Down Economy, Down Morale, Down and Out……Only if You Choose to Be!
Featured Guest Blogger: Anthony Fasano, P.E., CPC, LEED AP
Associate Civil Engineer and Certified Professional Career Development Coach
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I have given many surveys to civil engineers through social media with regards to career development and advancement. Lately I have found that due to the economy many companies have been making changes with their staff in any way possible to stay as efficient as possible. This has resulted in many engineers having been forced to take on roles that they may not want or enjoy.
Many engineers have been asked to relocate to other office locations based on workload, increasing their commute and putting them in an uncomfortable atmosphere. Other engineers have been transferred to other departments based on workload. So you may have been working on private development projects for the past 5 years and all of a sudden you find yourself out doing bridge inspections.
How do you maintain productivity and passion in your day-to-day career when you are taken out of your desired role and/or location? Here are a few recommendations to keep your attitude and energy up while going through this situation:
- Be thankful for your job as there are currently many people without one. This doesn’t mean to be happy with your job, you don’t want to create a mindset that this job is “good enough” for me or that you are just going to accept it, the truth is you don’t have to.
- Paint yourself a very clear picture of the job you would eventually like to have. Be specific by listing the type of projects you would like to work on, your role on those projects, the general location of the projects if that matters, etc.
- Review your current day-to-day activities and see where the experience you are currently gaining will be helpful in your ideal role, once you achieve it. For example, if you have been re-assigned to manage something other than your ideal role, take the time now to improve your managerial skills which will apply in both situations.
- During these times, strengthen existing and build new relationships both within your company and throughout the industry. Take advantage of any downtime you have to re-connect with existing and prospective clients as well as other industry professionals. Attend more professional society events, with the idea that the more relationships you build, the more opportunities that will be available to you.
- Do one thing each day, no matter how small that will help you in achieving your ideal job or role. This might be an e-mail, phone call, internet research, read an inspirational article or quote, etc.
One thing that a professional coach helps people to do is realize the opportunity in every situation. Every time something you perceive as “negative” happens, ask yourself the following question, “Where is the opportunity in this situation?” You will be amazed at the list of positives that you will draw from a perceived “negative” situation.
The key is not to give up on what you’re passionate about doing, just because of the current industry situation or economic climate. Yes things are tough and we all have financial responsibilities and this is the time when we may have to accept roles that we aren’t comfortable with to survive. However the job that you want is out there somewhere until you decide that it is not!
I’ll leave you with a quote to help raise your attitude and energy up a level…..