In this episode, Chris Knutson, PE interviews Nader Mowlaee on how to create a winning strategy to build a successful engineering career. They hit on why, and how, to establish your own personal brand and they also dive into core skills development and their importance to engineers, as well as the importance of building and cultivating a network.
In episode 047 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I interview one of our listeners, a young civil engineer named Joshua about a problem he is facing in regards to transitioning into the civil engineering industry and we also talk about how to remain billable as a young civil engineer.
Here are some of the questions I ask Joshua:
- What has been helpful for you as a young civil engineer in your transition into the workplace?
- Tell me about the things you didn’t have that would’ve been helpful in transitioning.
- What are your thoughts on training for young civil engineers?
- Were there any discussions about future training with your civil engineering company?
- What is the balance between remaining billable, but also engaging in training?
Here are some key points discussed in this episode of The Civil Engineering Podcast:
- Support and communication with your civil engineering team is extremely important in making the transition easier.
- When starting out in a new civil engineering position, make sure that you have a very clear and well defined plan to understand what is expected of you.
- Having training materials will facilitate the training process and make the new employee’s job much easier.
- When considering a career move it is important to ask yourself if there will be opportunities for professional training and development for yourself.
- It’s important for managers to have a set number of productive tasks in the background that are available for engineers when they have finished their work. This will ensure productivity and ensure engineers remain billable in their work.
More details in this episode…
Joshua has been a Civil engineer for the last 7 months specifically in the land development field and engages in storm water design, land surveying, and soil science. He previously worked with different tractors and heavy equipment to maintain property courses. He also has experience in Inspecting construction sites for compliance with regards to Soil Erosion and Sediment Control.
This episode is brought to you by PPI, the leader of civil engineering FE or PE exam preparations. Use promo code CIVIL for 20% discount at PPI2Pass.com/coach
Please leave your comments or questions in the section below on transitioning within careers and remaining billable in your work environment.
To your success,
Anthony Fasano, PE, LEED AP
The Engineering Career Coach
Author of Engineer Your Own Success
Whether you want to become a project manager or not, you’ll be running a project at some point in your life and in one of your capacities. It might be in the role you hold at your firm, or in the role you occupy in a technical or professional organization, or even a role you fill in a community group. The point is, many of activities we undertake are projects. That is, they are what Project Management International (PMI) defines as a, temporary in that it has a defined beginning and end in time, and therefore defined scope and resources. A project is unique in that it is not a routine operation, but a specific set of operations designed to accomplish a singular goal.
Before I dive into one possible answer to this question (the option I’ll suggest is one worth following!), I’m not advocating earning a credential, certificate or degree in project management. I don’t believe a practicing engineering professional must earn one of these to be proficient in applying project management concepts to efficiently bring about intended benefits to the customers and clients they serve. What I do believe, is that one cannot leave development of a methodology of project management to on-the-job training or simple observation.
Learning about project management by osmosis might make you proficient, however, I doubt it. Relying on casual observation to learn, internalize, and then apply knowledge in a fashion that enhances ones proficiency in any topic is a path that’s fraught with long lead-time. Simply put, you’re going to get a better return on investment of time if you actively study project management methodology and know the basic concepts.
So how is knowing project management concepts going to make you a better engineer?
In episode 037 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I am share 10 specific strategies for providing stellar service to your civil engineering clients. Ths strategies in this episode are brought to you directly from civil engineers who commented on a discussion on this topic that I posted on LinkedIn.
Quotes to think about:
Here are 10 effective ways to provide stellar service to your civil engineering clients:
This is a guest blog post by Dave Willenberg, LEED AP
When most people think about technical communication, their first thought is about how engineers communicate with other engineers.
What almost nobody considers, though, is how we communicate with… not-engineers.
And yet, it’s a HUGE part of what we do:
Our version of fun usually requires a multi-zero’ed budget beforehand; however, there’s no guarantee that whoever’s signing the checks has any technical background.
There’s a very slim chance that they’ll sign your expenditure request unless they understand at least the basics of what you plan to do, so now, it’s your job to somehow lay it all out.
In a webinar for ECC not too long ago, I highlighted a technique that I call ‘Inverse Explanation’ – a technical communication trick for clearly explaining technical processes to non-technical people.
It’d be a good idea to get up to speed on that before we continue – I’ve laid it all out and included some examples in my Medium article here.
All caught up? OK – let’s rock.
This is a guest blog post by Dave Willenberg, LEED AP
Remove communication from engineering, and what are you left with?
Solve any problem in the world, but at the end of the day, if you can’t get your idea across to others, you never really solved anything. You’re a falling tree in the forest.
Nevertheless, most engineering programs tend to overlook this, and most engineering graduates don their shiny first hardhat without ever considering the importance of clearly and concisely conveying technical information.
So here’s a quick thought experiment:
In this episode, Anthony Knutson, PE interviews Carl Friesen, a professional who likes helping engineering professionals and firms build their profile as thought-leaders. Friesen talks specifically about how to build your expertise and thought leadership through public speaking.
Engineering Success quotes:
In this episode, Chris Knutson, PE interviews Croft Edwards, author on GeneralLeadership.com and an extremely accomplished leader and leadership coach on how to generate flow through leadership.
Engineering Success quote:
Here are the key points from the episode: [Read more…]
In this episode, my co-host Chris Knutson, PE leads one of the panels from our past Engineering Career Summit on project management and communication and how you can be a successful communicator with your engineering project team.
Here are the key points:
How is communications important in project management?
- Setting the right expectations for the project team is essential: clarity of purpose, the scope, roles and responsibilities.
- The best way to have reliable projects is to aggregate risks.
- Get to the actual point.
- Listening is a key factor in gaining clarity and understanding about your engineering projects.
- Empower each team member to have ownership of their own task and to work in a collaborative space with each other.
In this episode, Chris Knutson interviews Dave Willenberg who talks about how to enhance both written and spoken technical communication, and shares how he transitioned from engineer to entrepreneur by recognizing and acting on opportunities.
Here are some of the questions Chris asks:
- How did you go from Detroit to Hamburg?
- What was the greatest challenge in transitioning from engineering job into entrepreneurial business?
- What are some big mistakes engineers make with written and verbal communication?
- How can one enhance technical communication skills?
- How did you bridge the cultural divide as you established your company in Germany?
Engineering Success quote: