Starting a career is a natural process we all have to go through. And just like any inherent part of life, you can expect to face a few challenges along the way. Engineers are not exempt from these whims. Luckily, there are means to prevail in those harsh and bumpy situations. Here’s my take on how to deal with professional challenges as an engineer.
1. Assess the Nature of Your Hurdles
Troubleshooting hurdles is not always an easy feat! Though there are many ways to do it, I personally found that applying these two steps works best to seek solutions:
#1. Assess the true nature of your hurdles, asking the tough questions. Are they caused by technical limitations, peer competitiveness, lack of experience, unbalanced workload, or a mix of all? An honest and objective run-down is a good starting point.
#2. Examine the workplace’s correlation to your professional results. Workplaces are conditioned environments. Analyze yours! Find how its characteristics influence your ability to fulfill tasks, accounting for contributing factors like management style, personality types, workload, stability, safety, ergonomics, and personal expectations.
Only by having a clear panoramic view can you find the solution!
For example, let’s say you’re dealing with technical limitations or lack of experience to complete tasks. A fix is to ask for training courses to bridge your current gap.
But, if instead, you’re struggling with an ongoing clash of personalities, then the mend calls for other actions, like asking for a supervisor or third-party intervention.
2. Be Proactive
Professional challenges are like big elephants in the room. They prevent us from achieving our career goals, numbing us and making us feel stuck at the workplace. So, what can we do about it? In my experience, one of the best ways to beat them out is through proactivity, such an effective tool to kick off any obstacle in life or career.
Being proactive will help you identify professional hurdles blocking the way and make you do something about it, from the get-go, without letting issues build up!
3. Master Time Management
Working as an engineer is one of the most demanding jobs there can be! Mastering time management is one of those resources you will start to rely on to simplify workload and overcome career challenges.
Good time management skills will help you prioritize tasks, break them down to make them more organized and manageable, and accommodate schedules accordingly.
Adjusting and fulfilling your responsibilities more efficiently and productively will gain you the confidence to control arising issues.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Most engineers stutter when it’s time to admit they need help in a task. I’m here to tell you, do not! You’d be surprised at how open and willing teammates and peers are to assist coworkers. Besides, asking for help on time through open and honest communication is one of the most effective ways to minimize hurdles and avoid undesirable results.
5. Continue Your Education
It doesn’t mean you have to head back to college, but continue your learning process. And this time around from the work front.
Our field is continuously changing and evolving with new tech and findings. Open yourself to new practices and developments that bring you ahead of the pack and push our industry further.
Wherever your professional path may take you, expect to find challenges along the way. Don’t fear them. Embrace them! They are a great test of your skills and adapting capabilities. Overcoming obstacles makes you stronger and more experienced as an engineer and person.