In this episode of The Engineering Career Coach Podcast, I talk with Bill Keen, CRPC who is the founder and CEO of Keen Wealth Advisors – a fiduciary investment firm that focuses on retirement planning and investing for the engineering community nationwide. We will be talking about retirement for engineers and everything around that including a checklist that you can use to prepare yourself for your engineering retirement. Towards the end of the episode, Bill also gives listeners of this episode a free gift, so be sure to listen to the end.
How to Start Your Own Engineering Practice is a guest blog by Allison Hail
So you want to start your own engineering practice? Becoming an independent engineering consultant can be very lucrative. It also gives you freedom over the work you do. But it is a very different lifestyle than working for an engineering firm. There are several important items to consider before taking the plunge.
Find Your Niche
As any engineer will tell you, engineering is an enormous field of work. Even within your specialization, there is a huge variance in the kinds of projects you might take on as an engineering consultant. With innovations occurring every day in the tech sector, this variety is only set to increase.
This presents a wide array of possibilities to specialize your practice. While it may not be wise to be picky about the type of projects you take on at first, aim to be carving out a niche for yourself over time. Building a profile as the go-to person for certain kinds of projects will reduce the time you need to spend finding new clients. As word of mouth spreads, clients should start coming to you off the back of your reputation.
Stay on Top of the Admin
In this episode, I am going to discuss the four books that I am currently reading and how these books, or really how my reading process may help you as an engineer. I decided to create this episode because engineers are constantly asking me what I am reading or what books they should be reading to advance their careers. I truly believe that reading the right books and applying the information you learn can make all of the difference in your engineering career and life.
Here Are the Four Books That I Am Reading Now:
This is a guest blog by Peter Hill
The second half of the 20th century saw a significant rise of demand for qualified engineers, mostly because after the World War II there was a lot to be rebuilt but also science and technology started to develop rapidly. Large companies, often owned by people that weren’t engineers, but rich investors, needed specialists that could communicate in a way that was easy to understand. The late 60’s introduced technical writing which became one of the essential soft skills for every aspiring engineer. The reasons why writing is important nowadays vary and hold value to both engineers and their companies. In this article, we will discuss some of the major benefits that good writing skills hold for engineers.
The Better Prospect of Landing a Job
In this episode, I talk with Jim (a false name used to keep our guest anonymous), a young engineer who had to spend some time in prison soon after he graduated college. We talk about everything he went through while in prison as well as the things he learned and how his experiences have contributed to his success in his career.
Here are some of the key points discussed about Jim’s time spent in prison:
In this episode, I will tell you a short story about a long drive that changed the way I think and had a major impact on our business here at the Engineering Management Institute. I hope that it helps you to cultivate an opportunistic mindset in your career and life overall.
Here are some of the key points discussed in this short story about my long unforeseen drive:
Better Marketing for Engineering Firms Through Better Public Speaking is a guest post by Shoots Veis, P.E.
Colter has been enjoying working at his job as an engineer at a regional engineering firm. He is good at his job, liked by his co-workers and management, and has moved up a couple of rungs at the company. At his last performance evaluation, he visited with his manager about starting to take on client relations and they agreed Colter should look for an opportunity to begin creating a relationship with a client. He was motivated by the prestige of being a client manager, saw it as the chance to make another move up in the company, and begin planning how to cultivate the new client relationship.
A couple of months after his evaluation, Colter was invited to sit in on a strategic planning session for the company. One of the discussions was about how the firm could grow through the acquisition of new clients and specifically, how they could find new municipal clients. They listed about a dozen cities they would be interested in pursuing and it turns out that Colter knew the assistant public works director, Tim Harrison, in one of the cities. They had met through the local section of ASCE, served together on a couple of outreach projects, and usually sat with each other at the monthly luncheon.
5 Laws for Engineer Career Success is a blog post by Tom Jager
“Engineering is the closest thing to magic that exists in the world.”
This quote comes from Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk and beautifully describes what each engineer wants to do and should do to achieve career success: create, innovate, and improve everything around them.
Becoming a successful “wizard,” or engineer, has never been easy because the profession requires complex skills and even more complex responsibilities. To enter such a career, one has to develop the courage and personality traits needed to endure all the challenges one will face in this profession.
Despite a popular opinion, knowledge alone is insufficient to succeed as an engineering professional. You have to have that desire to design the things that millions are only dreaming about. That’s what drives people working on such amazing projects such as an autonomous car and an upcoming flight to Mars.
What else distinguishes these brilliant engineers?
The ability to follow the unwritten laws of the profession that keep them focused and moving forward.
In this article I’d like to focus on these laws in hopes that they can help you to become a successful or more successful engineer.
Law #1: Do Good Work
In this episode, I talk with two very successful women from The Mathews Group, Melissa Mathews and Tia Over. We talk about communication strategies that you can implement when a crisis arises whether it’s a project crisis, client crisis or career crisis.
Here are some of the key points discussed in this episode on what engineers should do when a crisis arises:
We all know it. We all hate it. Yet, all of us do it at least once in a lifetime. How often have we suffered through a presentation where the slides, usually crammed full of information, were simply read to the audience? It’s not really a presentation so much as a live reading of a document meant to torture audience — or at least it seems that way. The presenter has stuffed as much information as they can onto a slide – a bad practice to begin with – then they read those overcrowded slides to an audience. Those presentations don’t work for three reasons.