Project Management Network Integration Cutover Planning & Execution Deployment & Acceptance Maintenance Network Planning & Engineering Equipment Commissioning & Hardware Test Site Supervision Technology Transfer

Telecom Projects - A unique set of challenges

A few factors need to be considered when trying to decide if this job and lifestyle is for you.

International travel

This is an appealing part of this line of work, but of course it has its drawbacks.   Periodic trips home are provided every 6 to 16 weeks, depending on project location. It takes extra effort to maintain relationships with friends and family while living away from home.

Project work

Technical projects are intense and often difficult. As in many businesses, sales organizations often force unrealistic implementation targets onto the implementation team in order to make a sale. Shipment problems for international jobs compound the scheduling difficulties and add additional complexity to the process. Problems with new and inexperienced customers often account for unexpected delays in the schedule.

These characteristics make for pros and cons due to the intensity of the work. Generally, the work day (and week) will be long -- it is tough to plan much of a social schedule during the thick of the project. On the other hand, time between projects provides a good opportunity to take some "real" holidays. Money has been tucked away due to the long hours and a longer holiday can be had; the fact that one job is wrapped up means that your mind will be clear of work issues until the next job starts.


The above argument of having time off between projects can be quashed if you are worried about when you next paycheque will arrive. This volatility is felt by our customer's own employees and therefore is magnified for its contractors and consultants.  In addition, short-term volatility can provide additional complications, as projects and sites are often delayed due to construction, equipment or software.  Full fare and easily exchangeable airline tickets are the rule!

Projects come and go in this business. This week's "panic" job is next week's cancelled order. Imagine the process: First of all, our customer needs to get the work.   They then start to work on internal resource issues to see if they have a fit within their own staff.  They then need to evaluate suppliers, such as Sidonia,  and start setting up project timelines and making travel arrangements and contractual commitments.   This all needs to happen within the space of a few weeks -- and even in that short amount of time we may see schedule delays or other complications.

Where does this job get you?

The international telecommunications industry has been experiencing tremendous volatility in the past few years. The nature of the work provides a wide range of exposure to telecommunications equipment, from the nuts and bolts of implementation to a higher-level view of network opgberations.

  • International experience -- immense value on any  resume
  • Telecommunications experience -- exposure to an industry in which Canada provides key technology to other countries.
  • Strong starting point for project management; network consulting; equipment engineering and provisioning; technical support and training jobs; bid preparation, sales & marketing.
  • Possible starting point into software engineering and hardware design due to familiarity with equipment.
  • Skill development in a number of transferable skills: This type of work displays risk-taking; independence; and the ability to learn a new concept or new equipment quickly.

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