Once upon a time…
Veteran author and educator Harry T. Roman wrote a career guidance and development e-book–especially for young engineers. Packed with solid, practical advice, Tips for Young Engineers offers 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.
Now, IEEE-USA is pleased to offer this e-book as a new, free, Audio Book – as our January selection for members.
In nine concise chapters, one for each major facet of developing a technical career, the author discusses specific steps young engineers can take to advance themselves — for both immediate and long-term benefits. For example, Roman encourages engineering professionals to build their own personal contacts database.
“It doesn’t matter whether these people work for your organization, or another company,” Roman advises. “Face facts. It’s not only about what you know, but who you know.”
He describes it as “a journal of the people you meet”; and Roman says it should contain such things as contact information, subjects discussed, expertise — and perhaps some notes about what strikes you as interesting about them.” He recommends starting a contacts database when beginning a new job, or embarking on a major assignment, such as a joint project with other companies and their staffs.
Roman strongly believes young engineers must put a high priority on developing good communications skills. Such skills include taking good notes at conferences and meetings; then providing clear, informative meeting or event reports to colleagues and managers back at the office.
“My company guided young engineers very carefully,” Roman said, “and brought them along in the time-honored tradition of learning the ropes with an experienced engineer close by.” However, he cautions that today’s young technical professionals “will likely change jobs a number of times during their engineering careers.” Such transitions place the need for initiative and resourcefulness squarely on young engineers’ shoulders.
Roman says another aspect of honing your communications abilities is learning to give oral presentations before bosses 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,” he says. Roman believes to survive in today’s global economy, engineers must be articulate.
“Your presentation skills are always going to be on display, even when you’re being interviewed,” he points out. “It may just be the greatest skill you’ll ever learn!”
Roman also advises if you should find yourself visiting field locations, or sites where engineers are testing special prototypes or pilot facilities – to make sure to document what you have seen and learned carefully. He encourages capturing such documentation in both text and photographic formats. “These reports can prove to be most valuable later,” Roman says, “and are a powerful way to improve your ability to write about and explain complex engineering systems — an immensely prized skill for engineers.”
From 1 January through 15 February, IEEE Members can download their free Audio Book by going to: https://ieeeusa.org/product/tips-for-young-engineers/. Right-click on the download link and save the file to your device. No promotion code is necessary this month!
Don’t miss this great opportunity!
“Listen to the engineers with gray hair, for they have much to teach you. They have walked among the rocks and boulders, and know how to climb the steep inclines.”
~Harry T. Roman
Georgia C. Stelluto is IEEE-USA’s Publishing Manager; Manager/Editor of IEEE-USA E-BOOKS; InFocus Department Editor for IEEE-USA InSight; and Co-Editor of the IEEE-USA Conference Brief.