Through the course of your engineering career, you may be faced with various hurdles and setbacks, as well as outstanding opportunities that can make or break your career. Every time you reach one of these milestones, you may not fully understand how you should confront each situation. By developing a personal career strategy, you reduce the short-term emotion guiding your decisions because you will see the overall picture. This is especially important because more often than not, engineers are in it for the long haul, and you want to be sure you have a plan for ever step along the way. The following are all reasons you should consider developing a personal strategy if you want to get the most from your engineering career:
1. You’re in it for the long run.
From the time of gaining your engineering degree and attaining your Professional Engineering license, your career could span anywhere from 30 to 50 years. Therefore, it’s a good idea to develop a long-term strategy for your career. This strategy will ultimately help you navigate your career over the years, helping you to understand opportunities you’ll encounter on your journey and meet your personal goals. Otherwise, how else will you truly know which opportunities are right for you?
2. It gives you a purpose.
At this point in your engineering career, ask yourself: are you able to clearly explain what you do and why you chose this career? Developing a strategy, for this reason, is great for giving you a sense of purpose in your career. Companies do this all the time when developing their “mission statements.” So why not do it for yourself, as well? The benefit of having a crystal clear career strategy is that you open yourself up to various alternatives in your career and can pivot to a new path you may have never otherwise considered.
3. Forces you to consider your resources.
You may think you have your goals figured out, but have you put any consideration into your resources for reaching those goals? Goals without resource considerations are simply pipedreams. However, when you develop a strategy, you will begin to address your resources at a higher level. This will help you when it’s time to assess when you should take on new projects and how you will align your resources for those projects. Resources do not only mean finances. Your resources could be time to accomplish the goal, people or partners to help you accomplish the goal, or other commitments that may be required.
4. Focuses on your commitment.
Until you think about your overall career strategy, all goals you aim to achieve and all projects you take on are simply disjointed activities. Compare yourself to a well-known, successful company. Just like with a business’ overall plan, you will not be able to achieve the highest levels of success without an overarching way of tying all of your actions together. Developing a strategy ultimately forces you to be the leader of your life. As a leader, you must determine your mission, vision, and values, and then you must fix your sights on this strategy despite any challenges that may come your way. Because in the end, those challenges will seem like minor bumps in the road compared to what you have planned for your entire career.
A great way to start creating your engineering career strategy is to start thinking about the future. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? In 10? 20? While you do this, it’s important to write down why you chose the field you’re in and how you want to make a difference. Keep in mind, various aspects of your overall strategy can evolve over time, but as long as the overall strategy remains focused, you will be sure to leave a legacy.
If you’re interested in starting a career with the experts at Gausman & Moore, contact us at 651-639-9606 or check out what career opportunities are currently available on our Careers page.