To be successful in the engineering field, you need to meet the technical requirements of the job, but you also must complete your projects on time. The best approach to advance in your career is to impress your engineering supervisor with your technical skills, but also with your work ethic and motivation. Show initiative at work and help your supervisor to be successful. Making your boss look good is an effective way to impress him and work toward your own success.
Make a conscious effort to develop your skills and progress in your career. This is beneficial to you and will demonstrate to your supervisor that you are motivated and willing to work hard. There are many career development options within engineering, including engineering management, technical training or project management. Take advantage of career development programs within your company. If your company doesn’t have a structured program, it’s up to you to define goals within your job and set a path forward. Be sure your efforts don’t get in the way of finishing day-to-day jobs on time.
It’s best to propose solutions to your supervisor, rather than just identifying the problems. Some managers will feel that you’re wasting their time if all you talk about are problems and ask how to address them. For example, if your mechanical performance tests are failing, seek out advice from others before approaching your supervisor. You will impress your supervisor if you can highlight issues and present several ways to resolve the problem. Your supervisor may not always agree with your approach, but your effort will demonstrate your ability to think critically and be results-oriented.
Almost every project you are assigned will have a due date that has been set by your supervisor. Due dates are usually tied to commitments your supervisor has made to customers, managers or other colleagues in the company. For example, if you work in product design and development, your assignments might be tied to a new product launch or customer delivery. Meeting your assigned timelines will set the precedent that you are effective with time management and are efficient in your position. If you are struggling to meet a deadline, bring this to your supervisor’s attention as early as possible. Occasionally asking for more time will not be looked down upon, but regularly missing deadlines will be.
The field of engineering is based on problem solving. Your college training will set you up with the skills to improve and solve problems. Use these skills in the workplace to make continuous improvement in your department, even if you aren’t asked by your manager. Continuous improvement is a management approach that applies ongoing, incremental changes that make products and processes better. Taking the initiative to improve a process or working conditions benefits your entire department, and your supervisor will be impressed by your efforts. Take a balanced approach with continuous improvement so you don’t interfere with your assigned projects. Getting behind with your workload at the sacrifice of continuous improvement will not impress your manager.
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