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Before you knew about your career, what is something that you wished you knew (but didn't) when you first joined that career path?

I wished I actually knew that being a construction engineer required of what the clients wanted on their houses instead of being creative on my own.

#career #engineering #engineer #career-path


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Peter’s Answer

For what it's worth, Jazmine, I approached my engineering career from a completely odd angle. I graduated college with a degree in Biochemistry and then worked in a Microbiology Lab for two years. But I really wanted to get into the Field of Water Resources. So I attended Graduate School in the Dept. of Civil Engineering. I then worked for a couple of consulting firms, frequently rubbing shoulders with engineers. Eleven years into my career, I finally took the Engineering Fundamentals Exam that most engineering students take in their junior year. The following year, I passed the PE Exam in Civil and got my professional license. I enjoyed a number of decades pursuing a fulfilling career dealing with water resource challenges.

The point of the story is that it is very possible for you to pivot and head in a different, and perhaps more satisfying, engineering or other career.

Peter recommends the following next steps:

Consider talking with a career counselor regarding a possible change in career path.

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Peter’s Answer

For what it's worth, Jazmine, I approached my engineering career from a completely odd angle. I graduated college with a degree in Biochemistry and then worked in a Microbiology Lab for two years. But I really wanted to get into the Field of Water Resources. So I attended Graduate School in the Dept. of Civil Engineering. I then worked for a couple of consulting firms, frequently rubbing shoulders with engineers. Eleven years into my career, I finally took the Engineering Fundamentals Exam that most engineering students take in their junior year. The following year, I passed the PE Exam in Civil and got my professional license. I enjoyed a number of decades pursuing a fulfilling career dealing with water resource challenges.

The point of the story is that it is very possible for you to pivot and head in a different, and perhaps more satisfying, engineering or other career.

Peter recommends the following next steps:

Consider talking with a career counselor regarding a possible change in career path.

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Steven’s Answer

Hi Jazmine,

My take on your question is a bit more broad but can applied to any career path in question.

I've been working in the tech industry for the last 6 years, and I have discovered how important networking is, not only for landing a job, but continuing to grow your career at your current company and beyond.

One alternative, which seems to be more common at tech companies, is to see if your employer has any ERGs (Employee Resource Groups), which is essentially a sub-group within a company that is run by employees that provide support, and enhance career & personal development. This is a great opportunity for you to make meaningful personal and professional connections at work which adds to the positive culture of the workplace.

Going one step beyond that, I also highly suggest you get involved in professional development groups in your community. I'm personally a part of Toastmasters (public speaking practice & networking opportunity) and Techqueria (latinX tech professional organization), which also presents a space for you to grow your professional network while improving your professional skillset along the way. Have a look at Meetup's webiste to see what relevant groups & events are in your area!

https://www.meetup.com/


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Stephanie’s Answer

Try applying to be an admin for a construction company and let them know that you are interested in having a career in construction and want to learn more about the industry and day to day. Use the skills you have (customer service, typing, answering phones, etc) to be a strong asset to the company and build relationships with the other employees/your bosses and learn from their experiences.

Stephanie recommends the following next steps:

Connect with local construction companies on LinkedIn, Introduce yourself and tell them your goal :) Good luck!

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Raquel’s Answer

This is an excellent question. I started my career at PwC as an associate supporting Canadian employees with HR related matters. I wish I would've known that there are many companies such as PwC that has a coaching culture where you are encouraged to move up and laterally so you expand your knowledge. If i would've known, I would've made the move much earlier. I have never had career support in a company like I do here. So my recommendation would be to ask questions in your future interviews on what the coaching culture is for that specific company so you can make an informed decision. Hope this helps!


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Jonathan’s Answer

I think for me there’s two thing I wish I would’ve known before starting my career off. The first thing is making sure I keep an open mind, I often brushed off others ideas. I was so dead set on my idea being the only way something could work without giving someone else the ability to explain their idea. Once I stopped that I was able to learn so much more from others. The second thing I wished I knew is making sure I network. I work in sales and networking with different people across the business is so helpful. They could be in department that later on can help you with a project or problem that may arise. In some cases you may just run into someone that you can bounce ideas off of and have them mentor you. Networking is key for me.

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Alexandra’s Answer

Hi Jazmine! I wish that I knew that is was normal and totally okay to switch career paths if the current line of work you are in isn't serving your purpose or helping you grow or develop in the way that you want. I started my career in accounting but realized after a few years that the work I was doing wasn't resonating with my purpose or goals. An opportunity in campus recruiting opened up at my company and I went for it and have been in this line of work for the last 5 years and love it. Your career is all about self-discovery so be open to all opportunities!

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Lisa E.’s Answer

I think what I wish I knew is something that is applicable to all career paths - be very open for the first year and try to say yes to any new project presented to you. By trying a ton of new things in the first years you can really understand the different paths your career can take. During this time you really start to understand what you truly enjoy along with finding your strengths!

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