Whether you are just starting your career or you already have a few years of experience in your field, it’s important to never lose focus throughout your engineering career. Perhaps your position has become mundane and it’s time to reinvent yourself, or maybe you’re entering your first professional job and don’t know how to be the best engineer you can be. The following are a few things you can do to take charge as a professional and help progress your engineering career.
1. Participate on professional networking websites.
LinkedIn is a perfect example of a free, professional networking site where you can communicate with other individuals in your industry. With professional networking sites such as this, the possibilities are endless with how much you can learn from other engineers in your industry. It can also open doors to countless opportunities you may not know are out there.
If you already have an account, work to stay active as much as possible. If you have not created a personal LinkedIn profile, the best way to start is with their free membership. As you become more familiar with the website and want to experience new networking features, you can always upgrade down the road.
2. Get involved with local organizations or associations.
Most states have American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) chapters, so why not become a member? Aside from regularly-held meetings, these chapters may hold fun events, career development seminars, day trips to real sites, and even the occasional happy hour with other professionals. The idea of joining an organization is to get to know other people in the engineering field and make important connections.
Fresh out of college? Some of these organizations also offer younger member groups made specifically for younger, on-track engineers who do not have expansive work expertise.
3. Read up on the industry.
No matter where you’re at in your engineering career, it’s always important to stay up-to-date on issues affecting your industry. This will prepare you for possible changes to the industry being made or that will be made in the future. Reading up on industry news can also help you make decisions, as well as avoid poor decisions. You can find relevant articles online or even in professional engineering publications.
4. Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses.
In your career or even in an internship you may have realized working in the field is not your strong suit—perhaps you excel in design. Or maybe you’re great at the number crunching but hate the writeups. If you’ve narrowed down what your weaknesses are, start coming up with ways to improve. As with the previous example, if technical writing is a challenge, you can look for classes at a local college to help improve your skills.
Having trouble coming up with a list? It’s important to keep in mind that your strengths and possible weaknesses don’t necessarily have to be linked to engineering.
If you’re looking for a new way to take charge of your engineering career and get it off the ground, consider one of our many internships at Gausman & Moore. Our Careers page lists our upcoming internships at all of our offices in Minnesota and California. A solid foundation at Gausman & Moore will certainly put you on your path to a successful professional engineering career.