In this episode of The Structural Engineering Channel Podcast, we talk to Rens Hayes, Principal at H+O Structural Engineering, about strategic planning, organizational structure, leadership, management, and advancing your engineering career. Regardless of your current position and aspirations in your engineering career, if advancement is something you’d like to continue to pursue, this episode is full of big-picture insights that will help you see where opportunity for growth lies.
This is a guest blog by Kristi Hoke Mirambell, P.E
As I sit to write a blog about People Disappointment Management 101, I hear the song “God Is Great, Beer Is Good, and People Are Crazy” playing on the radio. At first, the song was nothing more than a typical country song about life with a country play on word humor. I heard this song many times, but it wasn’t until this time in my life, which is filled with an abundance of fear and unknowns, that I heard this song differently. I believe this song represents the best way to explain People Disappointment Management 101.
What makes us disappointed in another person?
I believe that our disappointments lie within our expectations of an event or person. When our expectations are not met, we create a narrative that validates that we are “right” and the event/person is “wrong.”
I am an engineer who lives for data points. This model works great for me because I continuously find data to prove my disappointment as accurate. From an ego standpoint, this works very well because all the narratives that I’ve lived by or believed made me “right.” However, what I learned through my 20-plus years of living according to a spreadsheet is that many past relationships ended in my life with the other person walking away defeated. Hey, but I won — or did I?
There was a time in my life that I knew I needed to change the way that I lived — that it no longer served me and I was ready for a “Cool Change” (another great song!). I started on this journey into uncharted territory and found that there was a whole new way of living, and it could help me to create the life I was desperately searching for.
For me, it started with being able to manage my disappointments in people. There are three key standards specific to personal relationships that we choose to live our lives in, and they tie right back to “God Is Great, Beer Is Good, and People Are Crazy.”
In this episode, I talk with Áine O’Dwyer, PE, Principal and CEO at Enovate Engineering, about various civil engineering career topics including the challenges she faced when working in the construction industry, starting a new firm, and how she achieved success despite these challenges at such a young age to become a civil engineering CEO.
Here Are Some of the Questions We Ask Áine:
- What made you interested in civil engineering?
- What skillsets helped you to get into management at such a young age?
- How did you rise through the ranks and start your own company?
- What is it that drives you daily?
- How did you develop your confidence as a civil engineering CEO?
- How can civil engineering professionals find opportunities in their careers?
Here Are Some of the Key Points Discussed in This Episode:
In episode 130 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, our fifth episode in our Women in Civil Engineering series, we’re taking you with us to Hawaii to visit Coffman Engineers. There we talk to Jami Hirota PE, LEED AP, a civil engineer and experienced project manager that manages a quickly growing civil engineering department. Jamie will discuss the impact that major career decisions and transitions as a civil engineer can have on your career and tell us about a very difficult career decision she had to make around leaving the family engineering business and how it has impacted her civil engineering career and her personal life.
Here Are Some of the Questions I Ask Jami:
- What are some of the benefits of working for a small civil engineering firm?
- How is civil engineering different in Hawaii?
- Is there a lot of work for engineers in the public sector in Hawaii?
- How has being a female engineer in the industry impacted you in your civil engineering career?
- How did you manage transitions as a civil engineer in your career?
- What is your philosophy on management?
Here Are Some Key Points Discussed in This Episode About Career Decisions and Transitions as a Civil Engineer:
In episode 113 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I talk with Gina Rock who is the Program Delivery Manager at Jacobs. We talk about her career journey from the circus to Disney’s longest flying Tinker Bell (yes she was Tinker Bell) and then into the world of engineering. What I love about this episode is it really emphasizes how it’s never too late to make changes in your career path.
Here Are Some of the Questions I Ask Gina About Her Journey as Disney’s Longest Flying Tinker Bell:
- How did you end up being Disney’s longest flying Tinker Bell?
- What did it feel like for you when you found out you got the job as Tinker Bell in Disneyland?
- Tell us about your performance as Tinker Bell?
- What made you decide to go back to the engineering field?
- How did you feel when you started with your first individual assistance job?
- What makes a manager or leader effective in your experience?
Here are some key points discussed in this episode:
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 episode 108 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I will be speaking with Lisa Roger, PMP who is the Chief Information Officer (CIO) at Dewberry. We talk about her work in the Information Technology (IT) Department and also discuss the importance of IT Professionals in the engineering world.
Here are some of the questions I ask Lisa Roger, CIO:
- What does being a CIO mean in terms of your responsibilities at Dewberry?
- Talk to us about your philosophy in terms of IT?
- Do you encourage interaction between IT professionals and engineering professionals?
- How do you decide which software will be implemented at your company?
- How much do you rely on out of the box software vs. software you have customized in-house?
- Many small firms don’t have the advantage of an in-house IT department. At what point in an engineering firm’s growth do you think an IT department is needed and what are some of the pitfalls if they don’t have one?
- How do you think the future of artificial intelligence will influence IT jobs and the engineering world?
Here are some key points discussed in this episode about IT Professionals:
In this episode, I talk with Rich Archbold, senior engineering director at Intercom. We talk about an article he wrote called: “People leave managers, not companies. Don’t let that manager be you.”
How to Increase the Efficiency of Your Construction Project is a guest post by Holly Welles
Construction project efficiency has become a problem over the last 50 years. In spite of advances in construction technology, project efficiency has dropped by nearly half, which leaves jobs undone for years after their projected completion date. Construction holds the title of the industry that has the lowest productivity gains of any comparable sector, leaving many people to wonder what could have slowed down the workflow so much. Despite all of this, there are some things that project managers can do to increase the efficiency of their construction projects.
Be Proactive, Not Reactive
4 Opportunities to Grow Your Leadership Skills is a blog post by guest author
Patrick Sweet, P.Eng., MBA, ASEP
Leadership skills are crucial for engineers looking to take on more responsibility, and move into management. If you’ve ever read this blog, or anything I’ve written on leadership in the past, you’ll already know that.
What you might not know is how to develop your leadership skills. This is a constant struggle for engineers looking to break into leadership roles – how can you grow to become a leader if nobody gives you the chance to develop those skills in the first place? How you can get leadership experience if all leadership roles require previous leadership experience?
Today, I’m going to share five ways that you can grow your leadership skills, regardless of whether you already have a formal leadership role at work or not. Pursuing just one of these ideas over the next year can do amazing things for you personally and your ability to lead others.