Tag Archives: networking

Episode 45 — Success

mountaintop2We talk with civil engineer, author, and coach Anthony Fasano about steps one can take to ensure a successful engineering career.

  • Although Jeff’s engineering career hasn’t led to huge financial success, he considers it to have been successful, as he has gotten to work on a lot of interesting projects, and meet many fascinating people.
  • Our guest for this episode is Anthony Fasano, a professional engineer who has authored the book, Engineer Your Own Success: 7 Key Elements to Creating An Extraordinary Engineering Career.
  • Anthony started as a field surveyor in high school, which led him into a career as a civil engineer.
  • Coming out of college, our guest focused his professional efforts in the area of site development while working for Maser Consulting.
  • Young engineers are often not aware of the numerous sub-disciplines that comprise the engineering profession.
  • Sensing that his work routine was falling into a rut after a few years on the job, Anthony started asking other engineers what it took to develop a successful engineering career.
  • Having leveraged non-technical skills en route to becoming an associate partner, Anthony was asked by his employer to share his insights with other engineers.
  • Our guest credits Tony Robbins with influencing his decision to become an executive coach.
  • Having been successful in coaching engineers at Maser, Anthony left to start his own firm, Powerful Purpose Associates.
  • Seeing that his “true” clients were engineers, rather than engineering companies, our guest started the Institute for Engineering Career Development.
  • After writing his book, Anthony spent three years touring the United States, with books in the trunk of his car, talking to engineering associations about achieving career success.
  • From Anthony’s book, the seven keys to achieving success in an engineering career are:
    1. Setting Goals
    2. Obtaining Credentials
    3. Finding a mentor
    4. Becoming a great communicator
    5. Networking
    6. Becoming organized
    7. Being a leader
  • Our guest recommends getting involved with an organization like Toastmasters International to improve speaking skills.
  • Anthony credits Dale Carnegie’s book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, with improving his understanding of how to interact with other people.
  • Dealing with e-mail overload is a subject Anthony addressed on his blog, in an entry titled “Engineers: Are You Having Trouble Getting Out of Your E-mail Inbox?
  • A quick mention of productivity methods arises, including The Seven Habits, and Getting Things Done (GTD). Anthony recommends the book, The Power of Less, authored by Leo Babauta, for its simplification of GTD concepts.
  • Anthony currently serves as Executive Director for the New York State Society of Professional Engineers.
  • Anthony has written a number of articles about career development on his blog for the Institute of Engineering Career Development.
  • A recent project for Anthony has been launching a podcast, The Engineering Career Coach, in which he advises engineers on how to advance their careers.
  • Our guest can be found online via LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Thanks to Paxson Woelber for the untitled photo. Podcast theme music provided by Paul Stevenson

Episode 13 — Free Agency

In this episode, Chris and Jeff discuss engineers who find employment on a project-to-project basis, rather than signing on for a full time job.

  • Our guest is Stephen Kesich, a recently graduated mechatronics engineer who is now residing in Southern California.
  • Stephen reports that his classmates experienced difficulty finding full-time employment in their respective engineering fields.
  • Knowledge of specific CAD software, such as CATIA or SolidWorks, is often important in landing a job in the field of mechanical design.
  • Networking played a key role in helping Stephen find employment, as a friend’s father offered him an engineering job.
  • Chris also found several of his engineering jobs through networking, despite his initial dislike for the concept.
  • While a cooperative education program wasn’t in place at Stephen’s school, he managed to construct his own industrial connections.
  • Stephen found LinkedIn to be an important avenue for making engineering connections.
  • Finding housing for short-term projects is difficult, as month-to-month leases can be “massively” expensive.
  • What Color is Your Parachute? is a classic job-search book that recommends many of the networking steps that Stephen has implemented on his own.
  • Chris mentions a xkcd strip that provides a “cheat sheet” about which sports are in season.
  • Non-disclosure agreements cover the intellectual property that contract employees access.
  • Chris and Jeff haggle over the differences between contractors and consultants.
  • Despite enjoying his contract work, Stephen looks forward to someday having a steady job.
  • Daniel Pink wrote about free agent employment in his 2001 book, Free Agent Nation.
  • Health insurance is generally not offered to contract employees.
  • If you’re not a full-time employee, and work in the US as an independent contractor, you may receive a reporting of your earnings via a Form 1099.
  • Jeff asks about the prevalence of Google-style interview questions.
  • Chris likes to ask interviewees about their hobbies, believing a resume is best read from the bottom up.
  • It’s often a difficult decision whether to remain a generalist, or become a specialist in your engineering field.
  • Going through a site like Quirky is a new way to develop a product.
  • Maintaining an online presence is likely to be of growing importance, as employers search for engineers who are already up-to-speed on a given subject.
  • Chris is currently reading The Startup of You, by a co-founder of LinkedIn.
  • Stephen can be reached through comments to this post.

Thanks to Ed Yourdon for the photo titled “Laptop Man.” Podcast theme music provided by Paul Stevenson