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.