We learn from our mistakes, we often hear. The trick, however, is to learn from other people’s mistakes. But that is also much more difficult compared to when you make a mistake of your own and feel the consequences on your skin. These are the moments when we want to turn the clock back and apply the lessons we learned.
The key notion here is an experience. Engineers with years of experience know when mistakes are about the happen, they know how to recognize risky situations and moments when things can easily go awry. How many times have you wished you had the number of a senior colleague which you could ask for advice? Here we will tell you a bit more about what experienced engineers had to say when we asked them for advice they could pass on to younger generations.
A good mentor is a must
OK, this is obvious. But it is crucial to connect with a mentor who has the knowledge and the experience to back it up. It will allow you to support your career development. Someone who will always push you one more step ahead and inspire you to do better is an invaluable asset. Find a role model amongst your superiors and scan their strengths, skills, and abilities and incorporate them into your own engineering skill set. Note their weaknesses and make sure you don’t repeat them.
Engineering is not just about designs, materials, and plans. It is about developing your professional skills in many other areas, one of them being the skill to manage people, meaning other engineers. Few people have all the knowledge one project demands. Your job is to know which person has the exact skill set for a certain part of a whole.
Asking questions leads to answers. If you do not present what you have on your mind, nobody will know about it. And who knows, you just might ask the right question which will lead to great ideas. Questions extend our comfort zone, make us step outside of the box and consider all options. Most great engineers say that there is no such thing as a stupid question.
Never stop learning. Never stop acquiring new ideas and approaches, new advice from your peers and new trends in your field. Constant education is a must, and you can count that it will lead to success.
Expand your limitations
Modern science and engineering show a trend towards specialization. However, it is important to point out that other disciplines can contribute to your own in numerous ways. Keep up with the new ideas in other fields. Engineers like to call this cross-pollination of knowledge.