Home » Career Transformation » Why a changing energy industry needs dynamic and curious talent

Sean O’Loughlin

General Manager, Energy Business Unit, Flogas

Kevin Donnelly

General Manager, LPG Business Unit, Flogas

A changing energy industry is looking for ways to contribute to Ireland’s decarbonisation agenda. That means it needs diverse talent from various disciplines.

Sean O’Loughlin and Kevin Donnelly have worked in energy for years and know it inside and out — but the change they have seen across the sector in the last decade has surprised them.

Decarbonisation push in energy sector

“It’s transformed from being a fairly staid industry to one that is at the core of everyone’s life,” says O’Loughlin, General Manager of energy business unit, Flogas. “There are various well-documented reasons for that, including climate concerns, economic and political shocks and technological advances. As a result, energy has moved from the business pages to the front pages. For those in the industry, it’s a dynamic, fascinating and challenging time.”

The continuous growth of the sector has had a big, positive impact on career opportunities. “Take our company,” says Donnelly, General Manager, LPG Business Unit at Flogas. “When I joined over six years ago, we had around 140 employees. Now, we’ve scaled massively, providing a full portfolio of energy solutions across the island of Ireland, and we’re close to 480 employees. We see ourselves continuing to grow and continuing to contribute to Ireland’s decarbonisation agenda.”

Energy transition is one of the reasons why Donnelly is so invested in the sector. “Pressure to decarbonise is coming from everywhere: governments, society and customers,” he says. “For me, that’s exciting. A big part of the attraction is that I want to be part of that transition solution.”

We see ourselves continuing to
grow and continuing to contribute
to Ireland’s decarbonisation agenda.

Entrepreneurial spirit and the ability to work collaboratively

The industry’s eclectic nature requires talent across a variety of disciplines. “Twenty years ago, energy was male-dominated and engineering-heavy,” admits O’Loughlin. “That’s not the case now. We’re building a strong, multifaceted, diverse team across all areas of the business. We now see more diversity among engineering graduates, and we still need their expertise, but we also need IT professionals, customer insight professionals, sales and marketing and trading professionals.”

Those with an entrepreneurial spirit and the ability to work collaboratively and think differently will go far, says Donnelly. “The industry needs people with passion and motivation,” he says. “Because the market is becoming so complex — and the range of technologies and solutions so varied — they’ll need a curious mindset to contribute at a high level. If you want a fast-moving career where you can drive sustainability and carbon reduction and help make the world a better place, then this is the sector for you.”

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