Following on from our previous article on boosting your employability, this week we shall be examining what career skills professionals should aim to develop in order to pursue a successful engineering career.
LIVE TO LEARN
“Whilst true in most fields, I believe an imperative skill in any technological realm is the ability, and will, to keep on learning! In such a fast moving field it’s vital to keep up to date with the latest developments or else you risk being left behind. It helps a lot if you love taking on new information. I have a genuine passion for learning, I still love discovering new things to this day, and will continue to do so, far past the day I retire.”
To develop not only as a professional but also as an individual it is vital you keep on learning. This is an especially important skill at the beginning of a career in any field. You need to be receptive to learning opportunities in order to develop experience and an expertise. Moving forward in your career you will be able to use this experience to work on various projects and provide an insight to help achieve results. As you gain more experience you will become a more valuable member of any team, and therefore boost your employability no end.
Additionally, in a field which sees such rapid innovation as technology and electronics, you need to be able to keep on learning so your knowledge remains relevant. If your skill base is rooted in outdated technology which people are no longer using, you will not be a very useful employee, and therefore not very employable.
Partner Electronics provides the perfect platform upon which an individual can grow and develop. The mantra ‘Learn, Teach, Grow’, is one of our fundamental values at the firm as we make it a priority to invest in our people. To implement this philosophy we assign each of our graduate engineers a mentor, by working alongside experienced seniors they are heavily involved in important work and can learn from seasoned professionals. This helps our graduate recruits to quickly develop an expertise in a wide range of fields.
Of course, the ability to learn isn’t the only skill needed to lay the foundations for a successful career. Aside from this, Richard cites the importance of developing as a professional in the workplace alongside progressing as an engineer. Whilst technical skills are important, being able to conduct your work in a professional manner is vital for ensuring a team works efficiently and reaches their overall goals.
“Being able to understand different characters and the nuances of their working processes, and thusly being able to communicate effectively, is a crucial part of efficient teamwork. This develops a ‘whole is greater than the sum of its parts’ mentality, with individuals finding themselves in the best environment to produce their best work.”
“Another useful skill which can be developed is the ability to persuade people to follow your line of thinking. Skills of persuasion aren’t only useful in sales roles; if you know a certain approach to a problem won’t work, you need to hold influence over others to persuade them as to why their solution won’t work. Everything from the way you dress to the tone of your emails carries influence and can affect the atmosphere surrounding you in the organisation! By being able to work alongside different personalities and lead them harmoniously to a collective goal, you will prove yourself to be a very useful resource, and thus make yourself hugely employable.”
As Richard says, developing professional skills is vital to ensuring a team works to the best of its abilities. The easiest way to develop these skills is to simply gain experience. Go into work (or group projects at university) with an open mind ready to observe the dynamics of the team and see how particular scenarios play out. It is then especially important to take this knowledge on board and learn from it. Another way to advance your professional development would be to take courses which teach you particular professional skills e.g. conflict resolution, which can be valuable in your career.
One example of how, at Partner Electronics, we aim to aid your professional development is through training which helps you to understand different personalities and how best to work with them. This helps to keep proceedings harmonious between the team and creates an environment within which everyone can achieve their full potential.
Whilst everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, there are some skills which prove to be particularly precious in a successful engineering career. Being willing to learn and take on new information is a vital capability alongside being able to conduct yourself in a professional manner. By developing these skills, you will be investing in your own career, and thusly making yourself vastly more employable.