if your ‘friend’ (haha) is looking for a new role, might as well give it a go, nothing says you have to stay forever.

    spot1978
    Free Member

    ernie – yup but on the Great Western Main Line rather than the other bit. Fascinating project whilst being contentious.

    Kryton57
    Full Member

    Thanks all, this has been very valuable as has the number of people who have PM’s and provided advice.

    Lets see how my friends meeting goes, vs the current outlook in his current job.

    freeagent
    Free Member

    I work for one of those faceless American Corporations –

    generally couldn’t give a hoot about their employees

    This just about sums it up… i’m aware that nobody above my immediate line manager (who is great) give a hoot about me – i’m just a number on a balance sheet.

    stingmered
    Full Member

    Freeagent. I’ll never understand this mentality. Just leave if the faceless organisation thing bothers you. Or alternatively, you’ve got a good LM already,,, that’s half the battle. If he/she has got your back then I don’t kow what more you need. I wouldn’t expect everybody in the chain of LMs above me to be mooching about how I’m doing… that’s squarely my LMs concern.

    stingmered
    Full Member

    If it’s about job security then you’re kidding yourself. If that axe comes swinging all I can say is that loyalty and recognition mean F all. Get yourself into a role that means your indispensable… and even then…

    spot1978
    Free Member

    It depends on what discipline you’re working in for job security. Having worked in Bridges and Railways for 26 years I find the railway much more resistant to fluctuations and redundancies.

    johnx2
    Free Member

    Thanks all, this has been very valuable as has the number of people who have PM’s and provided advice.

    Finally I know how you lot got your name. This has been the most Civil thread ever on stw.

    mrjmt
    Free Member

    Get yourself into a role that means your indispensable… and even then…

    Railway signalling!

Viewing 35 posts - 1 through 35 (of 35 total)

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