Engineering career advice for Engineering graduates
No-one ever tells you how to become an engineer...sure you diligently study the pre-requisite STEM subjects, make the progression to study engineering at university, graduate, and hopefully take that wealth of academic prowess into your first career role. But theory and practice are two entirely different matters altogether. So we thought we'd put a big arm around your shoulder and share some essential engineering career advice to help you reach your professional goals.
Be a team player
The life of an academic, nose-deep in a textbook, is a solitary affair. But in industry, you'll be a vital cog in a bigger team dynamic. In order to collaborate effectively, and ultimately deliver the company's objectives, those various egos and disciplines need to work together. So as well as top notch technical expertise it's vitally important to engage your networking and communication talents too if you're to succeed.
Prepare yourself for multi-disciplinary problems
Out on the shop floor you'll no doubt encounter design issues that are beyond your particular area of expertise. Whilst it's a good idea to broaden your knowledge base, and accrue some additional basic specialisms, it's also worth bearing in mind that any extra research, analysis and design additions can push the cost of a project higher. So, before you throw the kitchen sink at a problem consider whether those extra hours will add unnecessary costs and whether there's a more streamlined alternative.
Maintain your integrity
As an engineer it's vital that you demonstrate unyielding integrity throughout the course of your career. Sloppy research and half-baked designs could not only tarnish the reputation of you and your employer but, more seriously, could have serious environmental, social, economic and safety consequences to worry about too.
Say yes more
A 'can-do' attitude will take you far in any industry. Negativity and a lacklustre approach is a surefire way to get noticed for all the wrong reasons and will severely set you back. If you can't be motivated and excited at this stage in your career then when can you? Show willing, ask questions, and get involved as much as possible and you'll soon see the dividends.
Take charge of your career
Your manager isn't going to hold your hand to the top of the career ladder. It’s down to you, and you alone, to determine your goals and how you'll achieve them. Make the most of company-paid education and training programmes. Keep an eye out for diverse assignments and put yourself forward for the ones that interest you and will broaden your skills set. Remember that this cut and thrust world of constant advancements moves pretty rapidly. If you're not willing to keep up then you can bet there's another, hungrier graduate waiting in the wings who is.
This is the crux that underpins your entire professional career. If you're not having fun, move on. Engineering is a field that's full of diversity and exciting new challenges. If you've wound up in a particular area that's not necessarily pushing your buttons then don't flog yourself – find yourself a fresh start doing something that does re-ignite that spark that brought you to the industry in the first place.
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