How did you first start working at Steamatic?
I initially started working for Steamatic through a labour agency hire company. At the time I was a painter/plaster working on a commercial site in the CBD where work unfortunately dried up. To keep myself working I joined an agency to keep me busy in the downtime where I found myself being allocated to work for Steamatic. Following several months of consistent work, I was asked to join the team at Steamatic as a casual technician.
Walk me through your career to date with Steamatic.
Prior to working at Steamatic I was unaware that this type of work existed however as a casual (Labour hire) working with this new company, I found myself enjoying myself more and more as time went by in this unknown industry. The team that I worked with were incredibly welcoming and so informative which made coming back each day an easy choice. I recall a staff member requesting that I come back into work every day regardless of whether or not the labour hire agency told me to. At this point I felt very well part of the team so when I was asked to officially join the team at Steamatic in a casual position there was no hesitation.
Moving into the role as a casual I began to work on jobs that I hadn’t previously worked on such as Mould Remediation, Structural Fire Cleaning and even Trauma/Crime Clean-up job’s which was a side of the companies skill set that I was not aware of and as I progressed, I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to run and supervise some of these jobs. As a casual, being asked to accept a higher level of responsibility was always seen as a great opportunity for me to show that I was capable of moving up within the operation ranks and I jumped at this when opportunities arose. At times I was selected to travel interstate multiple times during Catastrophe events to help when floods occurred which I am very grateful for, it was a great time for me to learn.
My time as a casual employee did however have some bumpy stages where I considered different alternative’s and careers such as completing an apprenticeship or going back to school. I think I believed that I needed a qualification or to have completed some form of studying to become successful. I was asked to move into a full-time supervisor role, but I believe it was this mentality that delayed my decision. Growth for myself and within my career have always played a huge role in my life and how I work and I think I was lucky that my Operations Manager knew this about me and basically gave me the reassurance that I had what it took to continue to grow in this company, so after 2 years as a casual I was offered a full time position as a Supervisor.
My time as a Supervisor felt very much like when I was a casual and I think this is because as a casual I was trusted to take on tasks that a Supervisor usually would. It was business as usual for me and I was really enjoying the extra responsibility. Interstate works continued and during the busier times I was able to help run and assist on some of the larger restoration jobs which I saw as great opportunities to learn and work with some really knowledgeable people. Throughout this time I was also put through numerous internationally recognised courses which are run by Steamatic’s internal trainer.
In 2016 I was asked to travel to Tasmania to assist with the branch, following a smaller scale flooding event. I started in Hobart, worked my way up through the East Coast and eventually finished up in Devonport. I met a lot of great people along the way and learnt so much wherever I could. Being able to travel and work at the same time was definitely a perk of the job. After 7 weeks in Tasmania I came back to Melbourne and returned to find I had received great praise from the Tasmanian Branch Manager who suggested that a promotion to Team Leader should be considered based on the professionalism shown while working away. I remember my Operation’s Manager asking me to see him which left me curious. I wasn’t sure what to expect but was relieved to know that Steamatic were offering me a position as a Team Leader among the crew. Without hesitation I jumped at this opportunity and was honoured to be considered for this role.
Starting in my new position I knew that being a Team Leader came with an immense amount of responsibility, crew members would turn to me for help, management’s expectations of my work would increase as well as the tasks I would be required to complete was a little daunting, however I felt that I was ready for this challenge and ready to take the next step in my career.
While I was in this role, Steamatic began introducing a new system where Team Leader’s would attend smaller jobs to provide a report, costings and scope. With my ambition to continue growth and potentially become an Assessment Manager this was the perfect stepping stone that would provide myself with the bridge to eventually achieve this. Management provided all the Team Leaders with laptops to kick start this new element to our roles. Monthly training sessions were held to provide the education needed to navigate around the companies I.T system as well as create reports and compile costings with costing templates. The introduction of this new role was exciting for me because from time to time I was able to put myself in the Assessment Manager’s shoes and look at jobs from a different perspective whilst also continuing with my current role. This made it very clear in my mind where I saw myself to be in 5 years’ time. I expressed my ambition to several different people within the company in conversation’s and discussed that I was in no rush to ‘put the tools down’ and was happy continuing on the crew receiving hands on experience each day.
Four months went past, and I was approached by a colleague who advised me that Steamatic were advertising for a new Assessment Manager and told me to apply for the position. I brushed off this idea as initially I felt I wasn’t ready to make this step and I was enjoying my time as a Team Leader, but it wasn’t long until I was approached by one of the Assessment Managers, 2 colleagues in management positions and at the time the Regional Manager and was advised that I should submit an application for the job. After so much praise I decided to apply with the thought that even if I wasn’t chosen I had still shown my ambition to grow within the company.
Applying for this position was probably one of my most bitter sweet moments to date, this would be my first ever job interview and into a role at the company that I had set my eyes on. Having never experienced the feeling of sitting through a job interview this was incredibly nerve racking but knowing that I was being interviewed by people I had known for 4 years certainly took some weight off my shoulders.
I can still remember the day of the interview; I was working on a Mould Remediation job sanding timber joists all day. I planned the day out so that all our work would be completed by 1pm which would leave me enough time race back to the Head Office, wash my face and change into more of a professional look. I believe the way I presented myself that day played a big part in the outcome that followed. The interview was held in early December of 2016 and I had planned a holiday to Queensland to bring in the New Year. Little did I know that I was returning to find out that I was successful with my interview and was going to become Steamatic’s newest Assessment Manager. I was asked to continue working as a Team Leader until the end of January to assist with the influx of claims following a storm to which I was happy to help with and still extremely excited to begin this new journey.
On the 1st of February 2017 I commenced my role as an Assessment Manager and have not looked back. Moving into this position has taught me so much about how much effort is put in by a number of different divisions from insurers to administration staff and on-site assessors to ensure that a claim is handled in a professional and timely manner. Being on the other side of the fence also gave me a lot more respect for the technicians and operational staff that work together to ensure that an insured has a positive experience during what is an inconvenience and unfortunate time for them.
A part of my role includes attending industry events and educational work functions where I am proud to say that I have met some great people and made some amazing lifelong friends which I am lucky enough to get the chance to also work. This networking aspect of my position is something that was extremely new for me but exciting nonetheless. It is more than safe to say that I am thoroughly enjoying my time working at Steamatic.
What motivated you to progress in your career?
Personal growth has always been a big part of my life and after some time at Steamatic, growth within the company was something I wanted to achieve and set out for myself as a goal. Initially I had decided that I would wait until I was 30 before I went for the position, but I was motivated by my peers to take the leap earlier. I have also been lucky enough to be surrounded by the most supportive friends, family and work colleagues who have always had my best interest at heart from a friend telling me to go for it or a work colleague helping with interview tips.
One of my biggest motivators is my current boss who has been the greatest mentor for me moving into my new role. He has always had time for me when I’ve needed it and always ensures that I have received the correct training/education to keep progressing. This is something that I cherish and has played a big role in my ambition to grow and succeed.
What advice do you have for someone wanting to follow in your career footsteps?
The best advice I can give to someone wanting to follow in my footsteps would be to take every opportunity thrown at you and continue to learn each day. I learnt a lot of great lessons from tough experiences at work and it was in these moments where I think you can learn the most. Understanding and knowing the industry you work in will help a lot. Another bit of advice is to love what you do and love where you work, being proud of where you work will reflect in the way you conduct your everyday work.
What has been some of your favourite Steamatic memories to date?
One of my favourite memories has been working throughout the Newcastle floods. It was such a horrible time for the people living there which gave us an amazing feeling being seen as someone coming with help. Teaming up with other branches of the company, utilising the available services and working long hours to get to as many people in need as possible gave me a huge amount of satisfaction.
Another great memory of mine was our recent Steamatic Annual Golf Day. This was one of my first work events and also my first round of golf so there was a lot of different emotions. I was lucky enough to be placed in a team with a member of the golf club which certainly helped our chances. After a great day in the sun learning to play golf with my team we came through with the win on the day and won a helicopter ride around the Melbourne CBD. The day was capped off with a nice cold beer and great food and a trophy presentation.
What was the most interesting job you have worked on?
I have worked on countless interesting jobs with Steamatic but if I had to choose one it would have to be a fire in a community building in Epping. It was a large-scale fire that had damaged the entire building from minimal spread of soot right through to burnt and twisted structural beams. Our works consisted of structural decontamination but what made this job interesting for me was the complexities involved for me with completing our works. It was the first job where I had to work so closely with the builders on site to make sure everything was progressing and ensure that updates were frequent. My team and I also had look after multiple areas of work and several different crews. Without the assistance from great, trusting co-workers, that could have easily gone pear-shaped but with teamwork we pushed through and delivered a great finish.
Where do you see yourself next?
In all honesty, I am very content with where I am at the moment in my career and I haven’t given a huge amount of thought as to where I would like to progress next. Lucky for me, with my position I am able to grow yet keep the same title, however I would like to increase my industry knowledge and eventually be a part of the Major Loss Projects team. Being involved in major projects and being counted on to deliver exceptional service is something I would love to be a part of.