The grass was greener at Semcon
A team manager, a couple of validation engineers, someone taking part in a team delivery, one working on a major qualification project and a manager – all with one thing in common! They quit Semcon to try their wings elsewhere. And then decided to come back.
Cay Åsberg says that ‘I was hired in 2015 as an electrical power engineer and worked on assignment at one of the Uppsala office’s major energy customers.’ Cay was happy at Semcon and satisfied with the responsibility he had in his daily work on the assignment, and was concurrently building up a new offering in the area of Energy Mapping. But when the customer offered him a position with them, it seemed like an exciting challenge. A done deal. During the three and a half years that Cay worked at Semcon, however, he had always had his sights set on working with sales and energy mapping instead. So, when his former manager at Semcon called and asked if he would like to further develop this offering by adding energy efficiency while also taking on a role as team manager, the choice was simple.
Others who have made similar journeys include Martina Altman and Magnus Lindberg. Both started at Semcon as life science/project management consultants in 2018 and then made comebacks in 2022, this time in new roles as team managers. For Magnus, who has been at many workplaces as both an employee and a consultant, it was a period of illness that made him stop and think through his situation. ‘Many promise a land of milk and honey,’ he says. ‘But where is it that I have been happy? Semcon was the obvious answer.’ For Martina, it was the possibility to work with her former manager to build up a new department that prompted her to come back. Both agree that it is nice to come home and feel that they have done something good and important. There is a special sense of pride in what we do at Semcon. We make a difference!
When process engineer Cecilia Tillgren got her assignment with one of Semcon’s pharmaceutical customers, it ticked all the boxes. Challenging tasks, nice colleagues and a job site right next to her home. Even though she was happy at Semcon, she felt that ‘here is where I want to stay’. A few years later, the situation changed, and she was open to a new job. Semcon was in the back of her mind, so when the opportunity arose to return, she took it. To the question of whether Cecilia’s views on Semcon have changed now in comparison with her first time around, she says, ‘No, not really. I liked Semcon when I left, too. They take care of their employees, which is important! I can only say that I have the same feeling now, even though I have a different manager than I did before.’
For Max Lagerås, it was the team spirit that made him decide to apply to return. In 2019, he went straight out on assignment as a validation engineer and then, after some small jobs like appendix labelling, inputting job descriptions, etc., got to handle design qualifications. He then started at another consulting company but stayed less than a year. ‘What made me return to Semcon was the community and support I felt, something that I missed after I left. And Semcon’s new focus on team deliveries was really interesting to me.’ The culture has always been good, but with more and more working together in the project toward common goals, Max thinks that it’s even better now than when he left.
For Lisa Prawitz, things moved fast. When she picked up the phone and called her old manager to investigate the possibility of coming back, it resulted in her getting to jump, on very short notice, into a global qualification project with a pharmaceutical company that was moving at full speed. ‘It made it extra fun that I had been involved earlier in decommissioning the old equipment, and now I got to help qualify the new equipment,’ she says. It felt good right from the start because there was a Semcon team on site and Lisa felt, like Max, that she was able to develop and learn new things from Semcon’s experienced validation managers. It was sad to leave Semcon, she says, because she was really happy here, but Lisa didn’t want that to stop her from exploring other options. ‘While I was away, I worked in a completely different sector that I’d had my eye on for a long time, so I’m glad that I took that chance. I came back to Semcon with new experiences, which I think has helped me further develop,’ she says, and goes on to report that she is now part of a department that is expanding into more sectors than just pharmaceuticals, so she is looking forward now to being part of that journey.
There can be many reasons for leaving Semcon, and just as many for coming back. We are glad that this group chose to return and keep making a difference every day. This time with more experience, insight and contacts. When Cecilia was asked if there was anything else she wanted to add to this article, she put in that she has always felt welcome at Semcon. Welcome here. Welcome back. Sometimes the grass isn’t greener on the other side, but instead where it is watered.
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