Engineering as a profession on its own is very tasking and as a young engineer entering this career path, it is very much required of you to understand some of the basis that is needed to thrive. We all go through life and get to a point where you wish you could reset the clock and you regret not applying the lessons you learned early on in your career path.
So for a young engineer, you have the chance to do that by following advice offered by experienced engineers about what they wish they knew when starting their engineering careers. So in this article, we would be discussing 8 tips that a young engineer needs.
1. FIND A MENTOR
This is very important as it enables you to borrow the wisdom of a more practiced and qualified role model that can efficiently provide the support that you need to develop in your career. Mentors provide support, encouragement and they can boost your self-esteem. They can help a young engineer make sound decisions when the correct path becomes full of obstacles or too many unknowns.
2. KNOW AND LEARN THE SKILL OF MANAGING PEOPLE
In every place, there is always somebody special that likes to think outside the box. Those individuals have new kinds of enthusiasm, skills, and knowledge surrounding a particular field. It is really important to nurture the talents of those people be it in your school or workplace or other engineers within your company or during events.
3. DEVELOP A HABIT OF ALWAYS ASKING QUESTIONS
For the engineering world, it is dangerous to remain silent to seem wise. With new technologies and trends happening daily, it will be unwise to stop asking questions. There is a growing fear about asking the wrong question but we should know that questions are not stupid, and you should ask them as often as they come to mind.
4. PICK YOUR DESIRED FIELD EARLY ON
If you are in school or out of school, please try to pick your favorite subject and dive deep to see if there are career opportunities within that field. Getting an internship is perhaps one of the best ways to find out if the field is right for you. Also, ask your mentor about possible career opportunities in your chosen field.
5. NEVER STOP LEARNING
Young and smart engineers realize that education at a university is just the very beginning of one’s education as an engineer. Even after recruitment, the vocation of a successful young engineer is marked by a continuous stream of learning curves that ultimately take you to supreme expertise levels.
6. BE UP TO DATE WITH OTHER ENGINEERING FIELDS
As a young engineer, strive to keep up with as many industries as possible. Do not just follow trends in your expertise, but in adjacent disciplines as well. As cross-pollination is now, more than ever, a feature of engineering disciplines and innovations, being at the top gives you an edge for the career growth you
7. BUILD A NETWORK OF YOUNG ENGINEERS
This aspect is vital as it enables you to not only grow and expand your knowledge, but it can also lead to you getting a job or a contract. People only give a contract or recommend people they can see, so attend professional meet-ups and lectures outside of your regular classes. Plus always try to introduce yourself to the lecturers and keep in touch with them via email.
8. LOOK FOR EXPERIENCE OVER A BIG PAYCHECK
If you truly want to grow as a young engineer, the experience must be priorities over a big paycheck. Now if you are lucky to work in a big firm that offers good pay then that is different. So many young African engineers have chosen a big paycheck which has reduced our engineering number but like I said experience is key and it can only be realized if you truly want to practice.