In this episode, I talk to Devora Zack, MBA a bestselling author, global keynote speaker, and leadership consultant. Her internationally released books, “Networking for People Who Hate Networking, 2nd Edition” “Singletasking”, and “Managing for People Who Hate Managing” are translated into 45 languages. Devora talks to us about networking and provides some great tips on how you can improve your networking skills as an engineer, including networking actions that can be performed in times like these, where there will be limited face-to-face interaction.
This is a guest blog by Jim Hughes
There are many reasons why a lot of engineers choose to start up their own firm. Basically, you get to be the boss, you get to decide which projects to take, and you get to pursue your engineering passions. And if you nail the right strategy, there are no limits to your income potential. However, starting an engineering firm is not easy. In fact, 90% of startups fail.
Becoming your own boss entails a lot of responsibilities. You have to take care of everything—from raising funds to hiring people and promoting your firm. And if you don’t deliver as intended, you’ll lose clients.
There’s a lot at stake the moment you quit your 9-to-5 job and decide to start up your own firm. To increase your chances of success, follow these guidelines:
In episode 120 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, you are going to hear interviews from my recent visit to the ASCE Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) Structures Congress. The interviews will cover both technical and professional development topics related to civil and structural engineering as well as personal development including effective communication skills for engineers.
Here Are Some of the Questions We Ask Our Guests in This Episode:
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:
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
In this episode, you’re going to listen in on a conversation between me and Fernando A. Ceballos, P.E. Fernando will share some strategies that he’s used to realize success in his career at such a young age. He will also talk about how being a member of our Engineering Management Institute has helped him in his career.
Here are the 5 actions Fernando took to realize success in his career:
In episode 080 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I talk with Shane Sheldon, a civil engineer and listener from Oregon, about whether or not civil engineering is becoming a commodity. We also talk about the question that several civil engineers might be asking themselves today, which is: “Can civil engineers really be successful?”
Shane emailed me a few weeks ago, bringing up some of these points, which I felt were valid, but often overlooked, so I felt it important that he come on the show to discuss them.
Here are some key points discussed on whether or not civil engineering is becoming a commodity:
In episode 078 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I talk with Robert Mora, PE, PLS, ENV SP about the philosophy that he and his partner are operating under in building Batture Engineers + Land Surveyors, a unique civil engineering firm based in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Here are some of the questions I ask on building a Civil Engineering Firm:
- Tell us about your experience with land surveying and how that has helped in growing your firm.
- When did you realize that you might want to start your own business?
- What did you do to prepare for starting your own business?
- Tell us more about networking and personal relationships and how it has affected your career?
- What was your goal in creating a local mastermind group?
- Take us through the first year you started your business.
- At what point did you decide that you want to seek out a partner?
Here are some key points discussed and quotes from this episode:
- I always thought about the bigger picture in my career and looked for roles that would benefit me in the future.
- To a certain extent, I was not really focused on salary, it was more about mobility and opportunity. I would take less money to work someplace if it was going to give me the opportunity to do something that I wanted to get better at.
- Part of what made things easier for me is that I’ve always enjoyed the process more than the results.
- You become confident in certain things because when you are good at doing something, you are typically confident in it.
- Overreacting to something is not going to change what is happening. It’s just going to change your perspective on it.
- When building a civil engineering firm you might not immediately enjoy doing all of the different tasks, but through consistency, you can find enjoyment in it.
- It’s important to build relationships and to listen to people in doing it, and help them, instead of immediately just trying to sell what you are doing when building a civil engineering firm.
- Doing good work and being mission driven is more important than profits. You can’t do bad work and blame the price you gave the customer, for doing the bad work.
- Don’t let money drive your decisions and what you do, but also don’t ignore it. As you grow in your business, you have to think differently about your company finances than your personal finances.
More details in this episode…
About Robert Mora, PE, PLS, ENV SP
Bob Mora, founder of Batture Engineers + Land Surveyors, has over 15 years of experience in land surveying and civil engineering, providing civil design services for both private developers and municipalities. He has successfully managed and completed projects for the Sewerage and Water Board, the Department of Public Works, the Regional Planning Commission, the Orleans Levee Board, and St. Bernard, Ascension, and Plaquemines Parishes. As a sub-consultant for the Army Corp of Engineers, Bob managed the construction of over $100 million of flood protection, earning a Certificate of Appreciation for Exceptional Achievement from the Hurricane & Storm Damage Risk Reduction System Mission. A native of New Orleans, Bob graduated from LSU with a degree in Civil Engineering and Land Surveying. He is the past president and an active member of the New Orleans Chapter of Engineers Without Borders, helping engineers identify pro bono opportunities both locally and around the globe.
This episode is brought to you by PPI, the leader of civil engineering FE or PE exam preparations. Use promo code TCE8 for a 20 % discount at ppi2pass.com/resources
Books Mentioned in this Episode:
Please leave your comments or questions in the section below on building a Civil Engineering Firm.
To your success,
Anthony Fasano, PE, LEED AP
Engineering Mangement Institute
Author of Engineer Your Own Success
Civil Engineering Career Navigation Advice from a Young Engineering Manager
In episode 073 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I talk with Shaun McGrath, P.E., CCM, a successful young division leader at a successful civil engineering company about career navigation through the early portions of your engineering career.
Here are some of the questions I ask Shaun:
- Talk about internships and how they have helped you.
- Tell us about the importance of different civil engineering career paths.
- Talk about stumbling blocks and learning from them.
- Is there a specific experience that you can recall that you learned something valuable from?
- Tell us about the importance of finding a mentor.
- Tell me more about networking.
Here are some key points discussed on civil engineering career navigation:
Career Advice from AE Leaders from Across the Country
In episode 071 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I am going to give you advice from some of the most successful AE Leaders in the country. I talk to Brett T. Hart, PE, SE, PEng, Will Schnier, P.E., Mike Nelson, Ernesto Guevara Ortiz M.ASCE and Randy Wilburn about different leadership aspects in the everyday life.
Here are some of the questions I ask the AE Leaders:
• What is one of the biggest things your firm is looking to find in civil engineers?
• How do you help your engineers to be able to focus, but at the same time foster communication?
• Tell me what mindset you take on to serve your staff and keep them going in the right direction?
• What are AE firms looking for when hiring civil engineers?
• Name one of the biggest challenges facing civil engineers today in their careers?
• What are some of the things a President/CEO of a company do on regular basis?