Your Civil Engineering Career :: A Lesson From Peyton Manning

March 29, 2012 at 4:42 pm 10 comments

Matt Barcus
President, Precision Executive Search, Inc
Managing Partner,
View Matt’s profile & connect with him on LinkedIn

Change is good.  Just ask Peyton Manning.

After 14 illustrious years with the Indianapolis Colts,  11 Pro Bowl Selections, 4 MVP Awards, and 1 Super Bowl victory, Peyton Manning has easily secured himself a bust in his image and a nicely fitted gold jacket in Canton.  But even after all that success, earlier this month Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts parted ways.

What can you, as a Civil Engineering professional, learn from Peyton Manning’s recent career situation?

*Hone your craft as a civil engineer, constantly strive to learn, surround yourself with other successful civil engineers and team members, take on challenges and challenge those around you to be better, be a leader, make a difference, treat people with respect, network.  Peyton Manning mastered these traits as a professional athlete, and as a result, when the time came where he separated from his employer, he had many different options as a result.

*Should you lose your job, if you have the opportunity to do so, be sure to EXPLORE your options; just don’t take the first thing that is presented to you. Peyton Manning did have the opportunity, so he met with the Broncos, the 49er’s, the Titans, and maybe even a few others.  After spending 14 years with the same team, he wanted to make sure he made a well thought out decision.

*Keep a positive attitude.  Your instinctive reaction is to become negative when you learn that you are laid off.  Fight those feelings of negativity and bitterness off.  Look back at all you’ve learned and accomplished and be proud of it.  Then look forward.  There are other organizations out there that are waiting to learn from you and all you have to offer.  Look ahead at the potential for you to learn new skills, new techniques, new clients, new processes, etc.  I am sure Manning is dealing with some difficult emotions after spending so many years in Indianapolis, that is natural.  But he does not dwell on that.  Peyton brings a great deal of success and knowledge to a new team, and he understands this.  As much as he may learn a new system with new plays and new teammates, he of course has plenty to offer that will make the Broncos a better organization.


If you have ever seen Peyton Manning play, he is the master of the audible.  From time to time in your career you will step up behind center and realize that YOU need to call an audible.  You have the perfect plan laid out in your mind for that situation, but that situation can change in an instant.  If you come prepared to work each and every day as Manning came prepared for game time, and there is a sudden shift in the situation, you will be prepared to call the perfect audible that will lead to pay dirt!

If your career calls for an audible, put yourself in the position to make the right call.  A layoff or RIF can truly be a refreshing experience that can reinvigorate your career and maybe even lead you to the Hall of Fame…or at least an OPAL Award!

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Entry filed under: Career Development, Civil Engineering, civil engineering blog, Civil Engineering Jobs, Employee Retention, Human Resources, Infrastructure, Networking, Resignation, The Workplace, Uncategorized. Tags: , , , .

Taking Your Business to the Next Level Choosing Between Civil Engineering Job Offers

10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Arch1  |  April 9, 2012 at 7:00 am

    great article this will help a lot to novice and professional both

  • 2. Anthony Fasano  |  April 5, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    Good one Matt! I hope all is well!

    • 3. aepcentral  |  April 6, 2012 at 10:29 am

      Thanks Anthony – great to hear from you – busy as ever! We always value your insight on our blog, so if you ever have anything you would like to contribute please don’t hesitate to let me know. Have a great Easter!

  • 4. Neelam  |  April 5, 2012 at 6:38 am

    great insights…loved reading the article.

  • 5. Jo  |  April 3, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    After watching and working with civil engineers over the past 30 years, one thing comes to mind – those who are not afraid to get their shoes dirty and get out in the real world, interact with those who build what they design will by far outshine those who believe all knowledge comes from a book – and they will gain more respect. It truly takes a team to build a project, from the guy operating the equipment to the folks paying the bills in the office. Understanding that is important to team development — and maintaining respect for all those on the team will increase a persons value on the team and cooperation among all involved.

    • 6. aepcentral  |  April 3, 2012 at 4:16 pm

      Great point Jo! Projects take a team / collaborative effort, and those who are able to appreciate and understand the different ways of looking at project will go far!

  • 7. Mario Del Angel  |  April 2, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Good analogy Matt……

    • 8. aepcentral  |  April 2, 2012 at 12:27 pm

      Hi Mario – thanks for the kind words and thanks for reading!

  • 9. Paul Kirui  |  March 29, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Great article !!

    • 10. aepcentral  |  March 30, 2012 at 8:49 am

      Hey Paul – thanks for taking a few minutes out of your busy day to read; I appreciate the kind words!


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