One of the major concerns among the growing number of young professionals all over the world is the challenge of building credibility when you have little or no experience.
This is a Catch-22 situation, one where you need some amount of experience and knowledge of the field to get the job but where you gain that experience only after getting the job. It can be a bit tricky, dealing with this situation.
Nowadays, it is a taxing process with so many qualified applicants vying for the same job; you need to stand out to get noticed.
As the saying goes: The early bird catches the worm. To gain credibility and kickstart your career, it helps to start early (in terms of years), building your profile while you’re still in college, when you have more time on hand to try different things that may wind up being an asset to your resume for a dream job.
But what should you do to stand out? Here are a few things I believe you can do to start building your profile.
- Find out what you are passionate about.
Think, too, about how you might contribute in that particular field.
- Hone your research skills.
The field of engineering (and other fields, for that matter) are always changing, so one needs to keep abreast of the current technologies. Try developing unique knowledge that makes you a good resource for others.
- Be open to opportunities that may come your way while at school and after.
Do things that are within your interest, and try learning about different things that may be relevant.
- Volunteer to take on new opportunities.
These will not only help you learn new things but also show that you are keen to do the work irrespective of what are the monetary benefits. It also displays your zeal and sincerity toward learning new things.
- Learn good time-management skills.
Be the one who can manage workload and be proactive in communicating. Communication is key, as you need to share with others what you are expecting and what others are expecting from you.
- Be a global professional who can work with people and projects in any part of the world.
With continued globalization, this only gets more and more important.
- Build a strong network of close relationships that will help you in the future.
If you know people from your industry, they can guide you, mentor you and refer you to certain positions that may not be available otherwise. The key is to get to know more and more people on a personal level.
And remember, the most vital thing remains the same: work hard and work smart. To achieve your ambitions, nothing else can surpass that. But hopefully these tips will give a jump start to your career and help you solve the credibility paradox.
Prateek Srivastava, A.M.ASCE is a highly motivated young professional eager to build upon his technical expertise and fundamental knowledge of structural engineering obtained at the Pennsylvania State University in 2017. He is currently working in New York City, and his expertise includes designing and analysis of various civil structures like high rise buildings, wastewater treatment plants, bridges etc. He has an interest in sustainable construction and promotes sustainability in his professional endeavors and otherwise. Having been involved in the field of sustainability, he is one of the 2017 JUST scholars awarded by the International Living Future Institute, Seattle and also a 2017 Grand Challenge Scholar awarded by the White House. He is one of the Green Program Industry Mentors, and currently holds the office of Secretary of Engineers Without Borders New York Professional Chapter.
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