7 Questions to Determine Your Engineering Career Success

These questions pose a self-awareness and –evaluation about where you stand as an engineer.


(Source: Giphy)

For most people, the measure of an engineer’s success is how much he makes in a year, how many properties he owns and how well he dresses. It has become a norm to believe that rich people are equal to successful people. Before that kind of idea propagates further, I’d like to stop it there: that is not the true success that engineers should chase after. Those material things are but representations of your capacity to purchase and not necessarily indicators of successful engineering career.

Questions to assess your engineering career (Source: Lafayette College)

So how should you really evaluate your career success? It is still a personal definition and engineers are bound to think of how successful you are once you get to answer the following questions:

How well do you influence other people?

More than just the riches is the engineer’s ability to transcend an idea or a movement from your own command and example. Engineers who are strong influencers do not realize how powerful they are when they share a piece of themselves that echoes to the others, eventually improving the lives of the people in the workplace.


Questions to assess your engineering career (Source: Giphy)

Which projects do you do and what is the impact?

You don’t really have so much success as an engineer if your field of work doesn’t reach to the people in one way or another. After all, that’s what engineers are supposed to do: apply the math and physics theories into something useful for the betterment of mankind. Doing engineering work without effective and efficient application is a failing career.

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Questions to assess your engineering career (Source: Neena Gandhi)

Have you made valuable relationships with the others?

Social intelligence is also one factor in measuring an engineer’s success. Successful engineers know their way around people. They have the flexibility to communicate and engage with diverse personalities, thus creating harmonious and lasting relationships.


Questions to assess your engineering career (Source: Giphy)

What have you learned?

Constant learning is in the vocabulary of every successful engineer. There should be always incremental learning – in whatever aspect that may be – regardless of the companies the engineer has worked with.  Technical capabilities and organizational leaderships are among the significant learnings an engineer can keep throughout his lifetime.

Questions to assess your engineering career (Source: Canterbury)

How well do you fail?

They say that failure is central to engineering. That’s true. Perhaps it is a requirement that engineers take a big risk sometimes and flop in it to gain important, powerful learnings. That’s where the success comes on how you respond to the failure. Would you let the failure drag you down or pull you back up on your feet? That is also a measure of an engineer’s success.


Questions to assess your engineering career (Source: Tumblr)

How far have you come?

Compare your first day at work as an engineer and your day at work now. You will notice the big changes that transformed your entire being. Engineers should look back at that newbie who once struggled his way to the top and now is on the top of his engineering career.

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Questions to assess your engineering career (Source: NOAA Ocean Explorer)

How do you feel on Mondays?

Everyone hates Mondays. Only successful engineers have this distinct feeling of hope every Monday morning, which signifies an opportunity to share skills and make the world a better place with your work.

Questions to assess your engineering career (Source: Giphy)

John Vauden

Novelist, fictional writer and literary expert based in Australia

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7 Questions to Determine Your Engineering Career Success

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