News Apr 6, 2023

Help Your People Grow Today to Take Jacobs into Tomorrow: Sean Butler’s Story

U.K.-based Sean Butler, an operations director in our decommissioning business, explains why he’s passionate about keeping the great talent we have at Jacobs.

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  • Sean Butler
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Each month in 2023, we’re focusing on one of the 10 essentials we all need for success in these fast-changing times. This month, we’re highlighting Abundance mentality, which is about seeking and identifying wider opportunities, sharing your knowledge and collaborating with others. For people leaders, this means helping each person on your team see what’s next for them right here at Jacobs.

We talked with U.K.-based Sean Butler, an operations director in our decommissioning business, explains why he’s passionate about keeping the great talent we have at Jacobs.

When it comes to career development for those on his team, Sean Butler simply looks around Jacobs for compelling possibilities.

“We’re lucky to work across a diverse range of markets and geographies, which can provide amazing growth opportunities for our people," he says. "As a manager, I think it’s fundamentally important to demonstrate that internal moves are achievable and that line managers will help to facilitate.”

While encouraging career mobility within your own team can, on the face of it, take a hefty dose of altruistic behavior, Sean’s a strong believer that it can be a win for all involved over the long term.

“My advice is not to consider internal moves as a resource loss, but instead look at it as a ‘win’ in terms of helping Jacobs keep a talented employee," he adds. "I’m also a huge fan of hiring internal applicants onto my team – they’re already a good cultural fit with Jacobs, up to speed on our systems and processes, and have fantastic transferable knowledge from other areas of the business.”

Sean sees the support he provides to those on his team as an opportunity to “pay it forward,” just as former colleagues supported him during his career. After joining Jacobs in 2013 as a principal process engineer, Sean quickly saw an opportunity to explore his interest in the operational and strategic side of the organization. Through his annual reviews with line managers and others, he laid out his intentions and made the move into operations management.

Using the career planning tool in e3, and other resources available, Sean believes helping team members progress in their careers is simply the responsibility of a good leader – encouraging the documentation of interests and aspirations, tapping into personal networks and following through with HR and new line managers.

“I don’t want my team members to ever feel as though their ambition to try different things may be frowned upon due to the perceived ‘headache’ of having to backfill their roles – that can lead to people looking externally to develop their careers,” Sean says. “Personally, I’d 100% prefer that somebody left my department to work elsewhere in Jacobs than leave the business altogether.”

Jacobs: A world where you can

At Jacobs, we expand the limits for what’s possible and create the standards of the future along the way. This means we’re responsible for consistently growing and developing ourselves by each feeding our curiosity, raising our hands and sharing what we know.

Explore more about our learning culture at Jacobs