Often, I hear the question, “Does ____ industry have opportunities right now?” And, while I don’t say it, I want to answer: “Who cares?” Is this the deciding factor on where you will take your career— what’s available now? Sounds like a great way to find a career you may hate. Your career choice is an important decision that will have a significant effect on your life. (Remember that there is little or no relationship between earnings and job satisfaction.) You must target industries for a successful career.
Before you decide to pursue a particular industry within your engineering discipline, ask yourself this question: Can I see myself performing these duties all day, every day? When you choose a specific industry, make sure it’s a good match for your interests, abilities, and purpose. You certainly don’t want to design meat processing facilities if you’re a vegetarian, or fire protection systems if you’re a pyromaniac. Find an industry that matches your interests.
Be sure to complete extensive research about the industry you are considering by reading company websites and asking your contacts in-depth questions.
I have had great luck on LinkedIn finding and asking questions of other engineers about their industries. People love talking about themselves, so be sure to ask.
Once you have found an industry that suits you, it’s time to look at some companies. It’s important to consider not only the reputation, but the size of different companies, the projects they work on, the problems they solve, and the culture.
Identify a few companies you would like to work for and do some research. Find these companies’ career pages and regularly check for openings. Think about what about these companies inspires you to work for them.
Do careful research. How long have they been in business? Try contacting employees of the companies which you are interested in. How do they like what they do? What about past employees? Why did they leave? Has the company hired and let go numerous young people? Is the culture a fit for you?
Identify the job requirements
Once you’ve identified some companies that interest you, it’s time to figure out if you have the qualifications and skills to handle the position. Where do you look? Job descriptions.
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