We live in a day and age where being specialist’s in a certain area isn’t enough. Employers now want to hire people who can do their job, but also maximize the profitability of the company elsewhere too, and this is no different for mechanical engineers.
These days, being superhuman at maths and science is not enough to be successful. It doesn’t matter whether you are a recent graduate or an experienced manager, you need to be able to offer more than just a specific set of skills.
As such, we have come up with a comprehensive list of ways in which you can advance and take your engineering career to the next level:
You have to be good at business too
We live in an economy that is still scared of failing or collapsing like it did in 2007, and that means employers want to hire people who can think like businessmen and women. As such, they won’t just be looking for how many years of experience you have, but how much involvement you have had with strategy, planning, balance sheets and income statements. They will want people who understand how costs can affect decisions.
Learn the basics of everything
Mechanical engineering may be your specialty, but if you can add a basic understanding of other components and aspects to your repertoire then you are going to be much more attractive as an employee. Technology is the big word of our era, so if you can gain a basic understanding of software, hardware, and design, then you are going to stand out from the crowd.
Be innovative and part of innovation
This doesn’t mean you have to be creative when it comes to new ideas. It could be that you are innovative in the way that you do current business. Every business can be innovative, from calibration services to any new business run by a single entrepreneur.
If you are open to new ideas and come up with them, then you will be able to change the ‘that is not how we do business here’ culture that exists in a lot of companies. This will go a long way toward the advancement of both you and the company you work for.
Work well in a team
Speak to any elite sports person that didn’t make it to the big time despite their ability, and they will tell you it was because they weren’t great in a team. They may have had all the skill in the world.
But managers and coaches look for those that can operate as part of the bigger picture, and the same goes for engineering. You will be required to come together to solve complex issues and come up with solutions, which is why communication and patience will go a long way to securing a promotion.
Never stop learning
Advancements happen every day in every industry, and it is your job to stay on top of these advancements. That means reading trade press, attending seminars, staying connected with your university and just about anything else you can to change and improve.