“Focus on the End Goal: It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. Brick walls aren’t there to stop you. They’re there to make you prove how bad you want to get over them.”
~Alan C. Tribble
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Volume 2 of Shaping an Engineering Career-Book 3: Advancing to Management highlights some of the challenges of, and lessons learned from, advancing to a management level position in an engineering oriented company.
“The one thing that never changes,” author Alan C. Tribble writes, “is that change is inevitable, and the best example of that is the reorganization that happens within every large company, from time to time.”
He also observes that companies tend to rotate between program focused organizations, with team members supporting one program (or one customer) aligned in the same management chain; and skill focused organizations, where technical professionals having similar skill sets are aligned in the same organization, and loaned out to work on different programs.
“The best managers can function in either environment, and can leverage the pros and cons of either approach,” Tribble says.
In Vol. 2, Tribble explains the different types of management jobs, (e.g., engineering management, program management, business development management, etc.) that are typical career-growth opportunities for engineers. He offers advice on how to work within an organization, as well as specific recommendations for technical personnel preparing to transition to management.
Tribble also examines his own personal motivation for wanting to progress from one position to another, the people and factors that influenced his career choices, and he gives thoughts on how to work within an organization.
“Change is inevitable,” says Tribble, “appreciate the principle of creative destruction. If you refuse to change the way you do your job, the job will change without you-and you may be left behind.”
1 October through 15 November, IEEE members can get a free download of Tribble’s Shaping an Engineering Career-Book 3/Vol. 2: Advancing to Management.
Simply go to https://ieeeusa.org/product/shaping-an-engineering-career-book-3-advancing-to-management-vol-1/. Log in with your IEEE Account, add the book to your cart and use promo code OCTFREE16 at checkout.
Georgia C. Stelluto is IEEE-USA’s Publishing Manager and Manager/Editor of IEEE-USA eBooks.