As you’re progressing in your engineering career, you’re getting a feel for how it fits you. If you have a career that suits you well, you know it. You’re feeling motivated and purposeful.
If you and your career aren’t quite matched up yet, you’re feeling a little more struggle.
If you and your engineering career aren’t quite matched up yet, then your work isn’t where you want it to be. You’re feeling more tension in your job. It seems uneasy. The road’s a little bumpier.
This isn’t a bad thing. It’s part of your journey. As you get more aligned, the road smooths out. You and your engineering career can be a great match. It’s not only possible, it’s probable.
But this match-up rarely happens on its own. If you’re just waiting for it to happen, if you’re just waiting to get to that point, you might wait a long time. You have to seek out that match. You have to take charge and direct your career.
And that means align what you do to what’s important to you.
It makes perfect sense. It’d be awesome to have a career that is aligned with what’s important to you. You’re thinking, why don’t I just do that? Why doesn’t everyone just do that?
Well, it’s easier said than done. It can be tricky, for a few reasons:
- At first you may be spending more effort trying to match yourself to your career. Not the other way around. That’s pretty typical.
- You might not know yet what’s most important to you. You may still be trying to figure that out – no matter where you are in your career.
- It’s challenging to find an organization – or a place within an organization – that’s a match for you.
- Your match isn’t constant. You grow and change. And your career evolves.
How to Match Your Engineering Career with You
An exact match is rare. But you want to be striving for that. You always want to be finding ways to match what’s important to you with the career opportunities available.
Here are 5 steps to help you work toward matching your career with you:
- Know yourself. Learn your strengths, your likes and dislikes. Define your energetic center. This will give you the baseline for the remaining steps in the process.
- Continuously look for and identify what’s important to you. Put some thought into this. Because this is what takes you to that feeling of fulfillment. That feeling that you’re having an impact and making a difference.
- Create your career vision. And communicate it. Your vision gives you direction. Communicating itlets people know your plans and wishes, which is so important for getting the right career opportunities.
- Formulate your own definition of career success based on what’s important to you. So many people will try to give you that definition. But it has to be yours. You have to own it.
- Find ways to translate your definition of success into your work. A simple statement for something that’s not simple.
I’d love to help you with this process. If alignment is what’s lacking in your career, sign up for a strategy session with me and we can work on a plan to get you on track.
All of this takes time. It’s a journey. It’s not something you do in addition to your job. It’s a process that you incorporate into your job. Into your career.
Evolving to an Engineering Career that Fits You
You’ll continuously revisit and revise your vision. You’ll go back and reflect on your definition of success and make adjustments. You yourself will grow and change as you gain more insight and experience. As your ideas grow and morph.
What’s important to you evolves as you, your environment and the world evolve.
There are people who choose not to be intentional in this regard. People who prefer to just drift along where outside forces take them. You can do that too. Realistically we all do a bit of drifting now and then. Your resulting career may work out just fine.
But if you want to maximize your career experience, get the most out of it, have the opportunity to be your best self and make an optimal contribution, you’re more likely to do so if you take charge.
The time and effort are worth it. If your career is aligned with you, you’ll feel your professional power. The closer you can come to that alignment, the more confident and balanced you are.
That match-up brings motivation and purpose. You’ll love your job. You’ll go farther in your career. You’ll reach your goals faster. And you’ll become the engineer and leader you want to be.
Next time on Her Engineering Career Podcast, we’ll talk about taking greatest advantage of your strengths to amplify your engineering and leadership talents. Be sure to tune in for Episode 69.