Engineering work is highly technical, ever-changing and full of new challenges, so it’s understandable that many engineers neglect the work it takes to get ahead in their career.
Fortunately, taking steps to advance your engineering career isn’t complicated. It simply calls for a bit of time, work and organization. If you’re currently looking to get ahead in your engineering career, please think about applying the following tips.
5 Career Tips in You’re In the Engineering Field
1. Have a plan
Engineers tend to be data-driven, thorough individuals who are trained to prevent even the smallest of technical slip-ups. Oddly, many engineers don’t take time to plan their careers, and unfortunately, sloppy career planning leaves career advancement to chance.
A smart step in any career is putting aside time regularly reflect on and plan where you want to go in your career. Having a sense of your goals helps you define the steps you need to take. It also helps you to see when you’ve made a wrong move.
When career planning, don’t forget to ask yourself hard questions, like questions about your limitations and biggest challenges.
2. Jump on opportunities
One of the most basic ways to advance your career is to take on added responsibilities, particularly things that others don’t want to do. When you supervisor wants somebody to volunteer, stepping up to take on the work will set you apart from the crowd, and it’ll make you the go-to when something important needs getting done.
3. Build a portfolio
Saying you’re a hard worker with major accomplishments sounds great but being about to show the fruits of your labor to a potential employer is much more powerful. For this reason, an impressive portfolio is worth its weight in gold.
Any time you complete a project, spend some time writing down a review of the project, including your specific contributions and outcomes. In addition to storing each project write-up in your portfolio, you should share your information online on social media platforms and your personal website. The more people who see your major career updates, the more you will be top of mind when an engineer is needed.
4. Keep an eye on other areas of engineering
Despite all the chatter about specialization, the demand for engineers with a wide scope of technical knowledge is as strong as ever. For instance, technology disruptions in oil and gas engineering can impact aerospace and new technologies in one industry often cross over to another. Engineers have to keep on top of as many technical industries as they can.
5. Network whenever possible
You’ve probably heard it a million times, but networking continues to be the best approach to advancing your career and finding opportunities. Joining professional organizations, keeping in touch with former colleagues and attending industry events are all easy ways to network.
Remember that networking should be a two-way street: Give opportunities to others as much as you seek them for yourself.