Discover these seven little known tips especially for engineers to help boost your career. There's more to being a successful engineer than being good at maths and science. Regardless of whether you graduated recently or 20 years ago, there are tips and strategies you can employ to increase your chances of career advancement, some of which might be surprising. So let's take a look at some of these tips that all engineers can use to assure themselves that their careers remain on the right path. 1. Get to learn the bigger picture. This one might surprise many of you, but the reality is that engineering firms are increasingly seeking out engineers who can think like business people. They want engineers who have been involved with strategy and planning and know their way around a balance sheet and income statements. All engineers need to understand how the total costs to produce your company's products affect business decisions. 2. Think outside the box. In this case, the "box" is your respective discipline. You might have gone to college to study mechanical engineering, but many of today's complex products contain software and embedded electronics so there will be times when design issues will confront you that fall outside of your technical discipline. Learn the basics of other relevant disciplines, such as electronic and software design. 3. Become a team player. Collaborative design is a part of reality for today's product development efforts and design teams have now been expanded to include more and more people, many of which are outside of engineering. All these disciplines must come together to resolve complex issues and formulate solutions to bring products to market. As a result, communication and other "soft" skills are as important as technical expertise. 4. Be an innovator and come up with new ideas Innovation in new products is what sets successful companies apart from their competitors. Always be open to new ideas, even if they come from sources outside your group. Beware of the "Not-Invented-Here" bias that exists at some companies. Companies will reward engineers who encourage innovative ideas, regardless of where they originated. 5. Be an active alum Keep in touch with your alma mater by offering to participate in technical societies to increase your networking reach and writing technical papers and/or organising technical sessions at association conferences to enhance both your experience and your company's reputation. 6. Always keep learning skills This is crucial as the tools used to do product design and analysis are constantly changing and improving. Stay ahead of the curve and seek out new assignments and opportunities to learn new technologies, sign up for training programs and make the most of company-paid educational benefits. Also, if possible, attend events put on by professional organizations, such as the American Society of Civil Engineers or the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. 7. Work on your "soft" skills. All forms of communication–written and verbal–are critical to advancement in engineering. If you're an engineer who wants to eventually advance into a management role, you'll need to be comfortable talking to customers, giving presentations and working with outside suppliers, agencies, etc. So developing these "soft" skills is vital. Toastmasters International, a non-profit organisation, is a great place to get your feet wet in public speaking. To learn more about hard & soft skills download this free whitepaper here. Want to talk further about how Precision People can help your business contact us on 0116 254 5411 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
What every engineer should discover about body language - 7 tips Body language it's something so important, yet we give it very little thought to, especially at work, whether on the shopfloor or the office. Body language actually accounts for over 55% of the overall message, with tone of voice 38% and the words you speak, just 7%. So being aware of your body language is one of the most subtle, yet important things to master at work. If you're not in tune with what your posture, facial expressions, and other nonverbal cues, you could be revealing your true feelings to your fellow work colleagues and engineers, which means potentially you could be setting yourself up failure. Here are 7 powerful tips to help you in your workplace: 1. Want to sound authoritative? Keep your voice down Before a speech or important telephone call, allow your voice to relax into its optimal pitch by keeping your lips together and making the sounds "um hum, um hum, um hum." Instead, when stating your opinion, use the authoritative arc, in which your voice starts on one note, rises in pitch through the sentence and drops back down at the end. 2. Feelings little nervous? Assume a power pose to boost your confidence Research at Harvard and Columbia Business Schools shows that simply holding your body in expansive, "high-power" poses (leaning back with hands behind the head and feet up on a desk, or standing with legs and arms stretched wide open) for as little as two minutes stimulates higher levels of testosterone—the hormone linked to power and dominance—and lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. Try this when you're feeling tentative but want to appear confident. In addition to causing hormonal shifts in both males and females, these poses lead to increased feelings of power and a higher tolerance for risk. The study also found that people are more often influenced by how they feel about you than by what you're saying. 3. To increase participation, look like you're listening If you want people to speak up, don't multitask while they do. Avoid the temptation to check your text messages, check your watch, or check out how the other participants are reacting. Instead, focus on those who are speaking by turning your head and torso to face them directly and by making eye contact. Leaning forward, nodding, and tilting your head are other nonverbal ways to show you're engaged and paying attention. It's important to hear people. It's just as important to make sure they know you are listening. 4. To encourage collaboration, remove barriers Physical obstructions are especially detrimental to collaborative efforts. Take away anything that blocks your view or forms a barrier between you and the rest of the team. Even during a coffee break, be aware that you may create a barrier by holding your cup and saucer in a way that seems deliberately to block your body or distance you from others. A senior executive told me he could evaluate his team's comfort by how high they held their coffee cups. It was his observation that the more insecure individuals felt, the higher they held their coffee. People with their hands held at waist level were more comfortable than those with hands chest high. 5. Want to improve your speech? Use your hands Brain imaging has shown that a region called Broca's area, which is important for speech production, is active not only when we're talking, but when we wave our hands. Since gesture is integrally linked to speech, gesturing as we talk can actually power up our thinking. Experiment with this and you'll find that the physical act of gesturing helps you form clearer thoughts and speak in tighter sentences with more declarative language. 6. Want to stimulate good feelings? then smile! A genuine smile not only stimulates your own sense of well-being, it also tells those around you that you are approachable, cooperative, and trustworthy. A genuine smile comes on slowly, crinkles the eyes, lights up the face, and fades away slowly. Most importantly, smiling directly influences how other people respond to you. When you smile at someone, they almost always smile in return. And, because facial expressions trigger corresponding feelings, the smile you get back actually changes that person's emotional state in a positive way. 7. Trying to get to the bottom of an issue? to learn the truth, watch people's feet When people try to control their body language, they focus primarily on facial expressions, body postures, and hand/arm gestures. Since the legs and feet are left unrehearsed, they are also where the truth can most often be found. Under stress, people will often display nervousness and anxiety through increased foot movements. Feet will fidget, shuffle, and wind around each other or around the furniture. Feet will stretch and curl to relieve tension, or even kick out in a miniaturized attempt to run away. Studies show that observers have greater success judging a person's real emotional state when they can see the entire body. You may not know it, but instinctively you've been reacting to foot gestures all your life. Keep these 7 tips in mind, the next time you're talking to your fellow engineering colleagues to see what their body language is really saying and also be aware of what your body language is revealing to other people. This article is written by Phil Walker, Recruitment Director at Precision Recruitment. Precision are specialist recruiters in the fields of engineering, technical and sales recruitment operating in the Midlands with positions nationwide. Looking for a new engineering or technical role? Check out our latest roles right here. Call us on 0116 254 5411 or email your cv to email@example.com.
Insider tips from specialist lift & escalator recruitment consultants. Are you a lift or escalator engineer thinking about a new job in 2017? Then read on to discover some useful tips to help you secure your next job. There are a number of ways that you as an engineer, can enhance your opportunities of rising into your dream job this year (sorry! Had to get at least one pun in there). 1. Firstly, an NVQ level 3 is now becoming more of a mandatory requirement for most lift companies when getting your foot in the door. Having this will dramatically increase your chances of a new job or a promotion Unfortunately, if you're an engineer who entered the industry several years ago when qualifications weren't compulsory, you may be facing the struggles and frustration of a lack of job opportunities, despite having many years of experience and knowledge behind you. So, if your company offers you the opportunity to fund the qualification or you're able to fund it yourself, this is a MUST. You will broaden your horizons and be offered far more job service roles, especially from the larger firms. Tip: If you haven't got your NVQ level 3 - try approaching smaller lift and escalator firms who sometimes don't insist on this qualification. 2. Reputation is key. The escalator and lift industry is a tight network, in other words, everybody knows everyone! Be known for being dependable, hardworking and cooperative, this is likely to impact your promotion and future job opportunities. You don't want a reputation for someone who bends the rules or puts work colleagues in danger, this will undoubtedly tarnish your reputation and word is likely to spread quickly! 3. Are you a people person? If you have the ability to interact with a wide variety of people with a range of personalities and the capability to manage a team of engineers efficiently, you're likely to be a valuable asset to the company. You won't be so favourable if you have a tendency to rely on others, are a watcher rather than a doer and listener rather than a speaker. 4. Show commitment to your job role As a lift engineer, you'll need to be flexible in your work hours. It's a hard industry being on call for breakdowns or emergency jobs working overtime to get jobs done, however, if you're able to work around the clock, you will show that commitment and passion to your job which is a favourable quality. You don't want to be known as that person that always pulls a 'sickie', procrastinates on the job, or is forever moaning. Employers will brand you unreliable and not dependable. 5. Gain a broad coverage of product and equipment knowledge Your promotion or new job will draw ever closer if you show a willingness to expand your knowledge and skill sets. With a greater span of both, you're able to complete more tasks, take on jobs which require a greater skill level and teach others. If you are offered courses to attend - take the opportunity! 6. Employers and recruitment consultants are not fond of jumpers If you have moved jobs several times in the last few years, this may not look favourable compared with someone who has been with the same lift or escalator company for over five or six years, for example. If you have genuine reasons as to why you left then explain them in detail to your recruitment consultant. Changes out of your control are not a problem when talked over. If the roles were more junior, it is more accepted that you may be only employed in the job for one or two years, as you gain experience and grow. 7. Have you got the customer service skills to take you far? Be polite, pleasant and punctual when dealing with customers, it will make the customers experience with you and the company you represent enjoyable and memorable. You will also increase your chances of receiving positive feedback which can help motivate yourself, improve your performance, and most importantly, puts you in a favourable light with your employer. 8. Make your interests known Your boss won't necessarily consider you for a promotion if he doesn't know you're interested in a new position. If you make your goals known, your employer is likely to pay more attention to you and recognise your efforts and hard work. You may even be given more complex tasks and greater responsibilities where you can demonstrate your potential. 9. Have the right attitude Be the kind of person with a 'glass half full' mentality who focuses on the positives, and has solutions to problems. Immerse your positive attitude into your day to day job responsibilities to see an overall improvement in your performance at work. Your attitude may also encourage your colleagues to adopt a similar positive outlook, creating a better atmosphere and working environment. Be the go-to person and 'step up' when problems arise. 10. Find a specialist recruitment consultant Contacting a recruitment consultant who is a specialist within the lift and escalator industry will vastly increase your chances of landing a new service engineering job. They can identify the best companies for you to work for and liaise with them on your behalf with regards to salaries and benefits. This is far better than posting your CV on various jobs board. Find out more about our specialist lift & escaltor recruitment consultant by clicking here. Fancy a chat? Call 0116 2545411 or email Lindseyb@precisionrecruitment.co.uk
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