You did it! After 4 or more gruelling years in engineering school, and passing your licensure examination, you are now a licensed engineer! Take pride in that four-letter prefix that stands before your name, and as you go into the field of engineering to live out your profession, here are some pieces of advice that I want to share with you.
Never stop learning
Education does not end after school, learning is a never ending process. As you start and end your day at your new job, always make it a point to learn something new everyday. Whether it’s a simple MS Excel tip you learned from your officemate or a seminar on a new machine you’re going to handle, it’s important to learn something everyday.
There will come a time in your career when you will be bored at work and tired of all the routine tasks. By looking for something to learn everyday, no matter how big or small, will help keep you motivated to do your best at work as it adds “spice” to your profession. Not only will you always be motivated, your mental juices will also keep flowing, thus making you even smarter.
Source: USA Today
Skills are more important than grades
In the professional world, while grades do have some bearing in your job, it is only minimal. Engineering companies value employees who are hardworking, eager to learn, creative, and innovative, regardless of their grades. So, whether you have extremely high or low grades, make sure you have the qualities I mentioned. If not, then work on developing them.
Give back to society
Engineering is one of the best professions in the world. We are responsible for almost everything we see today, from our phones to the building where you are working at. Other than professional responsibility, we also have a social responsibility to those who are in need. So if you have the chance, try to give back to society. Conduct free seminars for highschool students who want to be involved in STEM courses, donate to a charity once a year, help in house building projects for the homeless by being one of the engineers overseeing the project. There are so many ways to help, it’s just a matter of how.
Manage your finances
Source: The Atlantic
Usually, an engineer’s first salary won’t be that high. So it’s good to learn how to manage your finances as early as now. Set aside your long term savings, bills, rent, emergency, and monthly pocket money once you get your salary. Once you’ve got the hang of managing your finances with a low or average salary, you won’t have a problem with managing your finances once your salary increases.
While I wrote this as the last piece of advice, it is still one of the most important ones. The professional world is full of stress, so whenever you are given the chance no matter how small, go have fun. Make use of your vacation leaves. Burnout and overtime is one of the leading causes of stress in the professional world, and can often lead to serious illnesses such as depression, fatigue, heart disease, and even death. So, learn to breathe take a break once in a while.