Playing to Win: Professional Development Strategies for Engineers

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Engineering is a competitive field, and like most professional fields, it is susceptible to the vagaries of economic fluctuation. Consequently, engineers who focus on professional development position themselves to weather challenges and seize opportunities more effectively than their colleagues.

Here are several ways to integrate professional development into your engineering career:

Understand the business, not just your job.

Many professionals, including engineers, overlook the opportunity to engage in “professional development” within their own company. Understanding the entire business, however, can give you valuable insight into your role in the organization, the customers your work serves and how to position yourself for advancement and success when the time comes.

Become a part of your professional world.

Joining professional societies for engineers in your areas of interest or specialty can help you connect to potential mentors and stay on top of news in your field. Presenting at conferences is a great way to build your professional network, improve your portfolio and “get seen” by top minds in the field. Technical courses and online learning can help you continue to refine your abilities.

Make yourself indispensable: become an excellent communicator.

Many engineers excel at the work they do, but relatively few can also explain that work effectively to non-engineering audiences. As a result, many companies hire communications professionals because “it’s easier to teach an English major to understand engineering than it is to teach an engineer to communicate.” Bust this myth and make yourself indispensable by learning how to explain what you do in clear, simple terms.

Build a support network.

Engineers are often independent types, so thinking about finding help isn’t always first on their list. Find a mentor at your job who can provide advice, support and direction within the organization. Working with a recruiter can also help you gain an ally whose focus is on your professional development.

Key Takeaways:

  • Develop your understanding of the business, not just your part in it.
  • Participate in professional societies, conferences and courses.
  • Improve communication skills to make yourself indispensable.
  • Find people to help you.

At SoloPoint Staffing, our recruiters specialize in connecting engineers to outstanding career opportunities and in helping professionals develop their careers. Contact us today to learn more about our engineering career opportunities in Costa Mesa and beyond.

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