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Show Notes

Today’s topic follows up from what we talked about last time in Episode 5. Go back and listen if you want to learn the hows and whys of creating your career vision. 

Now that you have a career vision that you are continuously defining and refining, why would you not communicate it to others? Many people don’t. In my experience, many women don’t. 

Maybe we think it needs to be a secret. Or that it’s no one else’s business. Or maybe we want to protect ourselves. But if you want to get ahead, and if you want to fulfill your vision, you need to share it with others. 

3 Reasons Why Women Engineers Don’t Share Their Career Visions

I think, based on my own career, that there are 3 basic reasons why women don’t communicate their career visions: because of self-doubt, because we think everyone already knows what our vision is, and because of naysayers.

  1. Self-Doubt. Your vision will change quite a bit throughout your career. This is a good thing. But with this uncertainty about your vision, you may doubt your ability to carry it out. It’s hard to state your vision with confidence when you’re not quite sure how long it will stay the same. 

When you state your vision out loud, you become more committed to it – also a good thing. But this commitment can be scary. Plus, saying it out loud feels boastful. 

Sharing your vision, though, is not boastful. It’s an important and necessary part of your career. It’s just that your self-doubt has a way of telling you otherwise.

  1. Everyone Already Knows What My Vision Is. Believing this is a common mistake. People don’t know about you unless you tell them. And what they think they know about you is based on assumptions and their own perspectives. 

You have to communicate your vision so that you can get the right messages to the right people.

  1. Naysayers. We don’t want naysayers. We don’t want negative feedback. We don’t want people to call our visions bad or judge our ability to carry them out. 

But getting feedback on your vision is necessary. And there’s nothing wrong with getting negative feedback as long as it’s constructive. 

Reasons Why Women Engineers Should Share Their Career Visions

There are clear benefits to sharing your career vision with others.

When you put your vision out there, as Paul Coelho would say, “all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” Putting it out there:

These are all great reasons for communicating your vision. They all lead to owning your career, making it what you want it to be, and having the impact you want to have. 

How to Communicate Your Engineering Career Vision

Generally the people you should share your career vision with are your boss, your boss’s peers, your boss’s boss, colleagues and other supportive people in your network. 

It’s a good idea to include your vision in your professional development plan. That way you can discuss it frequently with your bosses and mentors.

But simply sharing your vision during every day conversations is beneficial, too. You never know where these conversations will lead.

One good way to communicate your vision is to put the basic ideas into a paragraph and memorize it, kind of like an elevator speech. Then you can use it for various meetings, discussions, and networking events.

You can include, for example:

Practice communicating your vision to your close colleagues at first. Then branch out. Make it an experiment and take note of the reactions you get. See where it leads you. 

Soon it will be second nature to talk about your vision. You’ll get more comfortable with it. Communicating it will improve the vision itself and become an excellent tool for managing your career.

I hope these insights are helpful for you. If you’d like some support in learning how to communicate your career vision effectively, consider having a strategy session with me. 

We can focus in on your vision, come up with an approach to communicating it that applies to your work situation, and enable your career to leap forward.

Recap: This episode is all about communicating your engineering career vision. We began with the reasons why women don’t communicate their career visions.

Then we discussed the benefits of sharing – the ways that communicating your vision help you achieve it. And we ended with some guidance on specifically how to go about communicating your engineering career vision.

Coming up on Her Engineering Career Podcast, we will shift gears from looking at your career overall to focusing in on some individual skills. Next time our topic will be about learning the skill of speaking up. Be sure to tune in to Episode 7.