TECC 026: The Engineering Career Coach Podcast – A Five-Step Process for Overcoming Your Addiction to E-mail

TECC 26 6-26-14 FINAL PhotoIn this session of The Engineering Career Coach (TECC) Podcast, I provide the five-step process that I have utilized to overcome my addiction to e-mail in hopes that you can do the same.

E-mail is a valuable method of communication, but it is also dangerous; it can seriously hamper our productivity, especially if we live in our inboxes, like I did. In this session, I will outline in detail how I overcame my e-mail addiction for those of you who want to do the same and increase your productivity.

“Email is familiar. It’s comfortable. It’s easy to use. But it might just be the biggest killer of time and productivity in the office today.” – Ryan Holmes

[Read more...]

How Five Rubber Bands Helped Me Achieve an Important Goal and Why Engineers Should Care

Clear, Visible, Measurable GoalsRecently I struggled with achieving an important personal goal, and in this post I want to share the strategy that helped me do so, and also give you a blueprint for achieving your own goals.

My Challenge

Drinking water is a critical part of maintaining an optimal level of health. However, many people, including myself, neglect to do so, because we are running around from one appointment to the next every day. I recently did some research and learned that it is recommended that you drink at least half of your body weight in ounces each day—ideally, your exact body weight. Therefore, if you weigh 200 pounds, you should be drinking 100 to 200 ounces of water each day. I was coming nowhere near to this.

Then, a few weeks ago, I had engineer-turned-wellness-expert Stephanie Cook as a guest on Session 22 of my podcast. She talked about the importance of drinking water and gave a great strategy for ensuring you do so. She said to drink from a large water bottle throughout the day, and every time the bottle is empty, to fill it up and put one rubber band on it. At the end of the day, you can see how much water you drank by counting the rubber bands. [Read more...]

TECC 025: The Engineering Career Coach Podcast – What to Do if You Are Not Getting the Engineering-Design Experience You Need

8-12-14 TECC 25 FINAL photo

In this session of The Engineering Career Coach (TECC) Podcast, I give a young engineer some guidance on concerns she has, including lack of engineering-design experience and which master’s degree is best to pursue.

While much of my content on this site focuses on the development of core or nontechnical skills, getting the proper technical and engineering-design experience is also important as an engineer, especially when you are starting your career. Unfortunately, many engineers get trapped in a job in which, for whatever reason, they are not getting this experience. This session offers engineers with this dilemma some strategies for overcoming it.

“A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success.” – Elbert Hubbard

TECC_Podcast_Art_FinalThe career-changing tip at the end of the show will not only challenge you to take action in your career but will force you to do it in a big way.

Listen to this session and learn: [Read more...]

Four Reasons You Must Seek Peer Support in Your Engineering Career and Where to Find It

engineering career group I read a lot of blogs and books, and one of my favorite authors is Seth Godin. I particularly love his book Linchpin (affiliate link), where he discusses how to become indispensable in your career and why it is important. One of Godin’s recent posts, on July 21st, really hit home for me and is the inspiration for this post. Here it is:

Finding Your Peer Group

Your peer group are people with similar dreams, goals and worldviews. They are people who will push you in exchange for being pushed, who will raise the bar and tell you the truth.

They’re not in your business, but they’re in your shoes. [Read more...]

TECC 024: The Engineering Career Coach Podcast – 10 More Answers for 10 More Questions from 10 More Engineers

7-29-14 TECC 24 Photo FINALIn this session of The Engineering Career Coach (TECC) Podcast, I answer 10 more questions related to career and personal development, submitted by The Engineering Career Coach (TECC) podcast listeners.

If you missed Session 23, click here to listen to the first 10 questions I answered.

“Visualize this thing that you want, see it, feel it, believe in it. Make your mental blueprint, and begin to build.” – Robert Collier

14598638716254.dUcfCTcmXr8PKk9BFxDE_height640The career-changing tip at the end of the show will provide you with a simple action that you can take to try to overcome any challenge or solve any problem in your career.

Below are the 10 questions that I answer on this show, each followed by a one-sentence snippet of the answer: [Read more...]

PE Exam Prep Guide: How You Can Pass the PE Exam without Having to Study “Everything”

7-22-14 TECC Post Photo FinalThe following PE exam post is a guest post by IECD member Andy Lin, PE, SE. I was so blown away by its depth and detail that I have also added it to our Guides section on the website.  Here it goes:

It’s that “exciting” moment in your engineering career again.

After obtaining your Engineer in Training (EIT) and working for a few years, you are ready to take on the next challenge—the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam (PE exam).

As you start studying for the PE exam, you’ll probably notice that there are dozens of prep courses out there—most of which teach you “everything you need to know” about the exam. [Read more...]

TECC 023: The Engineering Career Coach Podcast – 10 Answers for 10 Questions from 10 Engineers

7-15-14 TECC 23 Photo Final

In this session of The Engineering Career Coach (TECC) Podcast, I answer 10 questions related to career and personal development, submitted by The Engineering Career Coach (TECC) podcast listeners.

In fact, I received so many questions that this will be the first of two shows in this format.

“Asking the right questions takes as much skill as giving the right answers.” - Robert Half

14598638716254.dUcfCTcmXr8PKk9BFxDE_height640The career-changing tip at the end of the show will provide you with one actionable step that can help you overcome ANY challenge in your engineering career.

Below are the 10 questions that I answer on this show, each followed by a one-sentence snippet of the answer: [Read more...]

Are You Too Focused on the Wrong Thing in Your Engineering Career?

Staying Afloat in Your Engineering Career

The following post is based on a true story of a walk my son and I took one evening a few weeks ago. It is meant to inspire you to focus more on the things that matter most to you in your career and your life.

Not Your Average Walk 

My five-year-old son has a lot of energy, so every so often after dinner, he and I will take a long walk along a path that we have dubbed “the Secret Passageway.” A few weeks ago, while out for our walk, we saw something that was both scary and eye-opening. [Read more...]

TECC 022: The Engineering Career Coach Podcast – How to Identify Burnout in Your Engineering Career Before It Happens and What to Do to Get Back on Track

engineering career coach

In this session of The Engineering Career Coach (TECC) Podcast, I interview Stephanie Cook, an environmental engineer who now helps professionals avoid burnout in their careers by improving their diet and exercise habits.

Engineering Career CoachStephanie discusses five signs that you’re headed for trouble and gives eight strategies for avoiding burnout or getting back on track if you’ve already gone too far.

“I promise you nothing is as chaotic as it seems. Nothing is worth diminishing your health. Nothing is worth poisoning yourself into stress, anxiety, and fear.” – Steve Maraboli

The career-changing tip at the end of the show will provide you with one simple thing that you can do every day to reduce your stress levels dramatically.

Listen to this session and learn: [Read more...]

The Best Way to Learn as an Engineer Is to Give Yourself No Other Option

The Only Way to Learn in Your Engineering Career

When I left my engineering design career behind five years ago, I was forced to learn a lot of new things in a short period of time. I had to learn how to write and speak effectively, how to build and optimize websites, how to run a business, how to manage virtual employees, and more.

Like with everything else I do, I asked successful people in the field how they learned things and also read many books on the topic of learning. The strategy that stood out the most when it came to learning things effectively and efficiently was to give yourself no other option. The world is littered with distractions today, both good and bad, and these distractions take you away from what you are trying to focus on. When you are learning something new, the amount of focus required is large, and you need every bit of it. By reducing the number of distractions around you, you will increase the rate at which you learn.

The best way to describe this is by listing some real-life examples, so here they are: [Read more...]