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2 Tips for Achieving Career Goals

Have your ever seen just 2 tips anywhere else? We may add more in the future, but these 2 tips are the most important.

What do you want out of your career? There are many individuals who want to be a valuable engineer who can feel good about what they are doing and get the respect that they deserve. Some people are purely motivated by the almighty dollar. Yet, others just perceive their career as a secure means to earn a living and invest in retirement so that they can enjoy life away from work. Do you relate to any combination of these categories?

There are some simple guidelines to follow in order to achieve any of your goals.

Rule #1 - Clients like individuals, not companies. Nobody gives a squat about geotechnical firms or organizations, they only deal with us because they need to and they like the person doing the work for them. Relationship building is probably the most important thing to do in order to achieve any career goal. Negative relationships loses contracts for the company, and positive relationships provides repeat business. This does not mean that you cannot make a mistake, but you should be willing to contact the client as fast as possible and take the blame without making excuses.

Positive relationships take time, especially for young engineers. We should have face to face contact as much as possible, and phone conversations are better than nothing at all. Personally deliver the geotechnical report instead of throwing it in the mail or having the technician deliver it. Talk to the client on the job site when appropriate instead of standing on the sidelines. Let the client lead the conversation, everybody loves to talk about themselves and events in their life. Latch on to common interests, and prolong discussions that interest both parties. There are many psychological ways to build positive relationships, check your local book store if you really want to make an art of it. However, simple behaviors and common sense may be all you need.

Positive relationships are important for obtaining your goals. Who will have the easiest time getting raises and bigger bonuses when your clients are telling your boss how much they like you? You will also have more leverage in doing the type of work that you want and your ideas will seem more valuable, even if they are the same ideas you had before earning more respect. It would be easier to change jobs, if necessary, because you have built a positive reputation and you could possibly bring more work to the new firm.

Rule #2 - Employers like positive individuals too. Rarely, does a person with a good attitude gets fired. I have never seen it happen before. Despite what you have heard or think, employers are extremely partial. They do not hire people or give raises to people they dislike. An "A" student with the most technical knowledge in town who does the most efficient work, has less of an advantage over somebody that your employer gets along with very well. Again, relationships are of the utmost importance.

I do not recommend kissing the back side of an employer (or client) that you do not morally and culturally align with, however, keeping the most respectable relationship intact while you find a new place to work would be important to your professional career. If you do get along with your employer, then show an interest in his or her goals. Do things to make your boss look good, and then your benefits with that particular firm or organization will most likely be optimized. It may not provide you with exactly what you were desiring, but it will put you in the best possible position within your current position. If you feel that you have done everything right and the outcome does not meet your goals, then look at your life carefully. At this point, people may change careers, change jobs, realize that their goals were too lofty at the present time or the goals they made were just desires they thought they should have.

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