Posts tagged ‘Civil Engineer’
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has initiated a “Grand Challenge.” The Grand Challenge asks for a commitment from civil engineers to be innovative in all phases of project planning, design, and implementation. The Grand Challenge’s goal is to reduce infrastructure lifespan costs by 50% by 2025 and to encourage innovation and design for infrastructure sustainability. The ASCE Grand Challenge asks civil engineers from all backgrounds and at every career stage to “implement performance-based standards, resilience, innovation, and life cycle cost analysis in all projects.”
The ASCE Report Card for America’s Infrastructure estimates the investment needed for our infrastructure by 2020 is $3.6 trillion, of which $1.6 trillion is unfunded. With each passing year our bridges decay, water mains leak and our foundations crumble. Band-aids are applied and wounds stitched until the next disaster. The new administration assures us that America’s infrastructure- airports, transit/rail, etc- will lead the world. Where will that $1.6 trillion come from if we are not selling our infrastructure to other countries? ASCE summons its members to become leaders in creating solutions to, at the least, reduce the insufficiency.
What do you think? Can this work? Why not at least try?
Download your “Outreach Toolkit” here: https://ascegrandchallenge.com/toolkit/
Let’s us know what you think!
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No man’s land. You all know what that is, right?
Literally speaking, it is a piece of land that is unoccupied, or under dispute between parties who leave it unoccupied due to fear or uncertainty. You may also understand it as that place in the ocean, usually thigh deep, where when a wave rolls in you are not far enough out to “jump” the wave, but you are in a safe place where you won’t completely be pummeled by the wave either. Or that spot on the tennis court between the service line and the back base line where if you find yourself standing when a ball is hit to you, it can be very challenging to make an effective shot. Whether you are knee-deep in the ocean, or stuck between the service line and base line, you can certainly survive the situation, but you are in a position where you are not reaping the full benefits of having put yourself in the ideal location.
Have you found yourself in “no-man’s land” with your civil engineering career? Is the piece of “land” that you presently occupy in your career allowing you to merely “get by?” There are plenty of ways to get yourself out of “no-man’s land,” but I am here today just to suggest just one of those ways. That way is to master the art of selling. Many civil engineers cringe with the idea of having to cold-call or strike up a conversation at networking events, but by investing time in sales training or sales activities, you will break out of that professional purgatory within which you currently reside.
Vincent Van Gogh, one of the most talented and well known artists to have ever lived, produced 900 paintings and 1100 sketches over the course of his career. Of those 2000 works of art, Van Gogh only sold one during his lifetime. So even though he is considered one of the greatest artists in the last 2000 years, his work did not generate any revenue until long after his death due to his inability or unwillingness to sell his artwork. You may be able to engineer and manage the hell out of a project by being creative and by getting the project out the door within schedule and within budget – you may even save your client’s money on a regular basis. But that will only get you so far. Unless you are climbing the “technical” career ladder which exists in some firms, you will find yourself stuck between the service line and the base line.
So how do you break through and find that sweet spot where you can jump the waves and reach their peaks? You master the art of selling. I’m no civil engineer, but here are some ideas off the top of my head as to where to start your mastery:
A. Find a mentor. In this case, a civil engineering professional who has mastered the art of “pursuit-and-capture.”
B. Find training. There are many sales training programs out there, the first one that comes to mind is the Dale Carnegie Training program.
C. Become a great speaker. Did you know there are over 15,000 Toastmaster clubs – I would bet there is one within 20 minutes from where you live.
D. Self directed learning. Books, blogs, audio books for your commute, magazines, podcasts. Find an author or blogger or motivational sales trainer that you enjoy reading or listening to, carve out time every day for some self-directed sales training, and then implement the ideas that appeal to you most.
No man land sucks.
If you look at the leaders in your profession – those who are business owners, partners, or company executives – one of the main reasons they were able to elevate their careers to that level is due to their commitment to sales and business development. Commit to mastering the art of sales and business development specific to the civil engineering industry and your career will know no bounds.
Take the necessary steps required that will allow you to rush the net and make that overhead slam!
President :: Precision Executive Search, Inc.
Managing Partner :: CivilEngineeringCentral.com
Are you known as a civil engineer, architect, landscape architect and planner OR are you known as an employee of your employer?
Recently an outstanding executive engineer was set to interview with my client. This engineer had worked as a leader in his firm for 20 years. At the start of the process, he told me had participated in a three-month long interview process for another opportunity only to not receive an offer. He was informed that he was not hired in the previous firm because they thought he was known as “Bill Smith, ABC Engineers.”
In other words, he was no longer “Bill Smith, PE, well respected leader in the ACEC engineering community.” Instead he was known as “ABC Engineers’ Bill Smith.” The firm told him that they were concerned that he had been with his employer (and successful) for so long, that his identity with municipalities and agencies was too intertwined with his firm’s identity.
This made me wonder: Can a firm take over your professional identity? Do you become the “brand” of your firm?
A “personal” or “professional brand” is an identity built around you personally. It is in basic terms, who you are and how you want the world to see you. Personal brands can be flexible and are becoming helpful for use in your career – at all levels. A “business brand” is an identity built around a company or business. These brands are usually not flexible and can be critical to a firm’s success or failure.
Many of us are taught to be aware of our behavior when we attend business functions as we are representing our firms. We typically introduce ourselves by our name and our company affiliation. To separate your professional identity from your company’s is tricky. That is where your personality and relationships come in. You are representing your company, but remember you are also your brand.
LinkedIn and other professional social media outlets are helping many of us develop our own “personal/professional brand.” Blogs, participation in technical associations, published technical papers, LinkedIn profiles and published writings (like this one you are reading) are great avenues to have people learn who you are and what you do. For example, after reading this, it would be my hope that when someone asks “Do you know anyone who is an architecture or civil engineering recruiter/headhunter?” that you would reply “Yes. Carol Metzner does that.” 🙂
View Carol’s profile & connect with her on LinkedIn
If I had a penny for every time a job seeker told me that they would not reject a job offer based upon the title or the money, I could have bought an island years ago! Stop lying to yourself.
Inevitably, 95% of job offer rejections center around money or title. That is acceptable and sometimes even reasonable. However, telling a recruiter or perspective employer that you will not be making a decision based on money or title is just not true (95% of the time).
As an executive recruiter, I tell my candidates that they should not walk away from a great opportunity over money nor should they accept an opportunity because of money. Same goes for title.
When potential job seekers call me, regardless of their experience level, I ask them a number of questions.
- Why are you looking for a new job?
- What do you want to do?
- What location(s) do you want to work? Are you open to relocation?
- What type(s) of company/companies do you want to work for?
- Are the answers to questions 2, 3 and 4 absolutes?
- What are/were you making and when is your next increase anticipated?
- How important are money and job title?
Why are you looking for a new job?
Are you unhappy in your current job? If so, what do you dislike AND what do you like about your situation? If you don’t define likes and dislikes, you won’t be able to red flag them and identify them in an interview. The thought “any job is better than the one I have” won’t help you in your job search. What must you have in a new job? What would you like to have in a new job?
What do you want to do?
Do you have an idea of what you want to do and are you qualified to do it? Be honest with yourself and about your abilities. If you like a variety of work, keep options open when looking at jobs. Do you know your strengths and weaknesses?
What location(s) do you want to work?
If you are not open to relocation, then do not say that you are. Many firms will not be open to telecommuting. Do not go for an interview that requires relocation with the thought “they will love me when they meet me and allow me to telecommute.”
What type(s) of company do you want to work for?
Do you like working for a small firm, with a family feel? Do you like the resources and project scope of a large national firm?
What are/were you making and when is your next increase anticipated?
This is not a trick question. Be honest.
How important are money and job title?
If you must make a certain amount of money to live your life, then say so. If you need an officer title and won’t consider anything less, then say so. Don’t get into the interview process saying one or both items are not important and then back out later because you didn’t receive an offer with a certain dollar amount or title. It’s inconsiderate to everyone involved.
As the saying goes “Change is the only constant.” The days of joining a company at 21 years of age and working there until you are 67 years old are GONE. As you entertain job opportunities be honest with yourself and with others at the start. You will find yourself with an excellent career opportunity with the right compensation, title and company!
View Carol’s profile & connect with her on LinkedIn
The legalization of marijuana use in Colorado and Washington is causing an uprising within the A/E marketplace. It has been reported that firms are trying to determine policies that take in consideration federal and state laws while being mindful of employee and client safety. Speaking with operations and human resources executives on the legalized use of marijuana by employees, I am receiving one unified comment:
Marijuana use will not be tolerated-whether legal in the state the employee works or not.
Civil engineering and architect employers believe that any potential impaired judgement could lead to fatal design issues or poor decision making. I asked several executives how recreational use of the drug during personal hours is any different than staff consuming alcohol on their own time. Additionally, I asked “If an employee goes on vacation to Colorado or Washington, then smokes marijuana, returns and tests positive- what will happen?” I received a variety of responses to both these questions, but no clear answer. “Too many shades of gray. Employees need to take responsibility. If they are smoking in a legalized state on vacation, chances are they are smoking at their homes too.” Emotions are running deep on this topic.
The Department of Defense has reported that contractors who test positive for any drug use may lose their security clearance. Similarly, other federal agencies require contractors/engineering firms to drug test staff working on their projects. This would clearly direct firms providing services to those agencies. Liability insurances for many firms are expected to rise.
NORML (www.NORML.org) shares “marijuana is the third most popular recreational drug in America (behind only alcohol and tobacco), and has been used by nearly 100 million Americans. According to government surveys, some 25 million Americans have smoked marijuana in the past year, and more than 14 million do so regularly despite harsh laws against its use. Our public policies should reflect this reality, not deny it.”
Carol Metzner President, The MetznerGroup Managing Partner, CivilEngineeringCentral.com View Carol’s profile & connect with her on LinkedIn civil engineering jobs :: civil engineering resumes :: civil engineering blog :: civil engineering discussion
As I have been enjoying the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi on TV I began to consider the unique engineering and construction of infrastructure necessary to pull off such an amazing feat. The infrastructure must not only be able to satisfy the expectations of the 2014 Winter Olympics, but it must be able to satisfy future needs for post-Olympic plans and activities. The costs entailed in developing effective and efficient transportation systems, in building quality housing for Olympic athletes and coaches, in designing surrounding facilities to accommodate and satisfy the thousands and thousands of tourists and spectators, and creating state of the art and sustainable sporting venues are enormous. After doing a little bit of digging around I came across the following infographic below that was produced by the New Jersey Institute of Technology. It is entitled, “Engineering the Sochi Winter Olympics.” Enjoy!
Received a call today from a civil engineering Senior Project Manager. During the conversation he asked me “How does my salary measure up against others?” Over my 25+ years of recruiting, this is one of the most frequently asked question. And, it is not easily answered. Salaries range widely across the US. Benefit packages range widely as well. An engineer with a specific educational background and technical experience may make as much as $30K more in New York or Los Angeles then they do in North Carolina or Michigan. And with our recent blog on salary compression, salaries of two employees who sit next to each other with identical resumes may differ in compensation by several thousands of dollars!
Your human resources department is not going to share your colleagues salaries; however, they may share ranges for your position. That will give you a starting point.
So what is one to do? Short of interviewing with other firms to see what they may offer or talking to colleagues who work at other firms, here are a few sites that offer some guidelines.
Results are from salary surveys: indeed.com, simplyhired.com, ASCE.org, payscale.com. Keep in mind, that even the information on these sites vary greatly. After identifying various salary ranges, check out your cost of living comparison in your location with your salary here: cnn.money
How do you assess whether you are being paid competitively? Please let us know!