You’re feeling pretty good about your engineering career right now. You like where you are. You like the work you’re doing. The people are great.
But something tells you that you want more. You feel like you’re still pretty far away from your vision. You want to reach your potential. You’re certainly not there yet.
And you’re anxious to get moving.
You want to be making more significant progress toward your engineering dream career.
So there’s a constant whirring in your head. You’re trying to come up with what you need to work on to make that happen.
Where you need to put more effort. Where it is that you’re not working hard enough.
It’s about knowing what it is that really gets you to your dream career, and putting yourself at the center of it.
3 Steps to Accelerate the Journey Toward Your Career Vision
Here are 3 steps to accelerate the journey toward your vision. What it really takes to get you to your dream career:
- Create Your Vision
Start by defining what your dream career is. This is obvious. But a clear idea of your vision is key. It may not be very detailed at first. In fact a career vision is rarely complete, because you’ll be constantly refining it.
A career vision is more than a plan for what you’ll work on in the next year. It’s a fantastical idea for what you want to accomplish in your engineering lifetime.
If you don’t know what that vision is, start building one. Set aside time to focus on it. And check out Episode 90“How to Create Your Audacious Change-the-World Engineering Career Vision” for more tips.
If you want help defining your energetic center, be sure to set up a strategy session with me.
- Take On Roles That Allow You to Shine
Simply put, this is about knowing your strengths and leveraging them. Look for tasks that need your specific talent. And find ways to get involved.
BTW, an assessment of your strengths and talents would be very helpful here. 2 methods I like for women engineers are CliftonStrengths and the Enneagram.
If you’d like me to help you with those assessments and coach you on leveraging the results, contact methrough my website.
- Put Yourself in the Way of Success
This means to be aware of what’s ahead. And then get involved with what aligns with your vision and strengths.
Pay attention to opportunities that may be coming down the pike. Like,
- Find out where the funding is going.
- See what technologies are emerging.
- Notice what customers are asking for.
These are all good indicators of what’s ahead.
Then figure out how you can be part of it. Join in or ask to be assigned to relevant tasks.
These 3 steps channel your energy into where you want to go and who you want to be. Focusing here ensures a more direct path to your engineering career vision.
Next, here are a few more tips to propel you faster along that path.
More Tips on Smoothing the Path to Your Dream Career
A. Seek to invest in yourself through coaching and training.
Coaching will get you farther in your career than you ever thought you could go. A coach will help you:
- Understand your options and be clear on what you really want
- Bring out your own ideas and translate them into a viable strategy
- Get started, get momentum, and take action.
Here’s more information about my coaching program.
Technical or professional development training will keep you current and sharp. Look for courses, webinars, and info meetings about what’s coming up in your organization.
B. Keep sight of the big picture.
You’re a conscientious engineer. Attentive to your everyday work. But that doesn’t necessarily keep you informed of the big picture.
Like me, you probably need reminders to get out of your head. To look up now and then and see what’s going on.
Seek out influential people and key leaders who can give you the scoop on where the organization is heading. Stay informed on the business side as well as the engineering side.
C. Leverage your mentors and network.
Share your career vision with them and ask for their perspectives. Tap into them to give you encouragement and affirmation.
D. Follow your bliss.
Stay on your path. Keep following your vision. Update it however and whenever you wish. But keep going after it.
Most people stay where they’re content and don’t pursue more fulfillment. Don’t let them talk you out of it. Don’t let them drag you down.
The farther you get down the path to your vision, the more motivated you’ll be. Once you gain momentum you’ll want to keep going.
Your abilities will expand. Your talents will be far reaching. Your skills will advance. And you’ll be able to apply them to greater challenges and at higher levels.
That’s where you’re needed. Where you’ll make a difference. Where you’ll have influence.
Where you ultimately want to be.
Next time on Her Engineering Career Podcast we’ll explore some of the stealthy ways your career progress is being stalled. Be sure to tune in for Episode 101.