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Women in Business: How to Take Your Career in Engineering to the Next Level

Women in Business_ How to Take Your Career in Engineering to the Next Level from North Carolina Lifestyle Blogger Adventures of Frugal Mom

For a large part of its history, engineering has been a male-dominated industry — from Alexander Graham Bell to Elon Musk, a plethora of men have made a mark on their respective sectors over the years. But this trend is changing. More and more women have risen to the top of this field in the last century, and for a good reason.

The work of Hedy Lamarr laid the infrastructure for cellular communication, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi, Patricia Bath developed technology that played an integral role in the treatment of cataracts, and the likes of Marissa Mayer and Debbie Sterling continue to produce inspirational work on a day-to-day basis.

All of these women shared or continue to share the same all-important trait — a desire to be the best. Lamarr, Bath, Mayer, and Sterling got into engineering in the first place so that they could take the industry by storm, not merely play a smaller role in it.

Rest assured, if you work hard enough, you can carry on this trailblazing feat. You can be the next female to etch her name into the engineering history books.

If you want to realize your full potential as an engineer, you are going to need to put the following advice into practice. Here are seven things that you must do to take your career in engineering to the next level:

Hone your craft

Rest assured, the fact that you are a woman will no longer hold you back from being able to hone your craft. If you want to take full advantage of all the exciting possibilities that you now have at your disposal, you must embrace every opportunity that comes your way.

One thing that you can do to hone your craft is to enroll yourself in a cutting-edge engineering program, if you’re looking to get more into the commercial side of things you could also consider researching a general contractor license by searching online for “what is a general contractor license?“. Once you sign yourself up for such a course, you will no doubt learn a whole host of amazing things that will be sure to benefit your career in the future.

On the MSE-Advanced Mobility program provided by Kettering Online, for example, you will be taught all about the nuances of both operations management and supply chain management. In turn, this will open up many doors for you in a whole host of sectors. Sports, tech, beauty — these are just a few of the fields that need strong engineers to come in and manage their supply chain operations. To find out more about this type of course and how you stand to benefit from it, be sure to click here.

Exude supreme confidence

No matter how skilled you are as an engineer, outdated gender prejudices may still hold you back in certain, isolated situations. Should you ever encounter this sort of hurdle, you must not let it deter you on your road to success. You can overcome whatever challenges lay ahead; you need to exude supreme self-confidence. This will showcase the fact that you are undeterred by what other people have to say or think about you, and it will help you to garner a reputation for yourself as being an authoritative figure in your field.

If you want to exude supreme confidence in your place of work on a day-to-day basis, you must:

1. Use open gestures and let your movements mirror what you are saying

2. Retain eye contact with everybody that you speak to

3. Stand/sit up straight

4. Smile while you talk

5. Refrain from fidgeting

6. Greet people with a solid handshake

7. Do not put your hands in your pockets

8. Stop using filler words

Never be afraid to step out of your comfort zone

The world of engineering pushes forward at a frighteningly fast pace. If you want to keep your finger on the pulse of the latest trends in your field, you must constantly look for ways to expand your expertise. There are many things that you can do to perform this all-important task, one of the most effective being to step out of your comfort zone. Once you push yourself to try new engineering styles and techniques, you will be sure to learn more about your field and, more importantly, yourself.

To step out of your comfort zone, you must:

1. Always embrace the opportunity to work with new people, in new environments

2. Value feeling uncomfortable over feeling safe

3. Never be too quick to dismiss new, radical ideas and be sure to consider everybody’s point of view

4. Learn to say ‘yes’ more often

5. Attend as many conferences that are relevant to your field as possible so you can expand your network

Cultivate strong connections with your consumers

The engineering tasks that you perform on a day-to-day should be tailored around the wants and needs of your target audience. If they are not, you will be incapable of providing a service that is befitting of today and, in turn, your work will be sure to dry up.

Quite simply, without your consumers, you would be nothing. It is for this reason why you must seek to cultivate strong interpersonal connections with each customer that you deal with.

To perform this crucial task, you must:

1. Resolve to continuously learn more and more about what makes your consumers tick

2. Seek to anticipate your consumer needs at every turn

3. Never take a one-size-fits-all approach to deal with customers

4. Make an effort to interact with your customers, even if doing so distracts you from your engineering tasks

5. Increase the amount of value that you provide to your customers

6. Enable easy and efficient information sharing across the entire buying process

Monitor your performance

You are never going to take your career in engineering to the next level if you allow yourself to stagnate in the same position for too long. If you are to reach your end goal, you must be always moving forward.

To aid you in your bid to progress and grow in your field, you should make an effort to monitor your performance at all conceivable points. This will help you to pinpoint where you might have gone wrong in the past, which in turn will help you to rectify your mistakes in the future into the future.

Monitoring your own performance is nowhere near as easy as monitoring the progression of other people. As a human, you will naturally find it difficult to look upon yourself subjectively and critically. So, do not be disappointed if you struggle to take on this all-important challenge at first. With enough practice and patience, you will no doubt become an effective self-performance monitor in no time.

If you want to speed up this process, be sure to put the following advice into practice:

1. Decide upon the metrics (do you want to increase the number of devices that you create, do you want to hit more deadlines, or do you want to play a more important role in the supply chain process?)

2. Take some time to self-reflect at the end of each working day

3. Re-read your job description (even if you have been in the position for many years) and see if you are still hitting the targets that were set for you right at the beginning of your employment

4. Seek feedback from people that you work with regularly

5. Make use of cutting-edge analytics tools

Understand business

Being an engineer will only get you so far in the engineering industry. If you are to succeed in this field truly, you also need to garner a thorough understanding of business. This will help you to make profitable decisions when taking on different projects, which in turn will aid you in your attempt to increase your return on investment (ROI). For advice on what you must do to increase your business acumen, be sure to check out this helpful article on the matter.

Seek out mentors

As stated at the top of this article, there are a plethora of females both past and present who have made waves in the field of engineering. This means, then, that you will not have any shortage of people to turn to when you attempt to find yourself a mentor! The female engineer that you take inspiration from does not necessarily have to have worked in your niche sector. If you find a woman that inspires you on a personal level as well as a professional one, you will receive the guidance you need to truly un-tap your potential as an engineer.

If you are a female engineer, you should not just feel happy to have a job in this industry — you should actively attempt to reach the top of it! Fortunately, you are living in a world full of exciting engineering possibilities, and you need to take advantage of every single opportunity that comes your way.

Want to take your career as an engineer to the next level? If so, be sure to put all of the helpful guidance laid out above into practice.

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