I often talk to our Institute for Engineering Career Development (IECD) members about setting lofty goals in their engineering careers. When I say “lofty,” I mean really big goals, goals that on first thought might even seem unreachable. Once you set these types of goals, it is imperative that you remind yourself of them over and over again, ideally on a daily basis. This can be done through a journal or some other tool capturing your thoughts and goals. I am not just telling IECD members to do this because it is written about in many books, I am telling them this because I have seen it work firsthand in my career and life. In this post, I am going to share three real-life examples from my own experiences.
When you set goals and then keep them fresh in your mind, you start to train yourself both mentally and physically to constantly move towards those goals, whether you realize it or not. At times, actions may even be driven by your subconscious mind because you have trained it as to what direction you want to head in your career and life.
Obtaining My PE License
I knew from the day I graduated college—in fact, I knew before that—that I wanted to get my professional engineering license. Because this was such a clear goal of mine, I was always preparing myself for the exam, even years before I took it. I kept a very good record of all of the projects I worked on from as soon as I started my career. I made sure that I was clear on the kind of engineering work that the state board expected on a PE application, and I made sure that was the work I did. Early on, I obtained an application from a colleague was previously approved to sit for the exam to ensure I completed mine in the same format. Then, when it came time to study for the PE exam, believe or not, I typed out the words Anthony Fasano, PE, and taped them to the top of my computer monitor so that I stared at them all day. Not only did this remind me of my goal, but whenever I tried to come up with a reason not to study, my goal was staring me in the face driving me to do so. The bottom line is that I took and passed the exam on my first attempt and became one of the youngest people to do so in the State of New York at the age of 24. [Read more…] about If You Set Lofty Goals, You Will Engineer Their Reality