In this episode, I will explain how you can avoid becoming a frog in boiling water in your engineering career. Nobody can predict the future and disaster can strike at any time in your career and that is why you should always strive to minimize risks in your career by being prepared for the absolute worst.
Here Are 5 Action Steps You Can Take to Avoid Becoming a Frog in Boiling Water:
This is a story that has showed up on many different websites. If you throw a frog in a pot of boiling water, the frog will jump out. But if you put a pot of cold water on the stove, place the frog in the water and then slowly start boiling the water, the frog will not realize it and will eventually subside. Engineers can very easily become like this frog in boiling water when a disaster strikes in their career. Luckily, there are things you can do to be prepared for these disasters.
1. Measure Your Progress of All of Your Professional Development by Getting Input from Your Manager and Your Company
- You should be checking in with your managers regularly to get feedback on how you are doing in your career.
- Getting feedback from your manager will help to make adjustments, if needed, in your career and thus avoid becoming like the frog in boiling water.
- You should always figure out ways to measure the progress in your career. The best way to do this is by asking the people that you serve in your career like your clients or your supervisor.
2. Add Important Certifications
- Certifications not only bring you credibility, but they also show that you have expertise. This is extremely important in the engineering world.
- When considering what kind of certifications to add, you should consider the following:
- What your goals are;
- What is the go-to credential is for people in the field that you would like to become an expert on;
- If there is a new field or up and coming sector that your company is going to do business in, consider a credential in that field. By securing a certificate in your field it will ensure that you provide and continue to provide good value to your company and clients.
- Add certificates where they make sense in your career and keep them aligned with your goals. Adding these credentials gives you stability and expertise in your field. Having expertise in your field will help you when disasters strike to find the next opportunity in your career faster.
3. Build Your Soft and Core Skills Through Training and Development
- You can develop your soft skills to differentiate yourself from engineers that are only technically savvy. One of them is through online courses.
- You can also develop your skills by listening to videos or podcasts and by reading books.
- The important thing is to take action by implementing what you have learned and becoming accountable in your career. You should figure out the best way to hold yourself accountable because that is how you build your skills in your career.
4. Build a Strong Network by Volunteering for Board Positions in Your Local Professional Associations:
- By getting involved in associations, you build your network. If you have a strong network above all else, you will never become that frog in boiling in water.
- You need to physically go to these meetings and meet people and learn about them. In turn, you are going to make so many new friends which can be very fulfilling for you.
- Volunteer and provide value to the association so that you can help the association grow.
- Growing a network will provide amazing stability in your career because you will have someone to turn to when things might go wrong in your career.
5. Build a LinkedIn Presence and Use LinkedIn to Build Your Expertise
- Whatever discipline in engineering you are in, you can use your LinkedIn Profile to display your expertise in your career.
- Create a video testimonial and add it to your LinkedIn profile.
- You can think of social media as this push pull mentality. You need to push valuable information out to people and eventually, they will come to you.
If you do these five things, I have no doubt in my mind that if disaster strikes in your career or risks surface in some way shape or form, you will be prepared to deal with them!
More in this episode…
In the Take Action Today segment of the show, I will provide you one more thing you can think about to make sure you minimize the risk in your career.
“Remember; when disaster strikes, the time to prepare has passed.”
– Steven Cyros
Resources and Links Mentioned in This Session Include:
Engineering Management Accelerator Workshop (Online) | 5 PDHs
Engineering Management Institute Professional Membership
Upcoming EMI Webinar
The Story of B by Daniel Quinn
TECC 205: Starting a New Job: How to Succeed Faster in the First 90 Days of Employment
The Quickest Path to Engineering Management is Through Accountability
Give me a (bridge) sign
If you are interested in taking our FREE CMAP Diagnostic Case Study, please email Betty at >> [email protected]
Books Mentioned in This Episode:
How can you avoid becoming a frog in boiling water in your engineering career?
We would love to hear any questions you might have or stories you might share on how you can avoid becoming a frog in boiling water in your career.
Please leave your comments, feedback or questions in the section below.
To your success,
Anthony Fasano, PE, LEED AP
Engineering Management Institute
Author of Engineer Your Own Success