Looking back in life, who wouldn’t want to share critical pieces of advice to one’s younger self? Maybe you would tell yourself to jump at a new opportunity, take on something out of your comfort zone, keep a positive mindset or something else.
We recently asked the Fabreeka Engineering Department what advice they would give to a young engineer just starting off in the early stages of their career. Together, the team created a list of five pieces of advice. If you happen to be an engineer just starting off in your career, we hope that our compiled list helps you through the transition from your educational to professional career.
1. Find a Mentor
Finding a mentor is, “the most important of all,” according to Fabreeka’s Application and Sales Engineer, Ross Baker. “Shadow them as long as possible,” he said. “They are a wealth of knowledge and experience.”
“These ‘mentors’ are your supervision, are responsible for guiding you through particular tasks and assist you in completing the task,” Baker added. “They provide career lessons learned, good or bad. They perform evaluations on you, direct you towards career education recommendations and even recommend actual field assignments,” Baker said.
Ultimately, mentors can provide the wisdom, support and encouragement you need when navigating on your path to success. Their background can help you enhance your own professional portfolio and skillsets.
2. Never Stop Learning
What better way to be a well-rounded engineer than by continuing to educate yourself? Education from a college or university is only the beginning of your journey. Now it’s up to you to continue to learn new information and gain skills that will further you to success.
Take it from Fabreeka’s Research and Development Engineer, Maaliek Harris-Carter. He believes that there is no endpoint when it comes to being an engineer and that you can always do better.
“The more we learn about other topics and other methods, the better our end results are for the environment, the end-user and the company,” he said.
If you’re actively looking to learn about new trends within the field of engineering, one resource you can use is AEC Daily. The e-learning provider hosts virtual courses for architects, engineers and other construction professionals. If you’re looking to earn continuing education credits, you can take Fabreeka’s free, self-paced courses on the website. You can choose from “Vibration and Structure-Borne Noise Reduction,” “Thermal Bridging and Thermal Break Solutions” or any of the other courses.
Ultimately, if you’re hoping to succeed in the industry, then you should never shy away from learning something new.
3. Build Your Social Network
In an era of technological innovation and digitization, it’s key to build your social network not only in real life but on social media, as well. Start off by creating a LinkedIn account and connect with your closest classmates, colleagues and individuals you look up to in the field.
When you meet someone in person, whether at a professional lecture, trade show or in a work environment, follow up by connecting with them online. On LinkedIn, you can even start the conversation by extending a warm, “Hello.”
If you need help practicing, don’t be shy — connect with us!
4. Ask Questions
You should never be afraid to ask questions — especially in the world of engineering. As the father of modern physics and Nobel Prize winner, Albert Einstein once said, “The important thing is not to stop questioning.”
“Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when one contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality,” according to Einstein. “It is enough if one tries to comprehend only a little of this mystery every day.”
How else would have Einstein solved E = mc2 without questioning the world around him? Healthy curiosity and skepticism can help uncover a potential challenge or even lead you to find a more effective engineered solution.
Think back to the kid you once were. Were you the kid who constantly asked, “why?” If so, don’t lose sight of that younger version of yourself. Without asking meaningful questions, your quality of learning may be lacking.
Remember: everything around us was once an idea. The greatest advancements in the world came from a person with a question. So, don’t be afraid — speak up, and maybe you can be the next Albert Einstein.
5. Think Big