Many recent engineering graduates believe that they can rely on their technical knowledge to help them build a thriving career. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Anyone in the engineering field is going to need to understand the role they play in the organization as a whole.
What Is Your Role as an Engineer?
New engineers often believe they are hired to formulate new designs or calculate the safety of a new product before it is approved for manufacturing. That is certainly part of the role that you play, but your work serves a larger purpose to the organization. You need to look at the bigger picture and remember why your employer hired you in the first place.
Every employee in any organization has one purpose: create value for the company and help increase the profit. You need to make sure that your work keeps this in mind.
Engineers will need to work with employees in other divisions and understand the role they play. New engineers should a have at least a basic understanding of business to do their jobs better.
What Do Engineers Need to Know About Business?
Engineers love taking on new challenges. Many of us naturally want to design a product that we are going to be proud of. There is nothing wrong with that, but you need to make sure that your product can provide a long-term financial benefit to your employer. Here are some factors that you are going to want to take into consideration when you do your job.
Everything You Build Needs to Be Marketable
Your company will need to build a better mousetrap if it is going to be able to take customers away from their competitors. Unfortunately, you don’t get to decide whether or not your product is superior to that offered by your competitors. The customers will decide whether or not your product is worth purchasing. You need to make sure that your product serves a basic need. This makes it easier for your company to sell the concept to your customers.
Always make sure that your product provides some tangible benefits to your customers. The best way to do this is to think from the perspective of your end user when you do your job rather than rigidly following the job specs that were given to you.
Your Products Need to Be Financially Viable
You will need to make sure that it is practical for your employer to build the product. There may need to be a balance between cheaper materials and materials that are going to enhance the quality of the product. Your company probably can’t afford to build every consumer good you design from titanium. Sometimes you will need to find a cheaper material that you can use instead.
Your company will tell you whether certain types of materials are going to be too expensive to use; however, they will be glad when their engineers take the initiative and try to find ways to lower the costs of producing products on their own.
Leading and Communicating With Others
Engineers are going to work closely with people in other divisions. You will need to be able to communicate effectively with everyone else in the organization in order to do your job effectively.
Understand Your Role in the Organization
Engineers play an integral role in the future of the organization. Your employer didn’t hire you to perform CAD models all day. They want to make sure that you provide some value to your organization. You will have a fuller and more lucrative career if you understand the role that your business plays in the organization and make sure you provide value for your employer.
Kalen Smith is a mechanical engineer and entrepreneur and writes on topics like online mba degree programs. He suggests beginning engineers consider a master of engineering management if they want to advance their career.
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