This podcast episode is the first of a special six episode Q&A Series which airs every first Friday of the month starting December 2015. My guest co-host, Pat Sweet and I answer questions from our listeners asking for engineering career advice.
This Q&A Series is brought to you by WPI’s Foisie School of Business which is ranked the #1 part-time MBA degree in the Northeast according to Business week since 2007. For more information visit business.wpi.edu or call 508-831-4665.
“It is all too easy to speed through life with our eyes focused only on the road ahead. The challenge is scanning the horizon from time to time to determine where we are headed.” – Christopher Gergen and Gregg Vanourek
Here is the summary of the questions and answers we’ve discussed in this Q&A series:
What advice do you have for entering the Mechanical Engineering field without an ME degree? I have technical skills and some ME project experience, but my education is Business Management with some basic ME courses as electives. – Craig from Washington
- Find a mentor in the mechanical engineering field
- Figure out how you can add value even without the credential
- Ask yourself: How confident are you in your mechanical engineering skills?
- Focus on your strengths
How long would it take for a recent engineering graduate to become a senior engineering or principal engineer? – Lorin from Edinburgh, UK
- Depends on your soft skills, the engineering company you work for, your progression, etc.
- Make sure you have a good technical foundation and constantly improve your soft skills and core skills like communication, networking, leadership and speaking abilities, etc.
- Find out a rough timeline from other engineers who are partners in your engineering industry.
- Find engineering work that you are really interested in doing now.
- Check out TECC 81: Questions You Must Ask if You Want to Become a Partner in Engineering Firm
I am very interested in the a new engineering job that I interviewed for, but would like to negotiate a better salary. Do you have any advice or references/podcasts you can recommend for negotiating? – Alyssa from San Francisco, CA
- Negotiate along the lines that you want to make it work and you know it is a great opportunity.
- Explain what you are bringing to the table – you need to show them how much you are worth it.
- Take into account the value of a good company and good experience at this age.
- Listen to this Art of Charm Podcast Episode 326
You may have touched on this before but do you have any tips on boosting the confidence level
that I once had? – Darrell from Oregon
- Keep a file of notes that you think are important by project, location, etc.
- Try to get up in front of a room in any way you can, whether it is at a Toastmasters club or community group. Speaking boosts confidence!
- Keep doing what you’re doing, over time you are going to get better and better.
- Take continuing education courses or buy books to have as reference.
I am a student pursuing a Diploma in Building & Civil Engineering and I would like to go for further studies abroad how can you help me? – Guttaka Paul from Uganda
- Try to nail down a location and talk to others from your area that have gone to that location already.
- Start with the end in mind. Know what you are trying to accomplish by studying abroad.
In the Take Action Today segment of the show, we answer one more question about dream job.
I was wondering whether a dream job is just a dream after all? It is difficult to get into what engineeirng industry and job you want, but then but how do you differentiate between dream job and reality job? – Jeffrey from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- There is no difference between your dream job and reality job unless you make a difference.
- Know your strengths, find out the things what you love to do and what you are really good at doing and work from there to think of different options to apply your strengths and aptitude.
Pat Sweet is an engineer, product manager, entrepreneur and MBA student living in eastern Ontario, Canada. His Engineering and Leadership blog is written to help other engineers learn about leadership and management, and to help them develop their leadership and management skills.
Book mentioned in this session include:
Resources and links mentioned in this session include:
Pat Sweet’s website
Engineering and Leadership podcast
TECC 64: Engineering Leadership with Pat Sweet
TECC 81: Questions You Must Ask if You Want to Become a Partner in Engineering Firm
The Art Of Charm On Negotiating: Samuel P.N. Cook | Life-Saving Negotiation Skills (Episode 383)
Engineer Your Own Success podcast episodes:
TECC 41: 7 Steps to Engineering Powerful Personal and Professional Goals – EYOS Part 1 of 7
TECC 43: Three Reasons Why Credentials are Important and Three Strategies on How to Get Them – EYOS Part 2 of 7
TECC 045: How to Find or Become a Mentor in Your Engineering Career – EYOS Part 3 of 7
TECC 49: Nine Tips to Become an Effective Communicator – EYOS Part 4 of 7
TECC 55: Seven Strategies for Networking and Building Relationships as an Engineer – EYOS Part 5 of 7
TECC 62: Creating a Focused, Productive and Stress-Free Engineering Career and Life – EYOS 6 of 7
TECC 70: Developing the Engineering Leader Inside of You – EYOS 7 of 7
Again, this Q & A Series is brought to you by WPI’s Foisie School of Business which is ranked the #1 part-time MBA degree in the Northeast according to Business week since 2007. For more information visit business.wpi.edu or call 508-831-4665.
What are the steps should you be taking to make your dream job a reality job?
We would love to hear any questions you might have or stories you might share on how this Q&A series has guided you in your pursuit for a successful engineering 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