April 21, 2023 • 4 min read
Energy transition: unlocking pathways to new careers
Is it possible to make a career move from engineering to inside sales? We caught up with Madikana Moremi to find out how he did just that.
“My career has progressed significantly over the past few years, but it was my fascination with electricity that helped me get where I am today,” explains Madikana Moremi, Inside Sales Manager, based in Johannesburg, South Africa.
“I believe that you can do anything in the world, but you can’t do it without electricity. However, when I started as a Junior Electrical Designer after graduating in 2010, I didn’t expect my career to take me from mining to renewables to the business development role I’m in now,” he laughs.
But that's exactly what happened.
“I’ve been with Worley since I graduated from Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria, South Africa, with a degree in electrical engineering. I’ve had some fantastic career opportunities, and I was supported throughout my degree in technology. However, I knew that the world was changing, and I wanted to be a part of it and play an active role in the energy transition”.
Choosing a career path you care about
For Moremi, this meant transitioning his skillset from mining to renewables, working as an electrical wind turbine specialist on some of the biggest renewable’s projects in the world. Like, Africa’s largest wind farm, Lake Turkana.
“I feel proud to be a part of Africa’s biggest-ever wind farm project. And even more so when you realize that the Lake Turkana wind farm provides power to more than one million African homes.”
The Lake Turkana wind project saw 365 turbines erected in just 362 days. It had a strong focus on localization, ensuring local communities also benefitted. This included supporting the Winds of Change (WoC) Foundation, which was set up in 2015 by Lake Turkana Wind Power consortium to share project benefits. We contributed to the upgrading of a water pipeline system at the Mount Kulal Girls Secondary School in Luay, which provided clean water to the school.
I‘m lucky that I was able to choose my way in the world and specialize in something I really cared about. It made me realize I not only wanted to be involved in these projects but to be responsible for driving them, too.
“I’ve always admired the work the business development team does to expand our portfolio of work, especially in sustainability-focused projects. So, when the opportunity to join their team came forward, it felt like the natural next step for my career.”
For Moremi, it’s important that we are open about our career journeys and show that there’s no such thing as the right path.
“We must encourage many young people to have that same freedom of choice when it comes to their careers and showcase the options that are out there,” he adds.
Why mentoring matters
Moremi is part of the Worley RSA Social Economy Committee (SEC) a committee started by Worley leaders, aiming to build stronger relationships between our people at all levels. “Worley’s RSA SEC bridges the gap between management and our people. That’s vital if we want to make real progress as a company. It means we’re working together to solve future challenges, such as climate change.”
Moremi is also part of a sponsorship program run by the committee. The program is set up to identify talent and progress career development for our people.
“It is a great honor and privilege to be one of the first people to have taken part in this program,” says Moremi. “My mentor and sponsor is Mark Brantley, Group President, EMEA & APAC at Worley. Since joining the program we’ve worked together to increase my visibility and networks at Worley.
“When we first met, I was still that electrical engineer with wider aspirations to join the business development team. His support and encouragement have played a huge role in getting me to where I am now. Fulfilling the career goals, I had back then, and going on to accomplish even more within my current role as Inside Sales Manager.”
Moremi also credits the support he’s received outside the mentorship program.
“My colleague, Megan Keefer, Business Development Director, Sub-Sahara Africa at Worley, has also played a huge role in my career development. Megan has been a strong pillar of support since I started my new role. Her encouragement has helped me realize I’m more capable of achieving things than I first think”.
But Moremi is not just doing this for himself.
“I have two daughters Taaliyah and Ariel, and I want to show them that anything is possible, that they can be anything that they want to be. They are a huge driving factor of my career changes and my motivation to keep achieving more.”
Helping the next generation
Now Moremi wants to inspire the next generation to take the same leap of faith in themselves as he did.
“Every day I go to work, I get to be involved in helping shape the direction of our future at Worley. All because I had the courage and belief in myself to step out of my comfort zone and find the career that was right for me. It all started with that spark of curiosity about electricity, but little did I know what was to come for me.
“I admire the next generation, and admittedly I’m a little jealous, too. A generation that’s grown up with technology at their fingertips and is witnessing the impact of the energy transition – it’s a unique opportunity. And one day I hope I can have the same impact in helping shape someone’s career, as my mentors did with mine.”