The art of juggling multiple roles and being good at it
Darin works for Network Certification Body, a subsidiary of Network Rail. As a Principal Engineer, his job is to carry out technical reviews of major railway projects. Darin has also been an Army Reservist for an incredible 28 years, which have seen him juggle two demanding careers with family life, volunteering and personal time.
In the Reserve Forces, Darin is the Corps Colonel for the Royal Engineers — a great role with responsibility for recruiting, training and retention policy for Reserve Officers and soldiers. He also manages to fit in volunteering as a charity trustee of a Royal Engineers Charity which aims to prepare service leavers for civilian employment.
Darin feels playing multiple roles is hugely rewarding and his motivation to keep the balance right is high, — two key conditions for success. Also, thanks to the fine crossover of skills between his military and business training, his performance has been enhanced. For example, years of leadership training in the Army has proved invaluable when managing teams and projects at Network Rail. And the Army’s structured, logical approach to decision-making has been a big asset to his technical role at Network Rail. Conversely, Darin’s attention to detail and commercial savviness developed at Network Rail has had a positive impact on delivering the Army’s real time infrastructure projects within budget, which has been of great benefit to soldiers. And the Army has also benefited from the seamless transfer of project management skills to the recruitment process of Reservists in Darin’s Reserve unit which almost doubled its size in 3 years.
“Combining a Reserves role with a civilian role is tough but highly rewarding. I have made lifelong friends and developed as an employee and a soldier. Striking a balance between family, work, Reserves and some down time has been my hardest challenge but I’ve managed by prioritising things to maintain a healthy balance”.
“So my advice to anyone who wants to join the Reserves is: go and have a look for yourself. I’ve had many opportunities to travel, train alongside highly gifted people and deliver positive outcomes. For example, I joined an exercise last year in South Korea where my technical and operational expertise was carefully matched with a complex role in the United Nations Headquarters”.
Network Rail grants Reservists two weeks’ additional paid leave for training commitments and has just won a Gold Award in the Employer Recognition Scheme, the Ministry of Defence’s highest honour for organisations that go out of their way to support Reservists, service leavers and other members of the Armed Forces community.