Advice For Young Engineers

srimanta@brainware-india.com'

Career Tips For Engineers

So you have finally completed your Engineering degree with flying colours. You have mastered the dynamics of Electrical Engineering, know the nooks and crooks of Mechanical Engineering etc. You are sure, you are ready to spend the rest of your life , discovering and applying the beauty that is fluid mechanics, helping automobile bigwigs, invent the eco friendly car that does not run on petrol, on creating a self powered mobile that does not require a charger. Well and good. But before you embark on a grand engineering mega career, do give a look at these few tips that every fresh engineering graduate should keep in mind. :

Work On Your Soft Skills : Most of the employers in India complain that most of the engineers lack in soft skills like speaking in proper/fluent English, verbal as well as written communication skills, Most of the engineers do not feel the need to work on their soft skills. They think that they can work with machines, can invent brand new apps and software etc, what’s the need to learn soft skills? This is precisely where they go wrong. It’s absolutely imperative to learn and polish soft skills. Imagine you have come up with a revolutionary software/pollution free automobile etc.

If you cannot communicate to the wider audience about your wondrous invention, your talents and endeavours will go to waste. Nowadays, the engineer is not the solitary specialist isolated with his tools, all shut up in his ivory tower, he has to accompany the executives to client meetings ( especially in a tech startup where the role of an engineer is more prominent, you often have to showcase the invention yourself. Or at least talk a bit about it, how it can be useful to the clients, you have to have some good communication skills, if you want to accomplish this.

Get A Mentor : One of your professors who also have your best interests at heart, and with whom, you share a good camaraderie can be your mentor- your friend, philosopher and guide. Professors are also very good sources of networking and connection. They have access to various kind of relevant symposiums , get a thorough knowledge of the particular branch of engineering you are specializing in, can be a source of valuable recommendation when you seek employment. You will able to make fewer career blunders than freshers who have no mentors.

Become Business Oriented : By this we mean, become more aware of how much potential risk a new app or software can be for your company. Don’t dismiss economics and finance altogether! Every Time you get a project, be enthusiastic about inventing something, don’t forget about keeping within the budget! The more cost effective you can make your project, the more your employers will come to depend on you. In other words try to become more inter disciplinary . Don’t limit yourself to just the technical part, keep an eye out for costs for research, designing, marketing etc.

Learn Teamwork : Engineers are typically lone wolves. Unless the they have to collaborate with some other engineers for a project ex – hardware and software engineers often do have to collaborate on a project. But other than that, the engineer is a lone wolf who is self sufficient and lost in his own world of technology, fluid mechanics different theories, probabilities and laws etc. However in the corporate world, team work is not just important it is essential.

Most of the team consist of people whose expertise lie at different things and who have to work meticulously together in order to complete a particular project. If you are someone with poor teamwork skills, you will end up being the one who no one wants to work, who derails the projects due to personal problems etc. Work on your communication skill. A team works on open and articulate communication, cooperation, adjustment etc.

Step Out Of That Ivory Tower : Most engineering graduates fail to realize one thing. The world’s not a university. The office is not a campus. While the academics are satisfied with elaborate theories, laws, conjectures, hypotheses, probabilities, etc, the corporate world runs on the application- namely successful/profitable application of theories and laws to create a product/service that would be of use to the niche consumer. The business world thrives on practical applications.

Learn To Take Charge : One of the main problem with young engineering graduates according to employers is, that they often expect to be told what to do. They expect to be spoon fed by their managers, expect their work to be cut and dried. But what many of them fail to understand that in order to flourish in the corporate world, you have to develop leadership qualities if you want that promotion. Employers like employees who are bright, dynamic, enthusiastic, proactive. Make the most of your company’s education benefits, training programs, attend the important conferences. Being more proactive, assertive ( not aggressive) achievement oriented helps you bag the coveted leadership positions.

Keep Yourself Updated : Engineers- especially those in the tech sector have to keep this in mind, that technology is ever evolving. You have keep yourself updated with the latest technological inventions. Attend latest tech conferences, you will get exposed to the latest technological innovations and also get to make some useful contacts. Keep yourself abreast the latest inventions by subscribing to a quality tech journal. Remember, if you fall behind the times, there’s always an enthusiastic and talented graduate who will fill your shoes!

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