Headshot of Expleo client delivery director Audrey Griffin.
© Image provided by Expleo

Expleo’s Audrey Griffin: How to stop ‘skill decay’ taking root in your career

29 May 2024

Client delivery director for Expleo Audrey Griffin discusses how to deal with change in the tech industry and making every challenge an opportunity for success.

The world, despite how it can feel sometimes, never stops turning. There is always some form of momentum pulling us out of our comfort zones and presenting us with a new challenge.

For Audrey Griffin, a veteran of the IT industry, with more than 20 years of experience in the public sector, finance, insurance and telco domains, there was a brief moment when, despite her significant credentials and accomplishments, she wondered if she had lost that momentum and fallen prey to “skill decay”.

Growing up in a large family, with a father who was a cabinet maker, Griffin was always drawn towards having a trade. Initially joining Print Finisher as an apprentice, she spent five years at the company, before her skill for quality assurance was noticed and she was able to leverage her network connections to move into a business analyst role at Eircom.


Starting in 2000, Griffin had a front row seat to the transformative changes happening in the world of technology, in particular the mass advancements being made in internet innovation. 

“I have been through the analogue era”, she told SiliconRepublic.com. The era of “integrated services digital network, high-speed broadband and then into IP and metro ethernet networks for the Special Olympics in Ireland.” 

She described the metaphorical war wounds she sustained from the multiple transformations she experienced, “navigating a digital era that was replacing old technology with more advanced architectures and applications”.  

In 2010 and “with notions of leaving stakeholder tantrums behind [and] dealing with children’s tantrums instead”, Griffin embarked on a hiatus from the technology world, choosing to work with the not-for-profit Balbriggan Community Childcare Group.

New beginnings

After four years, she had confirmed for herself that technology was the right career path and, with some trepidation, joined global engineering, technology and consulting service provider, Expleo, as a business analyst. Earlier this month, the company launched an AI centre of excellence in Ireland with a €1m investment. It was also named one of Ireland’s 2024 Best Workplaces in Tech by Great Place to Work.

On returning to the sector after a four-year gap she stated, it was the “hardest thing I have had to face”, and added that there were some challenges.

Namely she worried that her skills had somewhat atrophied in the years that she had been absent from the industry, in a manner that she describes as “skill decay”.

“I had worked in a traditional waterfall life cycle, writing large business requirements documents with process flows and functional specifications. Agile was the buzz word when I arrived back into the tech sector,” said Griffin. 

Seizing the opportunity to tackle challenges head on, Griffin utilised “the army of assets” her new job had put in place to help her and others succeed. She made use of centres of excellence, communities of practice and training academy resources to support  the reskill journey. 

She was promoted four times over the next four years, overcoming imposter syndrome and re-evaluating how she viewed her trajectory. 

“Personally I see it now as a positive. I worked harder, talked more, sought feedback and this led to my professional growth.”

Harnessing the power of change and embracing the transformative nature of technology, Griffin became fascinated with the advancements being made in AI.

When asked what most excited her about the future of technology in the industry she replied “it must be the AI revolution”, noting she had learned to type using a typewriter and now her pre-teen daughter knew more about app content then perhaps Griffin ever will. 

For others aiming to reskill and make an impact in their chosen career, integrity is paramount and is as crucial as a strong business acumen, according to Griffin. It has allowed her to lead a team of more than 80 people, from all over the globe.

“My integrity has enabled me to foster meaningful relationships with my peers and my clients. I believe it enhances my reputation. It is also how I manage the global team, based in Ireland, Romania, Portugal and India, all working on multiple client sites,” she said. “It is important to establish a foundation of ethical behaviour from the start.”

For Griffin, integrity is not just a buzzword to be bandied about when it suits. Instead, she chooses to lead by example, as integrity is “a lifelong commitment, personally and professionally”. 

She urges people to remember that they are not a single machine and only have so many hours in the day; delegation is key and will encourage growth through “accountability” and autonomy. 

For those who believe upskilling could blow doors wide open, she said: “Look into mentor programmes and don’t be afraid to seek mentors that will support you even if they know nothing about tech. 

“My greatest mentors are my parents. They knew nothing about the tech industry but gave unwavering support and life experience. Observing their work ethic and values shaped mine”. 

Find out how emerging tech trends are transforming tomorrow with our new podcast, Future Human: The Series. Listen now on Spotify, on Apple or wherever you get your podcasts.

Laura Varley
By Laura Varley

Laura Varley is a Careers reporter at Silicon Republic. She has a background in technology PR and journalism and is borderline obsessed with film and television, the theatre, Marvel and Mayo GAA. She is currently trying to learn how to knit.

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