Career Advice for Young Engineers
Sometimes you go through life and get to a point where you wish you could reset the clock and you regret not applying the lessons you learned early on in your career path. As a young engineer, you have the chance to do that by following advice offered by experienced engineers about what they wish they knew when starting their engineering careers.
The modern workforce is proof of how things evolved as compared to the recent past. Statistics show that young professionals do not keep one job for thirty years at a time anymore. Young engineers bring with them a wide range of skills to the workforce and there is continuously a chance to pick up something new. Here are the best ways to make the most of your career as a young engineer:
Get a Mentor
It might seem rather obvious, but borrowing the wisdom of a more practised and qualified role model can efficiently provide the support that you need to develop in your career. Just like all other industries, finding a person to inspire you to better yourself and that pushes you beyond your limits to better yourself will downright foster your career on a favourable path. By observing your superiors, you get to learn how to exercise leadership. Take a look at the engineers you admire and adopt their strengths to your portfolio. If there are superiors that you do not admire, note their weaknesses and work on avoiding repeating them in your career path.
Learn the Skill of People Management
Creating an arsenal of proficient abilities and skills outside the confines of engineering curricula can tremendously improve your value as an engineer in an organization. The crème of this list is the skill of managing people, specifically other engineers. The underlying science and technology with engineering solutions evolve continually and so quickly that only a few people can stay up to date. However, there are always new people bringing forth new skills, enthusiasm and understanding. The key remains at recognizing your tasks as a young engineer and developing your skills as a people’s manager so you can successfully set the stage for next-generation engineers.
Contrary to popular wisdom, for the engineering world, it is dangerous to remain silent to seem wise. Probing questions enable us to consider the available options, extends our comfort zones and propels us to career growth. Questions are not stupid, and you should ask them as often as they come to mind. Even the most basic of questions can pick holes in engineering designs, so be sure to fire up your curiosity and keep it high at all times. By so doing, you get the chance to inspire others to consider diversified points of view throughout the design and actuation process. It’s been proven that even the questions that look simple and stupid can help uncover design problems and thus allow the improvement of designs. The power that lies with curiosity and asking questions in the workplace is fantastic and helps clarify things along the way. Also, these questions could provide real-time design solutions that would make your portfolio standout in future.
Never Stop Learning
As a smart young engineer, you should recognize that your diploma is just a starting point of a career that needs constant education and re-education. Even after recruitment, the vocation of a successful young engineer is marked by a continuous stream of learning curves that ultimately take you to supreme expertise levels. The education gained at the university is just the beginning, and in the practical world, you have all the tools to study and the courage to keep learning to be a professional.
Stay up to Date with Other Engineering Fields
Engineering innovation can always arise from the most unexpected of places. Although specialization will remain a highlight in the future, there is a critical need for the cross-pollination of ideas from engineering disciplines. Innovations made in the oil and gas industry can impact motor or aerospace engineering, for example, new products and materials discovered in one sector can directly influence the design of new concepts in other areas. As a young engineer, strive to keep up with as many industries as possible. Do not just follow to trends in your expertise, but in adjacent disciplines as well. As cross-pollination is now, more than ever, a feature of engineering disciplines and innovations, being at the top gives you an edge for the career growth you need.
For a steady career growth after recruitment; having a mentor; expanding one’s curiosity and skillset, and continually and expansively seeking education are crucial for a young engineer.
Why Digital Savvy is a Must for Many Employers
Whether you’re on-site or in the office, from healthcare roles to commercial positions, the digital world is more pervasive than ever when it comes to the skills we need to effectively complete our jobs. So when you’re looking for a new role in just about any field, a good understanding of the digital world and the skills involved is a must to be able to prove yourself a competent and effective employee. Here are a few ways in which digital savvy is a must for employers:
With even phone calls becoming the less prevalent form of communication, those still writing letters stand no chance in comparison to digital-savvy potential employees who understand the importance of digital communication. Emails are the forefront of just about any business, and understanding not only how to use the program at a basic level, but knowing the best way of writing for an industry and the tone of voice you should use are all important factors when it comes to digital communication.
This applies to instant messaging in the same way it does email. Whether access from a smartphone on-site or for information transfer between desks or offices, instant messaging for businesses is bigger than ever and allows for the increased productivity of staff around the world. A good understanding of how to use instant messaging as well as emails is essential for anyone looking to enter into a role, whether entry-level or not. IMs can hugely impact the amount of work completed in a day, and provide a way for employees to connect without the need to get up and find a person.
Most employers will be looking for these skills as a basic requirement for any role.
Social media management
Social media management doesn’t just apply to those in marketing-centric roles anymore. Though those kinds of roles will be the ones in charge of official channels and the control of what is in the public eye, some businesses expect those working for them to be active on platforms such as LinkedIn in the promotion of their employer. Of course, this mostly applies to sales roles, but one principle that carries over to all staff is that when it comes to social media, what’s public is what can impact the place you work for.
If you don’t have a social media account, no problem; but if you do have a public account, it’s important that you have the savvy to understand what is and what isn’t appropriate in the world of the workplace – and the fact that, these days, many employers or recruitment agencies will check out what your social media says about you before you even have your first interview. Keeping your social media clean and friendly is another indicator that you have the savvy required to work in a digital world.
Research and development
With the internet used every day in practically every business, being able to use online resources for your gain is another savvy skill that’s a must for many employers. Whether it’s simply knowing how to research information and ideas through online searches and collation of information, or even using online tutorials and videos to learn how to do something new or improve your skills, learning and development is just another way you can show how you’re digitally capable.
Being able to use the internet for your own means is of great benefit to you, too – as it can allow you to take courses, develop skills and evolve talents that can then be used in the interview process. If you can use your digital skills to further a prospective company or improve how well you can do your job, this is obviously a massive bonus to interviewers and potential employers, showing your willingness to learn and develop in your own time.
From platforms like DropBox to services like Google Drive, being able to collaborate with other workers who could be sat next door to you or on the other side of the planet requires the use of collaborative programmes and management to improve efficiency – and these tools are regularly used in many workplaces as ways to allow multiple people to collaborate and work together on projects.
Being able to use software such as Office can carry over to these kinds of platforms, and employers will often look for those with skills in not just basic word processing but acting in more collaborative and complex projects, especially if this is part of your future job description. Being able to do all this in a digital field makes you a futureproof choice and a good fit for many businesses that require digital savvy employees.
If you want to know more about how digital skills can improve your job search, get in contact. Our goal as a recruitment agency is to help you find the perfect role for you and advise how best to fit that job description. Get in contact with us today to find out more.
Attracting more women to the male-dominated tech industry
One of the fastest growing and most diverse industries recruiting today is the IT sector. With more companies than ever before relying on computer-based systems and online interactions, there is a huge demand for qualified professionals who can maintain and manage IT systems, or create and manage specialist software. There are also great financial opportunities in this sector, with IT project managers taking home an average salary of around £48,000.
There are so many ways to work in IT. Everything from offices to schools, from hospitals to warehouses, has an IT network at its centre and an online platform to maintain. Working in IT can involve some of the world’s most interesting and unusual industries. From developing a website for a local company to project managing global conference communications, there are many ways women could be involved in IT work.
However, a Deloitte study from 2016 notes that just one-quarter of tech jobs in developed nations are held by women, with very few of the senior roles being allocated to female workers. The study also asserts that this disparity is a key contributor to the overall gender pay gap. So why are women staying away from this lucrative and exciting industry – and what can be done to attract more females into the IT sector?
Why are there fewer women in tech jobs than men?
There is a wider problem of low female engagement in the science and engineering sectors. A 2015 study found that more than half of women who start in tech-based industries end up leaving for a different sector. The top reasons cited for leaving include feeling isolated or bullied, poor management and feedback, and a lack of opportunities to move up the career ladder.
This is certainly true in the IT sector, say women working in the industry. However, men in the tech sector tend to disagree. They feel that there are plenty of opportunities for women and that jobs are open to the best candidate, whatever their gender. Often, they claim that there are too few women entering education on IT courses – therefore, there are not enough qualified women to compete for the best tech jobs.
There is some truth in this. Even in countries where the genders are close to equal in law, such as Norway, Finland and the UK, there is a significant lack of women studying on tech and computer-based degree courses. Women are less likely to studying programming, engineering and other related disciplines. Yet the gap is not so broad as some would have you believe – women are signing up in increasing numbers to study IT related subjects. So why are they still underrepresented when it comes to employment – and what can be done about the issue?
Attracting more women to tech jobs
More female role models in IT could help to entice workers into the sector. There has always been a distinct lack of female CEOs among the top tech companies, though this is starting to change. Recruiters can inspire young women to work in IT through the success stories of some of the industry’s rising female stars: such as Jessica Naziri of TechSesh, FileMaker senior Dara Treseder or engineer Erica Baker from Slack.
Search for candidates in female-focused forums and social media sites. Women who work in tech often band together online, discussing opportunities and sharing experiences. These hives of female IT professionals are a great resource to tap when recruiting. There are also focus programs which are designed to push women into male-dominated work fields, backed by grant money in many cases and partnering with these initiatives can increase a job’s visibility to a female audience.
Always use gender-neutral language when writing IT vacancy posts. Studies also suggest using less masculine language – for example, ‘developer’ instead of ‘hacker’ and ‘IT professional’ instead of ‘techie’.
Companies that promote more women will almost certainly attract more women into the business. Knowing that a company has a female management team could encourage more women to apply for the role, and give them confidence that the job has future prospects. Women in tech jobs often feel they are passed over for promotion while their male colleagues rise up the ranks, so by promoting women to senior roles, new staff will immediately have confidence in their new employer.
Offering flexible working isn’t always possible for employers, but a degree of flexibility in an IT role could ensure that females with families are able to join the industry. There are plenty of IT roles which can be carried out remotely, either some or all of the time. In-house IT roles with flexible hours, or a family-friendly approach to urgent leave requests, can empower women to enter the tech field and use their IT skills on a full or part-time basis.
Retaining female IT professionals
Even where companies are strong at hiring women for IT jobs, the industry still has a high attrition rate. In order to keep skilled IT professionals on their books, companies need to ensure their female workers are getting fair opportunities and an equal salary. IT jobs often feature among studies of job satisfaction and happiness, with settled IT workers reporting that they enjoy their job. However, women have slightly lower rates of job satisfaction, and this is likely a result of the barriers they face. To ensure that women are attracted to IT jobs and that they stay in them, employers should work continually to maintain an equal and fair workplace.
For more information on recruitment for a wide range of industries, including the IT sector, contact Time Recruitment today. Our busy and fast-growing Manchester based recruitment agency sources the most skilled and reliable staff to fill roles at your company.
5 ways to make a lasting first impression in work
First impressions count for a lot and making the right one is vital when you’re starting a new job in particular. Fitting in with an entirely new group of people in a professional capacity isn’t quite the same as making friends, though we all hope to be friends with our colleagues eventually.
How to get a job in healthcare with low experience
Getting a job in healthcare when you have little to no experience might seem like an impossible task. Perhaps you feel like breaking into the industry is like trying to find a needle in a haystack or that many employers are only interested in candidates who already have a substantial amount of knowledge – especially for more senior roles.
However, contrary to popular belief, there are ways to work your way up in your chosen career with little experience by following a few simple tips.
Things to consider when looking for healthcare jobs
- Stay on top of industry news
Keeping up-to-date with the latest news and trends can work wonders if you are trying to break into the industry. There are some fascinating sources such as online magazines and forums that can tell you who is hiring and when – some of which focus on specialised areas which you may find particularly useful.
- Try your hand at networking
Once you have done your research and figured out what area of the healthcare industry you want to work in, you should then start to connect with as many people in the profession as possible.
By combining online networking with face-to-face networking you are creating a memorable identity for yourself. Do some voluntary work or join a healthcare association and you will gain invaluable experience that will get you noticed by the right people.
- Assess your transferable skills
If you’re hoping to get into the healthcare profession and you have come from another industry, work out which skills – mainly transferable skills – you can bring with you. Things like IT skills, human resources and secretarial experience are all useful qualities that you can prove to employers once you have got your foot through the door.
- Find a mentor
Every job role requires an opportunity to learn. That’s why it’s a good idea to find a mentor who can guide you with their industry insights – especially if you are in an entry level job. By demonstrating your passion and your willingness to learn and to grow in your working life, your mentor should be able to point you in the right direction when it comes to boosting your networking and job search efforts.
Find a job in healthcare that’s right for you
- Healthcare Assistant
Healthcare Assistants or HCAs are generally required to support doctors and nurses. They can usually be found in hospitals and doctors surgeries and play a vital role in caring for patients’ needs. Previous experience is useful but not entirely necessary making it a great job role for beginners.
You can also opt for an apprenticeship scheme or work towards a certificate such as a Level 3 Diploma in Healthcare Support Services which would give you the opportunity to branch out into other areas of the healthcare profession in the future.
- Dental Support Worker
Another role certainly worth looking into is a Dental Support Worker. This is a hands on role with no set entry requirements. Employers tend to favour a strong worth ethic and a positive attitude over employment history when it comes to recruiting for this position.
In a job like this you will usually receive a high level of on-the-job training as well as being encouraged to seek further knowledge in your spare time to help build your credentials. While on the job you will typically be found sterilising instruments, mixing fillings and assisting with X-Rays.
- Care worker
It’s useful to know that not every healthcare job consists of working in a hospital or surgery. In fact, there are opportunities in the social care sector that need a range of different skills.
A lot of carer jobs are very similar to Healthcare Assistants but primarily operate within a client’s home depending on what kind of care and treatment they need. It can be quite a competitive job role but voluntary work or personal experience can generally be enough for you to get your foot on the ladder.
- Pharmacy Technician
If you’re hoping for an entry level pharmaceutical role to boost your chances of working in the healthcare industry, becoming a Pharmacy Technician could be the ideal role for you. This is a great way to find a mentor like we mentioned in our previous section, as you will be working under the supervision of a registered Pharmacist.
Aside from collecting prescriptions and selling over-the-counter medicine, a Pharmacy Technician will be able to shadow a Pharmacist and offer basic advice to customers on which products would be most suited to their circumstances. Plus, trainee positions and apprenticeships are available to over 16s and anyone who is no longer in full-time education so you can work towards an NVQ in Pharmaceutical Science.
- Medical Secretary
If a non-clinical job role is more appealing to you than a practical alternative, perhaps becoming a Medical Secretary is the right option for you.
Medical Secretaries are an integral part of the healthcare industry, organising and scheduling appointments and dealing with day-to-day admin to help doctors and nurses carry out their role in the most effective way possible.
Of course previous admin experience would put you at an advantage but experience in specific sectors is not hugely important. The main things you will need to obtain are excellent organisational skills, a thirst for knowledge and the ability to use your initiative.
When it comes to searching for jobs in the healthcare industry, it’s crucial you are positive with your applications and don’t give up. It’s important to take regular breaks so you don’t overdo it, but have an open mind and be realistic with your search.
For more information on healthcare jobs or a range of other industries, visit Time Recruitment and speak to one of our helpful advisors.