No matter where you are in your engineering career, it’s extremely important to have career goals. Whether you’re a recent graduate or a 10-year veteran, your goals will be a future destination of where you want to take your career. When setting your goals, take time to figure out exactly what you want and follow these four guiding principles to reach future success.
1. Understand your values
What are your principles you live by? What are your standards? Make a list of your values in your life, which may include family, friends, integrity, honesty, and others. Knowing your values is an important step in goal setting because they will be the foundation for achieving your goals.
2. Don’t sell yourself short
Many people will water down their goals simply because they think certain goals are too difficult to reach. Simply put, doing this means you’re giving up on your goal before you attempt to achieve it. Keep in mind that you have the ability to achieve absolutely anything you want in your engineering career. Worry about action plans and steps you need to take later; for now, focus on what you want, regardless of how unattainable you may think those goals are.
3. Know your personal definition of success
Personal and professional success is almost impossible to measure, especially if you don’t have a clear idea of what “success” looks like. You can make it as specific as you like (we engineers are all about specifications). Perhaps your definition of success is finally being a leader in your engineering firm. Now how will you measure what makes a “leader”? You might decide a specific number of projects you manage makes you a leader, or the number of people you manage might make you a leader as well. Once you have these indicators determined, you will have a better understanding of how to measure your definition of success.
4. Look at the big picture
A lot of engineers graduate from college with the assumption that their career goals should be the most important thing in their lives. You did just spend thousands of dollars for that education, didn’t you? No matter your career path, you must remember there is more to life than work. Though your career choice and goals should be a driving factor in your life, you can’t forget about everything else.
A more well-rounded perspective would be to look at how these career goals intertwine with your personal life goals. Perhaps your ultimate personal goal is to live in that up-and-coming city. Perhaps you even want to become the owner of your own business or firm. Understanding how your career goals and personal goals relate and intertwine will give you a better idea of how to spend your time reaching each goal.
No matter where you’re at in your engineering career, it’s important to keep these four factors in mind when developing and growing your engineering goals. Always remember, goals change as life changes. Don’t see a missed goal as a failure, but rather an opportunity to build new goals based on your new self. If you’re thinking your goals are leading you to a career at Gausman and Moore, check out our open careers, and let’s get in touch.