Semiconductor lab

Engineering your career: Pathways for Field Service professionals 

Embarking on a career as a Field Service Engineer in Europe can be both exhilarating and challenging. To help you navigate this path effectively, let’s break down some key considerations. 

Embrace your versatility

Your skills as a Service Engineer can be highly adaptable across various sectors within Europe. Having experience in different industries, from medical devices to automotive or industrial machinery, can mean you’re a lot closer to having the key skills for a career in the Semiconductor industry than you may think. If you have experience working with electromechanical equipment, most businesses offer a strong training program to get you up to speed on the semiconductor market! 

Service management or moving into commercial positions?

This is a common question for Senior Engineers I’ve spoken with recently. They’ve often got to a point in their career where they consider becoming a Service Manager or looking into the realm of commercial positions like Account or Sales Management. The key thing here is to consider what you enjoy and what suits your life; personally and professionally.

Much like being a Field Service Engineer, Service Management positions can involve a high level of travel and being in demand a lot of the time whilst adding in the key responsibilities of looking after or building a team. You need to consider what the new challenges are that you’ll face. Looking after a team will mean taking on personnel related tasks such as personal development plans, performance reviews, health & safety processes, and key performance indicator reviews with senior management. As with many Service Engineers, you come with great people & communication skills so it’s worth considering how you’d utilise this! 

Moving into commercial positions like Key Account Management can utilise skills you have developed being a Service Engineer. Often, your understanding of the equipment and customer requirements can set you apart by being relatable. Like working as a Manager, you’re well-versed in working with different environments and people – ultimately giving you the ability to manage situations where others may not be able to. It’s important to note there is less hands-on work. Make sure this is considered as I have spoken to lots of engineers who’ve moved back to service work within 12-18 months as they miss the problem solving aspect.

Leveraging recruiters expertise 
By working with a recruiter, they can help to get you talking and thinking. Why did you get into your position in the first place, what is it that truly interests you, what have you enjoyed doing in the past and why? These are only a few questions but, in a situation, where you’re considering a change, talking to a recuirter can get you thinking and taking time to truly consider the inspiration behind your career so far. Then, you can utilise this to re-assess the path that lies before you. 

Recruiters can also provide market feedback. Tap into our knowledge of the current hiring trends, emerging positions, key sought-after skills or where your experience could be transferrable.  

Explore Europe’s semiconductor hubs 

Europe boasts many semiconductor industry hotspots, Dresden in Germany, Grenoble in France, Catania in Italy and many more. Research the areas, what are the common positions you see advertised on websites like LinkedIn or through recruitment companies – does this match your skills? Or what is less common online – just because it’s not on a company website or social media platform, it doesn’t mean the company isn’t interested in your application. The fear of rejection from a more speculative application or approach can be daunting but it can be well appreciated by businesses and if there aren’t opportunities immediately, it can often build key relationships with hiring managers for the future. Ultimately, you don’t win the lottery if you haven’t bought a ticket! 

Navigating your career path in Europe’s semiconductor industry requires thoughtful consideration and planning. By embracing your dynamic skills, understanding your personal & professional preferences, utilising recruiters’ experience and exploring semiconductor hubs, you can engineer your pathway to a fulfilling and rewarding career! 

Reach out to find out more about how Jake can support you with your next career move:

LinkedIn: Jake Harrison

Email: [email protected]

Phone: +44 (0)1606 664 193

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