While there’s no sure-fire way to promise success in an engineering career, we have noted some similarities across successful engineers. Becoming a better engineer starts at the core, drawing on your passion for engineering and reflecting that in your workspace. Here are our five key techniques behind every successful engineer of your dreams.
1. Find work life balance. In your career, do you typically find yourself pushing yourself to achieve job related goals by taking on tasks that keep you at work longer than necessary? You might be getting a plethora of tasks accomplished, but not paying attention to life outside of your workplace could have damaging and lasting effects on both your physical health and your mental well-being. Additionally, if you are always available for work, higher ups and colleagues will come to expect this of you. When you want to take some time off, you might find that it is more difficult simply because of the perception that you’re a work horse. The opposite of this is true as well, you should make your career a priority if you want to be a successful engineer. Waiting until the last minute to finish (or start) your projects, showing a disinterest in the happenings at the office, or disengaging with your co-workers will not inspire you to greatness. Putting in effort to your job will create positive impacts in your engineering career.
2. Get a mentor. The best way to learn how to be successful is to learn from individuals you admire and aspire to be. Talk to them about their career path, speed bumps along the way, and the insights they have gathered. Mentors don’t all have to be engineers. In fact, branching outside of your industry might yield greater insight for your career overall. Once you’re more experienced and ready to offer expertise, mentor someone else in return. Engaging in such professional relationships will greatly help propel your career if you invest wisely. Your reputation as a helpful individual will also go a long way. Eventually, as your mentee matures, opportunities for collaboration can occur.
3. Use your network. Once you have a mentor or mentee, feel the depth of those relationships by socialising with a purpose. Seek out diversity and those with a creative edge. Relentlessly look for new information and opportunities presented to you within your network. This kind of dedicated practice will afford you rewards that you would never have known about before. With new opportunities comes chance to learn something new - and continuous improvement is crucial to success.
4. Know your field inside and out. It should go without saying, but if rising to the top of the engineering industry is on your agenda, you must be technically sound in your field. Expressing your expertise in the field will go a long way to impressing bosses and clients alike. After graduation, continue to stay ahead of the pack by getting into the routine of studying new industry trends. Subscribe to engineering journals or magazines - submit an article for submission if you feel so inclined. You can also attend conferences which will also boost your networking and establish you as an expert.
5. Never stop learning. Great engineers must be eternal students. Your industry, the techniques used, and the climate of your company is going to change over the course of your career. Keep abreast of change by devouring information. Does your firm offer professional development? Join in. Perhaps you could even teach a lesson. Either way, those who stagnate in their industry do so because they have not made continued education a priority. Add knowledge to your arsenal of skills and watch your career skyrocket. Successful engineers are those with a passion for the field who inspire themselves. Once you start on the path to becoming more invested in your own career, you’ll notice success will follow. Although there are no certain rules for success, continuing on the same path without innovation, connection, and a sense of commitment to oneself is a direct route to failure.