In this episode, we talk to Peter Vanderzee, President and CEO at LifeSpan Technologies, about his career journey and experience transitioning from electronics to chemical to environmental to geotechnical and then finally to structural engineering. He also shares some great strategies and tips for the startup engineering business owner.
successes and failures
This is a guest blog by Mike Burns, PE, PgMP, DBIA
As with every phase of life, beginnings and ends are times for focused reflection on our successes and failures. Individually and as a member of a team, this analysis sets the stage for subsequent growth. This reflective planning rhythm has defined the last 10 years of my life, as I’ve strived to grow from events: the Great Recession, the Arab Spring, AECOM exiting the P3 / DBFM market, and in 2020, COVID-19. With my deepest sympathies for the devastating health and socioeconomic outcomes we’ve collectively faced this year, I remain cognizant of the fact that my privilege and support system have allowed me to navigate these challenges with limited pain. I hope that this brief discussion of my migration into a sales role helps you overcome the naysayers on your path.
Whether seeking professional growth or facing the daunting task of finding a new job, there are often a series of devastating no’s before the next empowering yes. For me these included, “you are a developer, not an engineer,” “you’ve never worked overseas, in a corporate role, on a billion dollar program, etc.” Recently, “you’ve never been in a pure business development (BD) role.” Each of these no’s guided my outreach to mentors, discussions with colleagues, and educational desires. I leveraged their collective wisdom to evolve my professional approach, remaining focused on building teams, empowering individuals, and continuous learning; this approach has allowed me to remain engaged, enjoying life as a student and a teacher.