People often get to a point in their life, when they will wish they could turn back the clock knowing all the lessons learnt and opportunities missed. Today’s workforce looks very different to what it did many years ago, across all sectors. People no longer stay at their jobs for 30 years or more.
Young engineers often come into the workforce with a wide range of skills, but there is always something to learn and advice to take from senior colleagues. We have complied a list showcasing some of the best advice to give, not only younger engineers but any young person stepping into the workforce or a new career.
Don’t be deterred from the engineering sector:
It is well known across the engineering sector, that there is a shortage of women. Often, young females feel put off by the stereotype of a male only school. They are faced with the pressure to choose a female dominant sector rather than “bend the rules” a little and go for their strengths that may well lie in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths STEM. In 1984, just 7% of UK engineering graduates were women. By 2016, this had increased to 15.8%. Despite many initiatives aimed at tackling this percentage, this is still a challenge we face. It is important to retain engineers once they are working in industry and, for women especially, ensure there is a valid return ticket after a career break.
Find a mentor:
No advice can beat that of a mentor. Having someone there to guide you to make crucial decisions in your career. This mentor has been in your shoes and likely has a lot of knowledge and experiences that have led them to a successful career thus far. Borrowing the wisdom of a further qualified and more practised role model can provide the type of support you’ll need to develop a career in engineering. Just like all other industries, finding a person to motivate you to better yourself and push you beyond your comfort zone will guide you on a successful career path. Take a look around at the engineers you admire and recognise their strengths and aim to adopt those that you can, similarly if there are superiors that you don’t admire, note their weaknesses and work on avoiding them in your own career path. Choose someone who you respect and can learn from.
Never stop Learning:
With the increasing speed of technology around the world, we all need to be lifelong learners. In the engineering world, it is dangerous to remain silent to seem wise, so don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Questions are not stupid, and probing questions enables us to extend our comfort zones and propels us to career growth. As a young engineer or graduate, you recognise that your certificate is just a starting point of a career that needs constant education. Even after landing a job, your success is marked by a continuous stream of learning curves that will ultimately lead to a hugely professional career. The power that lies with curiosity and asking questions in any workplace is phenomenal and helps clarify things along the way, making you more of a standout engineer in the future.
Work On your Soft Skills:
It is no longer just your technical skills that are important to you-these are just the start. Soft skills are the personal attributes that sit outside of your work experience and professional qualifications. Although, a strong CV may get you to the interview stage of a job, your soft skills will get you the position. These skills may include, effective communication, teamwork, creativity, problem solving and adaptability. Don’t underestimate how important these can be to a prospective employer.
No matter where you plan to take your career or how far you want to reach, this advice will help to pave the way to a job you want, Engineering is a buzzing and innovative industry to work in where opportunities will arise along the way, as with many careers. However, you will face some big decisions, problems and tough competition, so taking our advice could guide you to a future of success. If you are new to Engineering or are just looking for a new role in the engineering sector, contact our Ambrose Recruitment team to discuss how they can help you find your dream job and advance your career in engineering.