Topic: Career Development

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Avoid Being Stung by Einstellung

The Einstellung Effect – where the German word means “approach” or “way of doing something” – refers to trying to resolve an issue, problem, or opportunity only by using approaches that have worked in similar situations, rather than looking at each new situation on its own terms. This narrow, habitual, and left-brain dominated tendency, which is illustrated below, inhibits creativity and innovation. Another term for...

Ask Anthony: Should I Attend CE Conferences if My Employer Won’t Pay for Them?

In assisting civil engineers with their professional development efforts over the years, I have had many civil engineers ask me if it is worth their while to invest their money in attending industry conferences, especially if their employers won’t pay for them to go. In my opinion, the answer is yes. Here are three reasons why I think attending industry conferences is worth the time and money...

Ask Anthony: Is It Better to Have a Specific Expertise or Be a Jack-of-All-Trades?

Many different disciplines make up the world of civil engineering – transportation, geotechnical, site civil, and water resources only begin to scratch the surface. So, for your long-term career growth, is it better to focus on a discipline and become an expert in it or to become knowledgeable in many civil engineering disciplines? Once again there isn’t a black-and-white answer to this question. The answer...

Ten Ways to Cultivate Personal Creativity

This is the last of three posts on innovation and creativity by Brent Darnell, Aff.M.ASCE, president and owner of Atlanta-based Brent Darnell International. For more information, email brent@brentdarnell.com or visit brentdarnell.com. In the first post in this series, we talked about why it’s important for companies to promote innovation. The second post discussed 10 ways to do just that. But what about you as an individual? How do...

Ask Anthony: What Is the Most Important Credential I Should Acquire as a Civil Engineer?

I don’t have a right or wrong answer to this question, because the answer depends on a few key items. However, I will try to give you some tools and information that you can use to answer this question for your specific situation. First, I will say that I highly recommend that as a civil engineer you pursue your professional engineering license. I know that...

Letter to a Young Engineer Shares Seven Pieces of Advice

This letter, from a father to a son, was written by professional engineer Bob Breeze upon his son’s graduation as a mechanical engineer. The letter was published in a collection entitled, Letters to Young Engineers, published by the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and edited by Daniel Hoornweg, UOIT associate professor and Jeffrey Boyce research chair. Inspired in part by Ranier Maria Rilke’s...

Ask Anthony: How Many Hours a Week Does It Take to Get Ahead?

In building the Engineering Career Coach website, I have had the honor to talk with and assist hundreds of civil engineers in their career development efforts. I also spent 15 years building my own civil engineering career from a land surveyor position in high school to an associate in the same firm at 27 years old. In this post I want to answer some common...

10 Ways to Cultivate Innovation in Your Company

This is the second in a series of three posts about innovation and creativity by Brent Darnell, Aff.M.ASCE, president and owner of Atlanta-based Brent Darnell International. For more information, email brent@brentdarnell.com or visit brentdarnell.com. In the first post in this series, we talked about why it’s important for companies to promote innovation. Now we’ll look at 10 ways to do just that. Many of the following...

Ask Anthony: Building Relationships the Key to Successful Networking

I had the pleasure of giving a seminar on networking for the Austin Branch Younger Member Forum last month. There were some excellent questions asked about networking, so I thought in this post, I would provide a brief summary of what networking is and how to do it effectively. What Networking Is Not Let’s start with that. Networking is not collecting business cards. Too many civil engineers I...

Focus on the Important Things – Career Advice from an Expert

Hi, my name is Anthony Fasano. I am a licensed professional engineer, but instead of engineering I now spend my time inspiring engineers through different ventures and content channels. I worked for about 15 years as a civil engineer – primarily in land development but I also had exposure to structural engineering, geotechnical engineering, and environmental engineering early in my career. I even spent a...