Engineers are constantly looking for ways to improve. Unfortunately, many feel they hit a plateau of sorts at some point in a career. That is why the following list has been created. If an engineer should ever feel stagnant, it can serve as a great resource. The tips, in no particular order, are as follows:
Brush Up On Technical Writing
For many engineers, technical writing was a single course completed in college and then almost immediately forgotten. The truth of the matter is that the best engineers are also the best writers. Being able to create something useful, as well as communicate how to best create it, is imperative. There are a multitude of online resources that can be utilized when an engineer’s writing appears to be suffering.
Strive To Create Value
One of the biggest parts of being an engineer is creating value for a company. When engineers find themselves in rut, going through the motions may seem to be a now everyday occurrence. To combat this, engineers need to frequently find new ways to add value to the business. As James Trevelyn says, “Many engineers yearn for fixed objective truths, and shy away from fuzzy subjective emotions. However, our research shows that engineers who understand value creation enjoy more respect and far more rewarding careers, both intrinsic enjoyment and financial benefits.” This makes you stand out from the crowd while offering a skill that not all engineers master. After all, without engineers, no business would be able to sell a product of any kind.
All industries require superb communication skills, but few put such an emphasis on it as engineering. Properly communicating as an engineer does not only make the working environment run more smoothly, but it can also serve as an increased safety measure. When everyone on a team is on the same page about a particular project, the odds of that project having a safety hazard is greatly reduced. Also, engineers will frequently be required to speak with those who may not have had a similar educational experience. Being able to communicate complex ideas in much simpler terms is a skill only developed with a great deal of practice. As described here, “Work doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Engineers have to communicate on a daily basis — with each other, with supervisors, with people in different departments, and even with clients. Their work is complex and technical, but not everyone they work with has the same technical expertise, which makes it even more important for them to have good communication skills.”
These tips are by no means something that can be mastered and then forgotten. They require engineers to engage in life-long learning so as to keep up with the ever-changing technological world. That being said, if you master them early, you can more easily maintain these skills later.