You’re struggling to stay on a career trajectory. You’re struggling to follow a path leading to your engineering career vision.
Maybe you’ve been on a path. But have lost your way. Or don’t think it’s the right one anymore.
Maybe your path is aimless right now. And you can’t seem to find the right trajectory for you.
As you know I’m always pushing you to have goals. To create your vision and point your career in that direction.
And that’s because you’ll go farther in your career faster if you have such a plan.
But I know you’re thinking it’s not as easy as I make it sound. It’s hard to know what you want. To set goals and find your career trajectory. And to stay on it once you find it.
This is what I want to help you with today. I have a bunch of tips and insights on taking the struggle out and getting yourself back on track.
Getting Back on Track in Your Engineering Career
First, here are a few things to remember as you’re finding your engineering career trajectory:
- It takes time to find your career trajectory. Few people find it right off the bat. And many change directions at least once.
- It’s okay if the destination of your trajectory is uncertain. It’s okay if your current vision doesn’t feel like your dream career. It’s the right one for now.
- Your career trajectory rarely has permanence. Because your vision is rarely complete and absolute. It’ll change a few times. At least. And thus your trajectory will change course and direction.
Your Engineering Career Vision is Your Destination
Next, figure out where you want your career trajectory to eventually take you. In other words, think about your career destiny and create a vision.
Several of my podcast episodes can help you with this. For example,
- Episode 5 (Tips for Creating Your Engineering Career Vision) will give you how-to guidance
- Same with Episode 42 (Divining Your Engineering Career Destiny)
- And Episode 90 (How to Create Your Audacious Change-the-World Engineering Career Vision)
- A couple others to check out are Episode 100 about getting to your dream career
- And Episode 34 about owning your career vision.
I want to emphasize that coming up with your career vision is not something you should force.
Instead, make it a continuous process to carefully craft it. Modify and refine it as you learn more and gain more experience.
Discerning the Right Engineering Career Trajectory for You
- What aligns with me and my energetic center?
- Where can I apply my strengths?
- Where is there significant opportunity for me?
- Where can I challenge and stretch myself?
- What matches my skills and passion without being too limiting or constraining?
- What will allow me to make a significant contribution?
- What will be fulfilling and bring me joy?
And btw, I encourage you to focus more on the what than the how. I mean, don’t eliminate a career pathway just because you can’t see how you’ll make that journey right now.
Simply match your desires to the possibilities. You’ll be able to figure out the how later.
Because if you limit yourself to only those possibilities that seem feasible right now, you’ll be losing opportunities for contribution and impact. And cutting way back on your level of career fulfillment. So watch out for that.
Detours from Your Career Trajectory Can Be Beneficial
Consider taking a detour from your trajectory – or your trajectory search – to learn more about yourself and the kind of work you like to do. There are lots of detours that can be beneficial. Like,
- Signing up for a broadening assignment
- Taking time out to invest in training
- Accepting an interim position
These options expand your experience and give you more data to help find your trajectory. Even an unexpected temporary assignment can give you good input for your career path decision.
Taking Action toward Your Target Career Trajectory
Once you have a better idea of the career path you want to follow, make a plan to pursue it.
Explore your prospects. Find where you can apply your strengths and skills. And start making connections that lead to opportunities.
Once you’re engineering career journey is moving along that trajectory you’ll be re-energized.
Next time on Her Engineering Career Podcast, we’ll take a look at recognition: Getting recognition and getting the right kind of recognition. Be sure to tune in for Episode 107.