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.
Have You Heard of the S.O.A.R Method is a guest blog by Thomas Anderson, P.E.
How do you prepare for an interview? Do you read typical questions that the employer might ask? Do you practice artful responses? The S.O.A.R. Answer Method is helpful for preparing for interview questions and it keeps you focused on the discussion while you are answering.
This answer method works well on interview questions 11 and 15 on an article called Top 20 Interview Questions and How to Answer
The S.O.A.R. Method Explained:
In episode 99 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I talk with Dr. Marlene Kanga, who is the current President of the World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO) about the business of engineering for sustainability. This is the second episode in a 3-part special global sustainability series that will both introduce you to and focus on the Global Engineering Congress 2018, taking place October 22nd through 26th in London at the Institution of Civil Engineering’s (ICE) Headquarters.
Here are some of the questions I ask Dr. Kanga in this global sustainability episode:
- This is the Federation’s 50th anniversary — what does this mean to you both professionally and personally?
- What was it that drew you to WFEO and has kept you so actively involved over the years?
- As WFEO encourages national and international members to collaborate in their contributions to solving global problems, what role do you see diversity playing in this effort?
- Why is the WFEO event important to the civil engineering profession, and what do you think should be one of the main takeaways from this event?
- What do you feel requires the immediate attention of the engineering profession’s resources to attack and to solve?
- Who are the typical attendees at one of these Global Engineering Congress events? What advice can you provide on how a participant should best prepare to come ready to actively participate in the event?
- We’ve been talking about the sustainable development goals, what other roles does WFEO play on behalf of the engineering profession?
- How do you keep your professional diary straight and know where to focus your mental energies?
Here are some key points discussed in this global sustainability episode:
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.
Why Engineers Make Great CEOs is a guest blog by Thomas Anderson, P.E.
Engineering is the most common undergraduate degree of the Fortune 500 Chief Executive Officers (CEOs). It has been for some time. Approximately one third of CEOs majored in engineering and only 11% graduated from business school. The Harvard Business Review has a list of the 100 best-performing CEOs on the planet.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos topped the list. Bezos earned a Bachelor of Science in computer science and electrical engineering from Princeton University. Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella is an engineer. General Motors’ Mary Barra as well. Carlos Ghosn of Nissan and Dennis Muilenburg of Boeing also have engineering backgrounds. Ursula Burns, the CEO and chairman of Xerox Corporation started her career as an engineering intern. In fact, 24 of the top 100 CEO’s have a Bachelors or Master’s degree in engineering.
Engineers are a little bit different. Sometimes introverted and always good at the math, they build and fix things; complex things. They have a unique ways of looking at the world. The qualities below make engineers exceptionally good at leading companies.
In this episode, I provide coaching and guidance to an engineer who is totally burnt out in his career. By the end of this episode, he is inspired and has a plan to change his career for the better. He then also adds a twist to this episode and starts asking me some career-related questions on the decisions I made in my career.
Here are the key points discussed on recovering from burnout:
In episode 90 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I talk with Joseph Barker, PE, PTOE, a licensed Professional Engineer and Traffic Operations Engineer from Stantec. We discuss the topic of diversity and why firms should embrace diversity for engineers which provides inspiration and typically leads to them being happier and more productive in their careers.
Here are some of the questions I asked Joseph Barker, PE, PTOE:
- What was it like entering the Civil Engineering workforce as a gay man?
- How did hiding your being gay affect your daily mindset?
- Would you say that this experience you went through, hiding who you really are, made you stronger today?
- Tell us about the move you made to Stantec, and how that impacted your mindset and career overall?
- Have you ever thought of relocating to a geographical location that is more accepting of gay people?
Here are some key points discussed in this episode:
Here are some of the questions I ask Nick about his journey and his work as CEO:
- How did you decide that you wanted to go into engineering?
- What are some of the things that civil engineers can do in preparation to become a CEO of a civil engineering firm?
- How big is the Mott Macdonald “family”?
- What is the hardest part of being a CEO?
- How do you decide what work you should focus on each day?
- As a CEO of a company, how do you maintain a work-life balance?
Here are some key points discussed in this episode:
If you are one of almost 2 million engineers in the United States looking for a mentor, then you have made a smart career decision. Studies show receiving mentoring from the right career mentor can make a measurable difference. So, what should you look for in career mentors? Here’s some suggestions.
In this episode, I talk with Daniel Priestley, co-founder of Dent and author of the book “Key Person of Influence. Daniel provides us with a 5-step formula that you can use to become a key person of influence in your industry.