Category: Blog

31- Solicit advice, but make your own decisions

As a child, you were probably taught at a young age to respect your elders. This family value is prevalent in many cultures. As you aged, you learned life lessons from those who were older. Some of these teachings were life skills; perhaps your grandfather taught you how to bake, or your mother taught you how to fix a flat tire. Other training involved learning by experience. Think back to when you were a young...

30- A Telecommuter’s Guide to Work-Life Balance

Do you telecommute? I often talk to young professionals who want to have a more flexible work schedule. In one recent study, 75% of millennials polled by Deloitte would like to work from home more. There are different reasons workers want to report from a home office. Some people believe they are more productive when working from home. Others desire a more flexible schedule, or to save time and money on their daily commute. While...

29- Engage a great mentor for career success

Having a relationship with a great mentor is important to your career success. Famous astronaut Buzz Aldrin completed his Ph.D. at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His thesis, “Line-of-Sight Techniques for Manned Orbital Rendezvous,” lists four reviewers. Although it is not clear that one of them was a true mentor to him, certainly, they contributed to his completing the work that would later be used as part of NASA’s space exploration program, and it is likely...

28- Never lose sight of your goals

Never lose sight of your goals A lesson from Buzz Aldrin Did you know that the first time Buzz Aldrin applied to be an astronaut he was rejected? His application boasted such achievements as a B.S. in Military Engineering from Westpoint, a Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a distinguished career as a fighter pilot during the Korean Conflict. With these great achievements, he was not accepted into the program because he hadn’t been...

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27- Surround yourself with people who challenge you

Surround yourself with people who challenge you A Lesson from Legend Buzz Aldrin A few months ago I had the honor of meeting Buzz Aldrin. He was the second man to walk on the moon during Apollo 11’s historic mission. Although most people recognize him as the man behind the visor in the iconic photograph Neil Armstrong snapped, his contributions to science and technology are much more far-reaching. As evidenced by the child who touches...

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26- Success is finding your superpower

Finding a job you do well, and that you enjoy, can be much like putting an old puzzle together. It makes a beautiful picture, but every so often, you wonder if you are missing a piece. Unless you work for yourself, it is likely that you have a job description. You interviewed, were hired, and are reviewed based on it. If you are an entry-level programmer, your job description might include objectives such as coding...

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25- The Golden Rule of conference calls

We are living in the information age. The world is connected and becoming more so every day. One of the great advantages of this connectivity is that teams have the ability to meet in real-time, regardless of their geographic location. For example, I recently met a woman who works in New York City, but whose clients are vineyard owners in France. To discuss upcoming marketing initiatives and sales forecasts she uses conference and video calling...

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22- Tactical Networking: 3 Tips for preparing to network

  Tactical Networking (ˈtaktək(ə)l ˈnetˌwərking) : developing a strategic plan consisting of actionable items that will enhance your productivity at events focused on exchange of information aimed at producing mutually beneficial relationships A few months ago, I had the privilege of being part of a panel on business development at the Engineering Career Success Summit (ECSS) in Washington, DC. The moderator for the panel, Christian Knutson, PE, has had a distinguished career in the U.S. Air...

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23- Emotional Intelligence: Changing your emotional weather

If you had to classify your mood as a weather system today, what would it be? Is it an overcast day with a chance of hail? Is it a clear day full of sunshine? If you are like me, your emotions vary as much as the weather. Unfortunately, various triggers can change your emotional state. It is how you react to the triggers that make you successful. By taking control of your emotional weather, you...

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24- Join a trade group today to advance your career

As a student or an entry-level engineer, one of the best ways to advance your career is join a professional organization specific to your industry. This type of group is often referred to as a trade group, and joining one can help you learn from, and connect with, like-minded professionals to help you grow your career. The benefits of joining such a group include the opportunity to take advantage of the group’s rich history in...