Engineering career advice: Choose something fulfilling, understand, simplify, teach

Automation System Integration blog advises that to advance your engineering career, apply these four tips: Choose a challenging area, understand the job, simplify where practical, and teach others.

04/24/2013



The new Control Engineering “Automation System Integration” blog is written by Anthony Baker, a fictitious aggregation of experts from Callisto Integration, providing manufacturing consulting and systems integration. The blog provides Callisto Integration advice in plant-floor controls, manufacturing execution systems (MES), and manufacturing consulting, from the factory floor through to the enterprise. See additional posts at www.controleng.com/blogs.

To advance your engineering career, apply these four tips: Choose a challenging area, understand the job, simplify where practical, and teach others.

Callisto Integration provides manufacturing consulting and systems integration for the Control Engineering “Automation System Integration” blog, covering plant-floor controls, manufacturing execution systems (MES), and manufacturing consulting, from the factory floor through to the enterprise. Andrew Barker, PEng., Callisto Integration, compiles the blog entries. Courtesy: Callisto Integration

1. Pick something hard

Picking something hard to do is fulfilling. It keeps you energized and engaged and stops you from getting bored. Stretch yourself—look at the responsibilities that those around you have and ask, “is there something outside of my current role I can take on?” Make sure this solves a significant problem for your organization, such as, “Sort out an ongoing training program for my whole team” or “understand where the money flows within my current project and use this to make our projects more profitable.” Look at those you respect and ask, “what kinds of things do they do that I don’t currently do—what can I help them achieve?” Talk to your team and sign yourself up.

2. Understand the job

Now, work to really understand it. Not just the input mechanics of “do this and that” but the actual output goal of what that role needs to achieve and how it will contribute to the business. What does “success” look like for this role? This is harder than it looks—you’ll have to spend some time talking to stakeholders and soliciting feedback to ensure you understand the requirements and challenges, or if anybody actually wants this job done.

3. Simplify the job

Next, examine what you are doing—does every action contribute to success? Can you just stop doing some things? Do not over complicate things here.

4. Teach everyone

If you have done step 3 well, then step 4 is easy. If not, go back to 3 and rework it. The hardest part of teaching others is having the confidence to calmly show the world all of your secrets knowing full well this will eventually make you obsolete. The second hardest part is doing this in a way that does not come across as bragging, which is not the intent of step 4. You will know you are on to step 4 when you find you can clearly articulate and teach to others what you are achieving and how you are achieving it.

You will likely run into some people who ask how they can copy your success. Spend some time with those people and help them along. Listen to them deeply and openly when they try to understand the job and question your work. Teaching others will free up some bandwidth, so you can go back to your team and loop back to step 1.

www.callistointegration.com

Callisto Integration is a CSIA member as of 3/1/2015



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Hannover Messe 2016: Taking hold of the future - Partner Country status spotlights U.S. manufacturing; Honoring manufacturing excellence: The 2015 Product of the Year Winners
Inside IIoT: How technology, strategy can improve your operation; Dry media or web scrubber?; Six steps to design a PM program
World-class manufacturing: A recipe for success: Finding the right mix for a salad dressing line; 2015 Salary Survey: Manufacturing slump dims enthusiasm
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors
Warehouse winter comfort: The HTHV solution; Cooling with natural gas; Plastics industry booming
Managing automation upgrades, retrofits; Making technical, business sense; Ensuring network cyber security
Designing generator systems; Using online commissioning tools; Selective coordination best practices

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
click me