In IEEE-USA’s November free e-book for members only, Tips for Young Engineers, veteran engineer and educator Harry T. Roman provides career guidance and development for young engineers. Offering mentoring from his own knowledge and experience (from his many years as a professional engineer), Roman is “paying it forward.”
In nine concise chapters, the author discusses different steps that young engineers can take to advance themselves. He devotes one chapter for each major facet of developing a technical career–for both immediate and long-term benefits. For example, Roman encourages engineering professionals to build their own personal contacts database. He describes it as “a journal of the people you meet.” He advises this database should contain contact information, subjects discussed, expertise–and include personal notes about each individual contact. Roman recommends starting a contacts database when beginning a new job; embarking on a major assignment; or exploring a joint project with other companies, and their staffs.
“It doesn’t matter whether these people work for your organization, or another company,” Roman writes–advocating these journals as great tools for networking–“It’s not only about what you know, but who you know.”
He strongly urges young engineers to place high priorities on developing good communications skills. Such skills include taking good notes at conferences and meetings; and writing clear, informative reports to provide to colleagues and managers, back at the office.
Roman says another good way young engineers can learn to sharpen their communications abilities is to give oral presentations to managers and colleagues: “I’ve never seen engineering careers ruined because of incompetence, but I’ve seen plenty run aground because of poor communications skills–especially poorly executed oral presentations.” The author believes it essential that engineers be articulate–to survive in today’s global economy.
He points out that a person’s presentation skills are always going to be on display—especially during an interview: “It may just be the greatest skill you’ll ever learn,” he writes.
An IEEE member for 44 years, Roman believes that joining IEEE is essential–while a student, or just starting one’s career. He said its value was crucial to his own professional and career growth. The author cites access to one of the best technological libraries in the world; attending cutting-edge conferences; meeting engineers from all over the world; access to educational webinars and symposia; and publishing research in highly respected publications, as among the many benefits of IEEE membership.
Further, Roman encourages every young engineer to become an involved IEEE member, as the organization “opens many doors to exciting projects, and provides exposure to “the movers and shakers of the electrical engineering world.”
Long active in engineering education–for both IEEE members, as well as pre-university students, Roman has received many awards for his personal contributions to the engineering profession.
Roman writes that his company guided young engineers very carefully along their career paths, helping them to learn the ropes, with the help of an experienced engineer mentor. However, he notes that today’s young technical professionals “will likely change jobs a number of times during their engineering careers.” Roman cautions that such frequent transitions place the need for initiative and resourcefulness squarely on young engineers’ shoulders.
Other career-building topics that Roman discusses in this e-book include documenting field visits; writing technical papers; compiling an ongoing career history; and intellectual property considerations.
Packed with solid, practical advice, this e-book presents dozens of useful, career-building ideas the author acquired during his 36-year career with Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G)–the largest utility serving New Jersey.
Winner of the 2017 APEX Grand Award in Electronic Publications–in November, IEEE-USA is offering Tips for Young Engineers (a $5.99 value), free to IEEE members only.
From 1 Novembers through 15 December, IEEE members can get their free download by going to: https://ieeeusa.org/shop/careers/ebook-tips-young-engineers/
Log in with your IEEE account; add the book to your cart; and use promo code, NOVFREE17, at checkout.
Georgia C. Stelluto is IEEE-USA’s Publishing Manager, Manager and Editor for IEEE-USA E-BOOKS, and Department Editor for InFocus in IEEE-USA InSight.