Every once in a while, I get interviewed by kids (as instructed by their teachers) who are considering a career in Engineering. I’ve been receiving these interview requests like 3 to 4 times in a year for a few years now, but the last one I did was really interesting…
Question: What personality traits and skills would someone need to be successful in this job?
Answer: To be successful, you need lots of experience. Not just experience, but competence. Although this is a start up company, I wasn’t hired based on the degrees I had. I was recruited because they saw my output, and that I was good at what I did. So in summary: experience in the field, competence at what you do, and diligence in everything.
This answer made obvious to me 3 tips for success in your career
There are many jobs that do not require any experience, but such do not offer much in terms of career development. When considering a career, experience is important. Building experience early, also matters. I do not have all the certificates there are, but I have about 10 years of experience in my field and this has played a role in my career even before I considered it a career.
Like I say sometimes, you can have 10 years experience at doing something and still be doing it wrong! Yes, experience does not equal competence. You need to gather experience in the right way that leads to competence in your field. Competence is what separates your work from the next person, and is key in climbing up the corporate ladder.
Somehow, I feel that diligence is different from “hard work”. Diligence to me is not working hard but working smart, relentlessly and consistently. Working hard is like pushing an object. Working hard is like pushing a square rock; working smart is like pushing a round rock. Being able to channel your “hard work” in the right direction, on the right things, is diligence.
Put these three together, and I think you’d be on your way to a very successful career.