In episode 9 of The Geotechnical Engineering Podcast, we talk to Menzer Pehlivan, Ph.D., P.E. a geotechnical engineer with a specialization in seismic hazards and resiliency. Menzer knows four languages, has a Ph.D., spent two years working in New York, was featured in a movie, and is now working at Jacobs in Seattle. And in this episode, we have the privilege to talk to this successful engineer about earthquake engineering, and diversity and inclusion in the engineering world.
This is a guest blog post by Mary Jane Riccardi, SPHR, MBA
Whether project management or organizational management, the foundation of a great management career starts with exceptional technical/professional performance. Many engineering professionals start their careers with strong technical skills, honed through years of schooling, challenging work assignments, and delivering on project management expectations. Moving into a project or organizational management role takes a new set of skills, which can be developed long before acquiring the manager title.
Through developing professional consulting competencies engineers can accelerate their skill development while providing additional contribution to their firms. Also, it allows early career engineers to demonstrate their people skills to those internal decision makers, who may be making those promotional decisions.
So what specifically are professional consulting competencies? After talking with and listening to many junior and senior professional consultants in the A/E industry, I developed a 10-competency model that can be used to guide any engineer in their role as a professional consultant. Executing on technical skills and abilities can develop the first four, the next five require focus on people. Pursuing self-development is important regardless of your career goals.
How many times have you heard that you need to get the big picture? Or that you feel like you didn’t have the big picture? I’ve heard this phrase repeated too many times to count and each time I do the thought that runs through my mind is this: what exactly is the big picture and how can I get big picture thinking?
The fact is that the big picture depends on your point of view. I don’t believe anyone can truly have the big picture (serious emphasis on “big”) because it’s not possible to see the infinite number of influence points involved. In fact, the bigger the project, program or issue the more difficult it is for anyone – even the leader at the top – to have the big picture.
More importantly, even if you do grasp a glimpse at the big picture it’s only a snapshot in time. As soon as you see it, it’s gone. Changed because of the changing environment, circumstances, interactions between people and components.
This is why instead of fixating on getting the big picture you need to focus on how to get big picture thinking. [Read more…] about 5 Ways to Get Big Picture Thinking