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The Career Guide Book for Engineers

ISBN: 978-0-470-50350-8
609 pages
April 2010
The Career Guide Book for Engineers  (0470503505) cover image

The Engineer's Career Guide

John A. Hoschette

The complete, one-stop career resource guide for engineers, engineering managers, and human resources personnel

Every engineer needs strong career-planning strategies in order to survive and get ahead in corporate America. Whether you are a recent graduate, mid-career, or looking ahead to retirement, The Engineer's Career Guide offers proven, commonsense advice for navigating all stages of your engineering career.

Packed with real-world tips supported by actual work experiences and examples,

this book gives you step-by-step guidance in handling a multitude of career issues.

The author draws upon more than three decades of experience to cover every aspect of an engineer's career, helping you build the skills you need to:

  • Develop a career plan that leads to success

  • Successfully transition from university to industry ahead of your peers

  • Improve your job performance and stand out from your peers

  • Deal with difficult people at work, from supervisors to coworkers

  • Negotiate a raise or promotion

  • Recover from a career setback or job loss

  • Get on the fast track for advancement

  • Manage your finances throughout your career

  • Plan for your retirement

  • Learn how corporate America operates and promotes engineers

The Engineer's Career Guide is an excellent resource for any practicing engineer or engineering student who is interested in getting ahead in corporate America.

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SECTION I: SUCCESSFUL CAREER PLANNING.

Preface.

Acknowledgments.

List of Figures.

1. SUCCESSFUL CAREERS START WITH YOU.

The Best Strategy for Career Advancement.

Developing a Strategic Career Plan.

2. DEVELOPING A SUCCESSFUL CAREER PLAN.

Purpose of Career Plan.

Danger Signs Indicating Career Planning Is Necessary.

Career Assessment and Planning Decision Tree.

The Process of Generating a Career Plan.

Career Work Book - Helping You Plan Your Career.

Technical Versus Management Career Path.

Typical Goals During an Engineering Career.

Examples of Great Career Actions.

Examples of Great Personal/Social Actions.

Keeping Balance Between Work & Personal Life.

Capitalize On Your Strengths & Minimize Weaknesses.

Translating Goals Into Actions.

Organizing Career Actions Into A Calendar Of Events.

How Technologies, Products & Industries Impact Long Rang Career Planning.

Stress Relief Planning.

Dealing with Changing Supervisors - Re-Boot Time.

Summary.

Assignments and Discussion Topics.

3. CAREER STRATEGIES - WHAT WORKS AND WHAT DOESN’T.

Devoted to One Department For Your Career Strategy.

Move Departments, But Stay in the Same Company.

Picking Mainstream Jobs And Departments.

Leveraging the Research Group.

Following Hot Companies and Products.

Up and Down the Supply Chain Career Moves.

Selecting the Best Career Move for You.

Company High Talent and Leadership Development Programs.

Succession Planning - Your Key to Moving Up.

Summary.

Assignments and Discussion Topics.

4. SUCCESSFULLY MAKING A JOB OR CAREER CHANGE.

Key Factors in Making A Job or Career Change (Company, Technology, Industry).

Planning for Success when Changing Your Career.

Summary.

Assignments and Discussion Topics.

5. STRATEGIES FOR GETTING YOUR NEXT PROMOTION.

Getting A Promotion In Your Present Department.

Changing Departments for a Promotion Strategy.

Leaving the Company for a Promotion Strategy.

Going to Competitor for a Promotion.

Summary.

Assignments and Discussion Topics.

6. CAREER DISCUSSION GUIDE FOR EMPLOYEES, MANAGERS AND MENTORS.

Objectives of Career Discussions.

Career Discussion Guide for Engineers.

Career Discussion Guide for Managers and Mentors.

Simple Step By Step Plan For Conducting Career Discussions.

Summary.

Assignments and Discussion Topics.

7. THE MENTORING PROCESS AND VALUE TO YOUR CAREER.

Understanding the Benefits of Good Mentors.

Finding Good Mentors You Can Rely Upon.

How to Utilize a Mentor.

How To Be A Great Mentor.

Great Questions For Mentors To Ask.

Mentor Roles & Responsibilities.

Protégé’s Roles & Responsibilities.

The Phases Of The Mentoring Process.

You Can Mentor; It’s Easy!.

A Word of Caution about Finding Mentors for Women.

A Final Note on Mentoring.

Summary.

Assignments and Discussion Topics.

8. STUCK IN A DEAD END JOB? WHAT TO DO TO BREAK OUT.

9. MY CAREER HAS PLATEAU, NOW WHAT?

10. HOW NEW GRADUATES CAN SUCCESSFULLY TRANSITION INTO INDUSTRY.

How the Rules of the Game Change in Industry.

What to Do Your First Years in Industry To Get Ahead Quicker.

Summary.

Assignments and Discussion Topics.

11. SUCCESSFUL RETIREMENT PLANNING (This is for Young Engineers Also).

Early Career Retirement Planning.

Mid Career Retirement Planning.

Later Career Planning.

Best Age to Retire.

Best Tine of the Year to Retire.

Transition into Retirement.

Three Phases of Retirement.

Summary.

Assignments and Discussion Topics.

SECTION II: COMPANY STRUCTURES, ORGANIZATIONS AND BARRIERS IMPACTING YOUR CAREER.

12. HOW COMPANY SIZE AFFECTS YOUR CAREER?

Small Company Structure and the Impact to Your Career.

Large Corporation Structures and the Impact to Your Career.

Summary.

Assignments and Discussion Topics.

13. THE CORPORATE LADDER, CAREERS OPEN TO YOU.

Career Paths For Engineers Within a Corporation.

Engineering Fellows Ladder.

Staff/Systems Engineer Ladder.

Project Engineering Ladder.

Program Manager Ladder.

Management Ladder.

Marketing or Business Development Ladder.

Career Ladders Leading To Executive Levels.

Moving up the Ladder means More Responsibility.

Summary.

Assignments & Discussion Topics.

14. INVISIBLE COMPANY BARRIERS STOPPING YOUR CAREER GROWTH.

Advanced Degree Barrier.

Technical Background Barrier.

Overstaffing Barriers.

Department Charter Barrier.

Summary.

Assignments and Discussion Topics.

15. GETTING AHEAD IN PRODUCT-ORIENTED ORGANIZATIONS.

Summary.

Assignment and Discussion Topics.

16. GETTING AHEAD IN FUNCTIONAL-MATRIX ORGANIZATIONS.

Summary.

Assignment and Discussion Topics.

SECTION III: DETERMINING THE CRITERIA BY WHICH YOU ARE MEASURED AND WHAT IT TAKES TO GET BETTER PERFORMANCE RATINGS AS WELL AS PROMOTED.

17. DETERMINING HOW THE COMPANY MEASURES YOUR PERFORMANCE.

Formal Criteria. What Are They Comprised Of?

Understanding the Job Performance Review Process.

Handling Negative Feedback and Criticism.

Determining How Job Performance Is Measured in Your Company.

Understanding the Promotion Process and Using It to Your Advantage.

Lower Level Engineering Promotions.

Higher Level Engineering Promotions.

Summary.

Assignment and Discussion Topics.

18. DETERMINING THE INFORMAL CRITERIA BY WHICH YOU ARE ASSESSED.

Understanding The Danger And Benefits Of The Informal Criteria.

Informal Criteria - How To Identify Them.

Picking The One And Only Solution.

Neatness or Appearance.

Neatness of Office.

Verbal Versus Graphically Reporting.

Are You A Detail Person or Big Picture Person?

Are You People Oriented or Results Oriented?

Procrastinator or Planner?

Summary.

Assignments and Discussion Topics.

19. THE LEADING REASONS WHY ENGINEERS ARE NOT SUCCESSFUL.

Definition of Being Unsuccessful.

Leading Causes For Being Unsuccessful.

Inept or Poor Communication Skills.

Poor Relations with the Supervisor.

Inflexibility.

Poor or Lax Work Habits.

Too Much Independence.

Technical Incompetence.

You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know.

Bull in a China Shop.

Taking On More Than You Can Handle.

Trying To Do Too Much Too Fast.

Things Take Longer Than Planned.

Overly Optimistic Progress Scheduling.

Not Willing to Put the Extra Effort.

Summary.

Assignments and Discussion Topics.

SECTION IV: IMPROVING YOUR PERFORMANCE ON THE JOB AND STANDING OUT FROM YOUR PEERS.

20. THE ENGINEERING PROCESS IN YOUR COMPANY- LEARNING THE BUSINESS.

Product Design & Development Process.

Presentations at Engineering Reviews - Career Accelerators or Breakers.

Guidelines for Better Product Development.

Knowing What to Do When It Comes Time to Build & Test Your Product.

Career Benefits To Understanding How Your Company Does Business Summary.

Assignments and Discussion Topics.

21. TEAM SKILLS - ESSENTIAL FOR SUCCESSFUL ENGINEERS.

Why Having Team Skills Are So Important To Your Career.

Suggestions On How To Be A Great Team Player.

Courteous Team Skills to Use All the Time.

Destructive Team Actions to Avoid.

Summary.

Assignments and Discussion Topics.

22. GENERATING CAREER ADVANCING IDEAS.

Generating Career Advancing Ideas.

The Importance of Putting It in Writing.

Why Researching Your Idea is Necessary.

Writing Up The Plan.

How to Best Present the Plan or Idea.

Making the Best Presentation You Can.

A Final Word of Caution When Selling Your Ideas.

Summary.

Assignments and Discussion Topics.

23. GETTING PROMOTED WHETHER YOUR PROJECT IS A SUCCESS OR UNSUCCESSFUL.

How to Determine if Your Project is a Success or Not.

Career Actions if the Project is Unsuccessful and Having Setbacks.

Actions to Benefits Your Career if the Project is a Success.

Summary.

Assignments and Discussion Topics.

24. HOW TO ASK FOR A RAISE.

Do your research and build your case.

Preparing and planning your presentation.

Setup the meeting.

Asking for the raise.

Handling Rejection.

Summary.

Assignments and Discussions Topics.

25. HOW TO GET YOUR NEXT PROMOTION.

Understanding the Reasons Management Promotes People.

The Process to Achieve Your Promotion.

What is Really Important for Getting A Promotion.

Asking for the Promotion.

Summary.

Assignments and Discussions Topics.

26. PEOPLE NETWORKING: A VITAL AND INDISPENSABLE CAREER SKILL.

What is People Networking and Why Is It So Crucial.

Who Should You Network With?

Six Easy Steps to Follow for Successful Networking.

Great Tips for Making Networking Easy.

Networking at Work.

How to Conduct a Networking Session for a New Job.

How to be a Fantastic Networker.

Summary.

Assignments and Discussion Topics.

27. ACCOMPLISHING MORE IN LESS TIME AND GETTING ORGANIZED FOR SUCCESS.

Identify and Eliminate Your Time Wasting Activities.

Great Organizing Skills and Tools to Save You Time.

Developing a Daily Routine.

Developing a Weekly Routine.

Using Lunch and After Hours for Recovery Time.

Save Time By Organizing Your Computer and Server Files.

How To Create and Assemble Your Own Technical Library.

Summary.

Assignments and Discussion Topics.

28. YOUR INTERNET IMAGE - IT COULD BE SABOTAGING YOUR CHANCES FOR CAREER ADVANCEMENT.

Search Yourself Personally on the Internet.

Big Brother is watching.

Use the Internet to Your Advantage.

Summary.

29. THE IMPORTANCE OF MAINTAINING A COMPANY CALENDAR.

Company Calendar, How Do You Use It?

Assignments and Discussion Topics.

30. JOIN AN ENGINEERING SOCIETY - ENHANCE YOUR CAREER 513.

SECTION V: SUCCESSFULLY DEALING WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE AT WORK (PEOPLE SKILLS).

31. DEALING WITH A DIFFCULT BOSS.

Effective Communication Is Best.

My Boss is a Micro-Manager.

Unable to Make a Decision.

Cannot Stay Focused.

Paralysis by Analysis.

Takes Credit for All My Work.

The Boss Is a "Know it All".

Constantly Re-Prioritizing My Work.

The Boss’ Way or the Highway.

My Supervisor Always Says the Opposite of What I Say.

The Boss Has Favorites.

The Boss Makes Decision Without Consulting Me.

Influencing Your Boss.

32. DIVERSITY - ENDORSE IT OR BE LEFT BEHIND.

What is Diversity? What Are the Advantages?

Why Endorsing Diversity is Good For Your Career.

SECTION VI.

Lost Your Job?

Looking for a New Job?

Strategies to Make You Successful!.

33: TIME TO CHANGE JOBS OR STAY.

Indicators It’s Time to Change Jobs.

Indicators When to Stay.

Summary.

34: USING YOUR COMPANY'S JOB OPENING SYSTEM TO YOUR BENEFIT.

The Important Things You Can Learn from Reading the Company Job Postings.

Handling Your Present Supervisor While You are Interviewing.

How to Get the Most from a Job Offer.

Which is Better, Internal or External Offers?

What to Do if Your Supervisor Blocks Your Move.

Always Leave on a Good Note.

Summary.

Assignments and Discussion Topics.

35: SURVIVING LAYOFFS, CORPORATE TAKEOVERS, MERGERS, SHUTDOWNS AND REDUCTIONS IN WORK FORCE.

Understanding What Happens during Takeovers, Mergers, and Work Force Reductions.

Are at Risk of Losing Your Job?

Deciding to Stay and Minimizing Your Chances for Layoff.

Making Backup Plans Just in Case You Lose Your Job.

What to Do if You Decide to Leave the Company.

Laid Off, What Next?

Protecting Yourself while Job Searching.

Summary.

Assignments and Discussion Topics.

36: UNDERSTANDING THE JOB SEARCH PROCESS.

Job Search Actions Leading to Success.

Your New Job Is Finding a Job.

What Are The Odds For Finding A Job.

Easily Overcoming All The No’s And Rejection Letters.

Earn $1000 A Day Searching For A New Job.

It’s All About Attitude.

Summary.

Assignments and Discussion Topics.

37: SELF INVENTORY.

38: SEARCHING AND FINDING JOBS.

Networking is key to finding jobs.

Develop a 30 second commercial.

Best Places to People Network to Find Jobs.

How to Utilize Search Firms to Find Jobs.

Sending Targeted Mailings.

Answering Newspaper Ads.

Internet Searching.

Maintain a Contact Notebook.

Key Job Search Strategies to Follow.

Best Actions for Getting A Job.

Summary.

Assignments and Discussion Topics.

39: CREATING RESUMES WHICH GET YOU INTERVIEWS.

General Format and Layout of a Resume.

How to Write an Impressive Resume in Less Time.

Quantify, Relate and Sell Yourself.

Great Action Words To Include on Your Resume.

Resume Mistakes to Avoid.

What the interviewer will be looking for in your resume.

Frequently Asked Questions about Resumes.

Summary.

Assignments and Discussion Topics.

40: COVER LETTERS THAT WILL IMPRESS EMPLOYERS.

General Format And Layout Of A Cover Letter.

How To Write Impressive Cover Letters.

Example Cover Letter.

Summary.

Assignments and Discussion Topics.

41: WHY PORTFOLIOS ARE IMPORTANT FOR ENGINEERS.

What Constitutes an Excellent Engineering Portfolio?

Strategies for Interviewing With A Portfolio To Assist in Getting You Hired.

Summary.

Assignments and Discussion Topics.

42: INTERVIEWING.

Preparing for the interview.

Difficult Question You will be Asked.

Controlling the Interview in Your Favor.

How to Impress All the Interviewers.

Telephone Interviews.

How Companies Decide Which Person to Hire.

Summary.

Assignments and Discussion Topics.

43: FOLLOWING UP, GETTING THE OFFER AND NEGOTIATING.

Sending Thank You Notes.

What to if you hear nothing.

Get the offer in writing.

How to negotiate more out of the offer.

Resignation Letters.

Leaving your old job on a good note.

Summary.

Assignments & Discussion Topics.

44: RELOCATING AND STARTING THE NEW JOB - Tips To Make It Easier.

Preparing, Planning and Making the Move.

Getting Settled at the Other End.

Starting the New Job.

Summary.

Assignments & Discussion Topics.

SECTION VII.

Further Education and Life Long Learning.

45: HOW TO GET AN EDUCATION FROM YOUR COMPANY.

Why Further Education Is a Win-Win Situation.

Different Types of Continuing Education (Pros & Cons).

Leveraging Further Education for Career Advancement.

Summary.

Assignments and Discussion Topics.

46: GETTING A MASTER’S DEGREE, IS IT WORTH IT?

The Benefits To Getting a Master’s Degree.

Types of Masters Degrees.

Selecting a Master Degree Program and Starting.

Avoid the Fatal Errors.

Great Tips for Making It Easier.

Summary.

Assignments and Discussion Topics.

47: LIFE LONG LEARNING (GROWING OR DECAYING).

Engineering Knowledge Half Life, How Long before Your Skills Are Obsolete.

What is Life Long Learning and Why is It Good For My Career.

Simple Things to Help Facilitate Lifelong Learning.

Summary.

Assignments and Discussion Topics.

Section VIII.

Financial Planning.

48: BASIC FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT 101.

Protecting What You Have.

Take Control of Your Cash Flow.

Invest Wisely.

Managing Your Taxes.

Save For Retirement.

Estate Planning.

Summary.

Assignments and Discussion Topics.

Section IX.

Fast Track Advancement and Career Accelerators.

49: GETTING ON THE FAST TRACK FOR ADVANCEMENT.

Select Your Supervisor.

Develop Excellent Communication and Presentation Skills.

Go for the Special Projects.

The Right Timing for Getting On and Off Projects.

Dress and Act the Part.

Seek Out Opportunities to Excel.

Make Your Own Luck.

How to Get a Giga-Improvement in Your Career.

Prioritize and Focus Your Career Actions.

Summary.

SECTION X.

Be a Consulting Engineer.

50: WHAT IS A CONSULTING ENGINEER.

IS THIS THE RIGHT CHOICE FOR YOU?

What do consulting engineers do.

What are the pro’s and cons of consulting.

Do you have the right skills to be successful?

Professional Engineer (PE) Registration.

It’s about Technical Approach, Education, Credentials and Experience.

Summary.

Assignments and Discussion Topics.

51: SETTING UP AND BUILDING YOUR CONSULTING BUSINESS.

How To Get Started.

Developing A Business Plan.

Defining Consulting Services.

Checking Out The Competition & Learning From Others.

Successful Marketing Plans.

Setting Up An Office.

Where To Find Jobs.

Bidding And Submitting Proposals.

Signing The Contract.

Completing The Work.

Getting Paid- It’s Not Always Guaranteed.

Summary.

Assignments And Discussion Topics.

Appendix A Career Planning Workbook.

Appendix B Self Inventory Workbook.

Appendix C List of Engineering Societies.

Notes.

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John A. Hoschette is a Technical Director with Lockheed Martin in Eagan, Minnesota. He has also worked with other world-class organizations such as Northrop Grumman, Honeywell, and?Loral. Mr. Hoschette has helped more than 5,000 engineers enhance and advance their career development. Additionally, he is a senior member of the IEEE, the author of more than sixty published papers, and adjunct professor at several universities. He is also the author of Career Advancement and Survival for Engineers (Wiley).

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"This all-inclusive guide will serve as an excellent resource for engineers at any stage of their careers. Highly recommended. Upper-level undergraduates, graduate students, professionals, and general audience." (Choice, 1 March 2011)

 

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April 26, 2010
The Engineer's Career Guide

Wiley is pleased to announce the publication of a unique career resource guide book, focusing on the non-technical aspects of an engineer's career. The Engineer's Career Guide provides essential advice on how to deal with career problems and come out ahead.

Engineering schools do not teach career skills, social skills, or the absolutely vital knack of navigating the corporate world. These are all tools which are absolutely necessary for an engineer to be successful in modern day corporate America.  

The Engineer's Career Guide puts key career advancement strategies all together in one book, giving the engineer a single source for a multitude of career issues. Whether newly graduated, mid-career, or soon-to-be-retired, engineers will find many invaluable real world, practical, proven, common sense career tips supported by actual work experiences and examples. 

This volume is perfectly timed for what the workforce is facing in today's economy, in which the strengths of career mobility and staying power are crucial to survival. The Engineer's Career Guide gives the reader many simple actions to take, as well as step-by-step, long term guidance. All the advice given is universally applicable to all engineers, and does not focus on any specific engineering field.

The Engineer's Career Guide is set to become essential for all engineers, engineering managers and human resource personnel/departments in engineering-dominated corporations. It will be a valuable text book in most engineering universities. Given the author’s unique view into the operations and thinking of American companies, it will also be of great interest to engineers outside America.

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