Engineer Your Own Success: 7 Key Elements to Creating an Extraordinary Engineering Career


Focusing on basic skills and tips for career enhancement, Engineer Your Own Success is a guide to improving efficiency and performance in any engineering field. It imparts valuable organization tips, communication advice, networking tactics, and practical assistance for preparing for the PE exam—every necessary skill for success. Authored by a highly renowned career coach, this book is a battle plan for climbing the rungs of any engineering ladder.
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Engineer Your Own Success: 7 Key Elements to Creating an Extraordinary Engineering Career

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Focusing on basic skills and tips for career enhancement, Engineer Your Own Success is a guide to improving efficiency and performance in any engineering field. It imparts valuable organization tips, communication advice, networking tactics, and practical assistance for preparing for the PE exam—every necessary skill for success. Authored by a highly renowned career coach, this book is a battle plan for climbing the rungs of any engineering ladder.
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Meet the Author

Anthony Fasano P.E., is the founder of Powerful Purpose Associates and is known in the engineering industry as the engineering career coach because he has helped countless engineers create extraordinary careers. After a successful engineering career, Anthony transitioned his career from designing to inspiring engineers. The techie turned talker has been referred to by many of his seminar attendees as "the Tony Robbins of the engineering industry" and has been profiled in newspapers and magazines from the Wall Street Journal to the Bergen Record to the New York Professional Engineer, as well as being featured on Boston's Civil Engineering Today television show.
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Table of Contents

A Note From The Series Editor xiii

Acknowledgments xv

Foreword xvii

Preface xix

Introduction: Use This Book Strategically 1


1 Building a Winning Résumé 5

1.1 Building a Winning Résumé (Online and Offline) 5

1.2 There Is One Key Factor to a Great Résumé 6

1.3 The Importance of Customizing Your Résumé 6

1.4 There Is a Formula to Building a Winning Résumé 7

1.5 Determining the Proper Length of a Résumé 8

1.6 Effectively Show Non-engineering Experience on Your Résumé 12

1.7 The Importance of Honesty During the Interview Process 13

1.8 Seven Steps to Creating a LinkedIn Profile That Can Land a Job 14

1.9 Your LinkedIn Profile and Your Résumé Should Be Perfect Professional Snapshots 16

1.10 Key Points to Remember 18

2 Landing and Acing an Engineering Job Interview 19

2.1 Leverage LinkedIn Groups to Land a Job Interview 19

2.2 Understanding Prospective Employers and Their Needs 20

2.3 Interview Research and Preparation 22

2.4 Interview Etiquette and Attire 23

2.5 Performing During the Actual Interview 24

2.6 The Follow-Up to the Interview 25

2.7 Jobs Can Affect Your PE License 26

2.8 Key Points to Remember 26


3 Career Goals Act as Your Destination 31

3.1 Career Goals Act as Your Destination 31

3.2 Start by Defining “Success” 32

3.3 Define Your Values 33

3.4 Ask Yourself Where Why What How and Who 34

3.5 More on Why 35

3.6 Think Big and Then Think BIGGER! 36

3.7 Formulate and Prioritize Your Goals 37

3.8 Be SMART and Use Small Steps for Big Results 37

3.9 Let Your Definition of Success Guide You 40

3.10 Motivate Yourself to Pursue Your Goals 41

3.11 Time to Celebrate! 42

3.12 Key Points to Remember 42

4 Obtain Credentials That Will Help You to Reach Your Goals 45

4.1 Credentials Bring You Credibility 45

4.2 Set Yourself Apart from Others 46

4.3 Recognizing the Difference between Patience and Procrastination 47

4.4 Exam Preparation: Start With the End in Mind 48

4.5 Tips for Approaching the PE Exam 49

4.5.1 Take the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam as Soon as Possible 49

4.5.2 Start the PE Exam Application Process as Early as Possible 50

4.5.3 Submit the Application as Soon as Possible 51

4.5.4 Don’t Take the Exam Just to See What It Contains 51

4.5.5 Take a Review Course Whether You Want to or Not 52

4.5.6 Ask Others What Worked for Them 52

4.5.7 Bring the Right Materials to the Exam 53

4.5.8 The Day of the Exam 54

4.5.9 The Day After the Exam 55

4.5.10 Credentialing Processes around the World 55

4.6 If You Fall Off the Horse Get Right Back On 55

4.7 Master’s in Engineering or Business Administration? 56

4.8 Awards Are Underrated 58

4.9 Take Advantage of Company Benefits 58

4.10 Key Points to Remember 59

5 Find and Become a Mentor 61

5.1 The Many Faces of a Mentor 61

5.2 Finding a Mentoring Program and Selecting the Right Mentor 62

5.2.1 Try to Select Someone from Your Specific Discipline 63

5.2.2 Consider Your Level of Comfort 64

5.2.3 Don’t Settle on the First One That Comes Along 64

5.3 The Mentoring Relationship for Protégés 64

5.3.1 Establish Levels of Confidentiality 65

5.3.2 Set Expectations for Mutual Accountability 65

5.4 The Importance of Accountability 66

5.5 Getting the Most from Your Mentor 67

5.6 Become a Mentor 67

5.7 Selecting the Right Protégé 68

5.8 Being the Best Mentor You Can Be 69

5.9 How to Graciously End a Mentoring Relationship 70

5.10 Actions to Avoid for Mentors and Protégés 71

5.11 Key Points to Remember 71

6 Become a Great Communicator 73

6.1 In Today’s World Communication Is a Whole Different Ball Game 73

6.2 Project/Team Communication Starts In House 74

6.3 Communicate Early and Often 75

6.4 How to (Almost) Explain Rocket Science to a Nontechnical Person 76

6.5 Honesty Really Is the Best Policy 77

6.6 How You Say Something Is Just as Important as What You Say 79

6.7 Public Speaking: The Ultimate Differentiator 80

6.8 How to Improve Your Public Speaking Skills 82

6.9 Confidence Encourages Communication 84

6.10 Sometimes Listening Is the Most Powerful Form of Communication 85

6.11 Responsiveness Impacts Reputation 86

6.12 Key Points to Remember 87

7 The Ability to Network 89

7.1 What Is Networking and Why Is It Important? 89

7.2 Secrets to Building Lasting Relationships 90

7.2.1 Their Interests Should Interest You 91

7.2.2 Listen to Others 91

7.2.3 Relationship Value Is a Two-Way Street 92

7.3 Network in Your Industry through Professional Societies and Organizations 92

7.4 Finding and Developing Project Leads Gets You Noticed 94

7.5 Opportunities Have No Limits 96

7.6 You Are Never Too Young (or Old!) to Network 97

7.7 Overcoming Low Confidence and Language Barriers 98

7.8 How to Deal with a Boss or Supervisor Who Is Holding You Back 99

7.9 Interoffice Politics and Workplace Relationships 101

7.10 Monitoring and Controlling Your Professional Image in Social Networking 102

7.10.1 Controlling Your Facebook Twitter and Google+ Messaging 102

7.10.2 Maximizing LinkedIn 103

7.11 Key Points to Remember 104

8 Stay Focused Organized Productive and Stress-Free 107

8.1 The Three Rules to Time Management and Work–Family Balance 107

8.2 Rule #1: Be Organized in All of Your Efforts 108

8.2.1 Deploy a Minimalist Mind-Set 109

8.2.2 Use the Old (and New) Trusty Notepad 110

8.2.3 Manage the Never-Ending Pile of Business Cards 112

8.2.4 Remember That Missed Appointments Equal Missed Opportunities 114 Use Your Calendar Religiously 114 Fill in All Pertinent Information 114 Confirm All Meetings 115

8.2.5 Avoid the “I Am Not Sure What Color My Desk Is” Syndrome 115

8.2.6 Prepare for Your Annual Performance Review 116

8.3 Rule #2: Stay Focused and Productive 118

8.3.1 Create Consistency through Routines 118

8.3.2 Establish Your Most Important Tasks Early Each Day 119

8.3.3 Complete or Assign Your MITs First Thing Each Day 120

8.3.4 Control Your Own Schedule by Breaking Bad E-Mail Habits 121

8.3.5 Slow Things Down through Meditation 123

8.3.6 Focus Intently on What You Are Doing 123

8.4 Rule #3: Avoid Stress and Worry at All Costs 124

8.4.1 Simplification through Elimination 125

8.4.2 Empty Your E-Mail Inbox Twice per Day 125

8.4.3 A Good To-Do List Can Work Wonders 126

8.4.4 Keep Your Body (and Mind) in Shape 128

8.4.5 Eat and Sleep Well 129

8.5 Work–Family Balance Is Achievable 130

8.5.1 Define Work–Family Balance 130

8.5.2 Build Flexibility into Your Career 131

8.5.3 Be Present in the Moment 132

8.6 Key Points to Remember 133

9 Be a Leader Every Day 135

9.1 You Are a Leader 135

9.2 The Power of Positivity 136

9.3 Great Leaders See Only Opportunity 137

9.4 Understanding Your Role 139

9.5 Delegate Delegate and Then Delegate Some More 140

9.6 Earn the Trust and Respect of Your Team 142

9.7 There Is No “I” in Team 143

9.8 Key Points to Remember 144

10 The Time Is Now: Take Action 147

10.1 The Time Is Now 147

10.2 Do Not Settle for Less 148

10.3 You Must Make Time for Your Own Development 148

10.4 Think Like an Entrepreneur in Your Career 149

10.5 Take Action 150

10.6 Key Points to Remember 150

11 Tools and Templates for Setting and Achieving Your Career Goals 153

11.1 Template for a Winning Résumé 154

11.2 Action Exercise Worksheet—Define Your Values 155

11.3A Action Exercise Worksheet—Define Your End Results in One Year 155

11.3B Action Exercise Worksheet—Define Your End Results in Two Years 156

11.3C Action Exercise Worksheet—Define Your End Results in Five Years 157

11.4 Action Exercise Worksheet—Formulate and Prioritize Goals 158

11.5 Action Exercise Worksheet—SMART Process to Achieve Goal #1 158

11.5 Action Exercise Worksheet—SMART Process to Achieve Goal #2 159

11.5 Action Exercise Worksheet—SMART Process to Achieve Goal #3 160

11.6 Action Exercise Worksheet 161

11.7 Action Exercise Worksheet 162

11.8 Action Exercise Worksheet 163

12 Engineering Your Own Success Stories from Practicing Engineers 165

12.1 Planning to Be an Extraordinary Engineer 165

12.2 Realizing a Dream of Becoming a Structural Engineer 166

12.3 A Big Step Forward for an Aspiring World-Class Engineer 167

12.4 A Boost of Confidence to Spur Maximum Potential 168

12.5 The Push Needed to Take Action 169

12.6 I Decided to Start Planning for Me in My Career 170

13 The Best of the Blog 171

13.1 What Is Your Ultimate Career Goal? (September 10 2010) 171

13.2 From Design Engineer to Manager in 2012: You Can Do It! (January 4 2012) 172

13.3 Twelve Rules of Zen Monks That May Help You Reduce Stress and Improve Quality in Your Engineering Career (June 5 2012) 174

13.4 It’s My Birthday! Who I Am Away from Work and Important Lessons That I Have Learned (August 26 2012) 176

13.5 What to Do in Your Engineering Career When You Don’t Know What to Do (May 30 2013) 178

13.6 Preparation Is Key to Engineering Balance in Your Career and Life (July 25 2013) 179

13.7 Six Ways to Reinvigorate Your Engineering Career Development (July 31 2013) 181

13.8 The Only Stability You Have in Your Engineering Career Is You (September 24 2013) 182

13.9 Be Cautious Even When You Find One of the Highest-Paying Engineering Jobs (August 15 2013) 184

13.10 If You Set Lofty Goals You Will Engineer Their Reality (October 22 2013) 185

13.11 Seven Keys to Success for Engineers and Alaskan Sled Dogs (November 14 2013) 187

13.12 Do All Engineers Need to Check Things Off to Feel Productive? (December 11 2013) 188

13.13 How to Not Mess Up Your Annual Review for Engineers (December 24 2013) 189

13.14 Three Steps to Becoming a Partner in an Engineering Firm Directly from an Engineering Partner (February 5 2014) 191

Appendix: Recommended Reading 193

About the Author 199

Index 201

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