Focus and concentration are very important factors that effective professionals always prioritize when working. It is necessary for getting the work done. However, with the increasing development in technology coupled with other factors taking place around the world, it has become so easy to lose concentration while working on a task, simply because we are now surrounded by various pleasant distractions. This piece outlines some essential tips that you can use to maintain focus while working long hours.
Most engineers I know are interested in achieving a relatively high level of productivity in their professional and work activities. Since most are working long hours, they aren’t interested in spending time on none-value added activities. Those who are successful in optimizing their productive time, do so through focusing on developing a plan of action.
Productivity is associated with creating value. While you can feel productive attending project meetings, reviewing designs, or obtaining closure on a long-standing issue, it may or may not result in value beyond making you feel productive. In my mind, productivity (a.k.a. creating value) comes only in achieving movement towards the accomplishment of a defined goal.
With this concept in mind, let’s unpack how to get from focus to productivity in your engineering career.
Working in highly complex and diverse technology fields, being a successful engineer requires the willingness to train extensively and the flexibility to continually upgrade present skill sets by acquiring new sets of knowledge & industry insights, just to stay up to speed with market changes. This takes a big toll on many engineers and requires planning and preparation so that you can successfully hit your career goals within the 12-month period you have in 2019. With the New Year almost upon us, it is time to take inventory of your progress to date, and of your professional career goals as well as to create a new set of goals. That said, the following is an overview of three of the best New Year’s career resolutions for engineers in 2019.
Set New Goals – An Unattainable Job
This is a guest post by Christian Haring of Harbor Compliance
If you’re like me, when it comes to things like growing your business and expanding your capabilities, your go-to position is, “Yes, we can!” It’s part of the sales personality: we think positive. Yet too much of that can-do, climb-every-mountain spirit can sap your teams, and eventually you’ll see the evidence in numbers like sales, utilization rates, and overhead burden.
One of the best ways to improve your numbers is to focus your firm’s finite time and resources on what you do best. Knowing what to outsource, and when, is a key part of that equation for firms of all sizes.
Many firms we speak to are unaware that they can outsource business licensing and entity management. In fact, firms that outsource these functions to us routinely enjoy returns of 30X and up. How? Let me walk you through the factors and how they relate to AEC firms.
80/20 Principle as One of the Most Effective Ways to
Increase Your Productivity is a guest post by Samantha R. Gilbert
In 1895, Vilfredo Pareto, the Italian economist, became aware that people could be divided into two groups. The first one was the “vital few” that made up the top 20% regarding influence and money, and the second referred to the “trivial many” that made up the bottom 80% of the population. Then, he realized that all economic management reflected this principle, that 20% of the population controlled 80% of the Italian capital in that period. Pareto asserted that this principle could be implemented everywhere. Practically, the rule suggests that 20% of your activities will account for 80% of your outcomes. Therefore, this means you can apply this rule to enhance your productivity and achieve your goals in less time. Just follow these five steps and learn how to apply the 80/20 principle in your life.
How to Cultivate Excellent Professional Relationships is a blog post by guest author Patrick Sweet, P.Eng., MBA
Professional relationships are key to success in any profession. Engineering is no exception. Success is fueled as much by who you know as it is by what you know. While this may seem unfair, there’s a perfectly logical reason for this: people do business with people they know, like, and trust. And how do you get people to know, like, and trust you? Through relationships.
Today, I’m going to share five actions you can take to cultivate excellent professional relationships. All of these strategies are simple, and anyone can implement them, regardless of where you are in your career, or what industry you work in. All of them will help others to get to know, like, and trust you.
This is a guest post by Nader Mowlaee
It might sound contrary to the idea of career professionalism but building real friendships can and will get you hired. In fact, if you’re not making friends when you network, you’re not doing it properly.
Networking is the most powerful job search strategy because it will lead to getting referred in for jobs that aren’t yet advertised, meaning you’ll have much less or no competition going into the interview process.
Building real friendships works extremely well when they’re based on genuine attraction and interest; think about this not as ‘what someone can do for you,’ but rather, ‘what you can do for someone else’ without expecting anything back. That’s how you make a new friend. Help without expecting anything back. Genuine friendships always make sense and feel good when they originate, and they will always pay off in the long run.
Build Real Friendships That Are Genuine
This is a guest post by Kyle K. Cheerangie, P.E.
As a younger engineer I occasionally spent time doing the wrong things. My eagerness caused me to accept tasks and work with unconfirmed assumptions. This lead to repeat work and disappointment from my mangers. My focus was on activity, not results.
Keeping a journal helped me learned that I was spending much of my time doing tasks that did not contribute to my team. The best engineers perform the necessary tasks and delegate or eliminate the unnecessary.
For example, spending weeks to create a report with multiple iterations for comments and changes, when a simple technical memorandum would suffice. Young engineers typically experience challenges like this one and most managers don’t have the heart to say, “No! This is not what I want.”
Learn and practice these skills to improve:
This is a guest post by Mike Johnston
Civil engineering is a discipline many people are not really familiar with. This is a real shame since civil engineering impacts our society so much. Namely, it comprises various professions, including structural, geotechnical, environmental, water resources, construction management, and transportation engineers.
One particularly interesting area is quantity surveying, a profession that blends engineering, construction, and economics. The emphasis is on the last part, albeit there are many other tasks that these experts perform.
To avoid any confusion, let us just provide a quick clarification of terminology.
Those who live in Canada or the US might have heard the term construction cost estimator. On the other hand, a quantity surveyor is widely used in countries like UK and Australia. The roles of the two are more or less similar depending on the region. For instance, a construction cost estimator in the US is equivalent to a quantity surveyor in the UK, even though there are some extra requirements for each one.
Sometimes, the terms cost managers and cost consultants get thrown around. But, in this article, we are going to use only quantity surveyor, though in a broader sense that transcends local and project-to-project differences.
What do surveyors do?
How to Use the PSI Framework is a guest post by Nader Mowlaee
PSI stands for more than just “pounds per square inch” when inflating tires. It also stands for a meaningful way to enhance your value to a potential new or existing employer, especially during job interviews.
The PSI framework is also a great method you can use on the job to sell a project, product or idea to just about anyone. It’s an amazing tool to convince engineering leaders and managers that there is a problem needing to be addressed and that your solution is the best way to fix the issue.