In a previous article, we talked about gadgets that can help you be more productive. Being more productive and showing good performance at work will get you that much closer to that career boost you have always wanted.
If you are an engineer wanting to move forward in your career, there are other steps you can take to speed things up. In this article, we are going to discuss the best steps to take if you want to give your career the boost it deserves.
Develop an Online Presence
Having a strong online presence is a great way to position yourself as an expert in your field. Everyone – from potential employers to future clients and fellow engineers – turns to the internet for information when searching for top engineers. Having a strong online presence and being discoverable online is a great way to increase your profile and boost your career.
Getting started with building an online presence is not as difficult as you think. If you already have a LinkedIn page, you have already taken the first step in this process. The next step is polishing your LinkedIn page, specifically to display your best skills and experience.
Next, you want to publish a series of field-related articles and other content. LinkedIn has a tool for publishing articles and videos. Other platforms like Medium are just as handy for tapping into a wider audience group. However, what you want to have is your own website and domain. A personal (professional) website will act as the anchor to all of your online activities.
Build Your Leadership Skills
Engineers are the leaders of the future. If you take a look at the great managers and leaders in recent years, you will notice that many of them have engineering backgrounds. Engineers are avid problem-solvers, which is why they suit leadership roles perfectly.
More importantly, leadership is a skill, which means it can be sharpened. Similar to the way you can use gadgets to boost your productivity, you can also turn to the internet for more ways to boost your leadership skills. Short courses from the likes of Coursera and Udemy are widely available. Offline training programs are also easy to find online. These programs are worth investing in.
Of course, you can’t develop your leadership skills by taking leadership courses only. You also need to assume more leadership roles in your current line of work. Show initiative, offer to lead teams in the projects you handle and garner more experience as a leader.
Return to School
Pursuing a higher degree in engineering is another way to give your career a substantial boost. In fact, more engineering programs from reputable universities are designed to help engineers fill managerial roles more effectively. The courses will help you gain the skills you need to advance in your career.
Top universities are now making their online engineering programs available to more students from around the country. Kettering University Online offers an online master’s in engineering management, which is a course that will take your career to a whole new level.
The course from Kettering University Online helps you gain project management skills relevant to today’s industries. You are not limited to managing engineering projects but also projects in other fields. As a part of the course, you will also learn how to manage team members with different backgrounds.
It is easy to see how earning a master’s in engineering management is a great investment to make. According to recent studies, engineers with a master’s degree in engineering management earn an average annual salary of $140,000. The degree also opens up new positions such as Director of Engineering.
Expand Your Professional Network
Connecting with others – industry experts in particular – on LinkedIn is great, but it is far from enough if you are serious about expanding your professional network. In today’s market, having a strong network that supports your career is how you find new opportunities to grow as a professional.
Fortunately, engineering is a fantastic industry for those who love to connect with people. There are industry events, programs for engineers, and even trade shows in specific engineering fields that you can attend. While attending industry-related events, you will be presented with plenty of opportunities to connect with other professionals.
Having a strong online presence helps too. When you have a strong reputation as an expert in a specific field, you’ll start getting requests for seminars and other speaking arrangements. These events are also great for expanding your network.
Don’t shy away from networking opportunities. Fundraising and social events are perfect for connecting with people from outside the industry; you might even have the opportunity to connect with business and political leaders when attending these events.
More Soft Skills
It is not a secret that soft skills are just as important as hard skills in today’s employment landscape. You have to have strong communication skills, the ability to understand others, and a strong problem-solving stance. These are soft skills you need to master in order to advance in this field.
Other skills are just as useful. Knowing how to optimize your time, prioritize tasks, and handle multiple projects at the same time is equally valuable. Spend some time learning about other industries too; you’ll be surprised by how useful business and management knowledge is once you start assuming more leadership roles.
What you want to be is an engineer that bridges the gap between other industries and engineering as a specific field. Your understanding of other industries will help you perform better in your role as a leader with an engineering background.
There are a lot of engineers that can develop business solutions and healthcare systems, but only a handful can actually translate business processes or healthcare workflows into system structures and solutions. Mastering this ability will push your career further ahead; it will also differentiate you from other engineers on the market.
Take these series of steps and you will be a much better engineer. You are preparing yourself for the challenges of the future, where more engineers assume leadership roles and remain on the edge of developments.