I’m an electrical engineer and a graduate of the College of Engineering at the University of Rhode Island. With this one statement, you’re likely thinking that I must be really smart. That’s one of the reasons you should get the best education that’s within your means. The first step is to become known.
Some of my classmates never studied and got all As and Bs. (I still hate those guys.) I studied day and night and seldom got a grade above a C. and I graduated in the bottom half of my class. However, I was savvy, and I knew how to market myself and my professional practice, and within ten years, many people thought that I was “the smartest person in the room” (You are what you are thought to be) and also that my engineering practice therefore must be the best. If you pursue my advice, you can also gain that regard.
I was a nobody; I came from a blue-collar family and had never even seen the inside of a country club. But I was savvy enough to realize that I needed to start building an outstanding reputation and gain more credentials.
Meet People in your Profession/Industry
As soon as you graduate, start attending meetings of local organizations in your field of interest. Even if you don’t have a job yet, it will give you an opportunity to meet people in your industry and become known. These contacts might help you get a job or help you in other ways.
Here you’ll meet the players in your profession/industry, people who will be your colleagues, future competitors, or future employees. In most cases, you don’t even need to join to attend meetings. Try to get on the local mailing list so that you’ll be notified of meetings. Now most organizations have websites were meeting notices are posted. Most are usually evening dinner meetings with a guest speaker.
As a newly graduated engineer, I joined several organizations and attended meetings of the following:
The Rhode Island Society of Professional Engineers (RISPE)
Providence Engineering Society (PES)
Electrical League of Rhode Island(ELRI)
Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES)
Rhode Islanders initially had to drive fifty miles to attend meetings of the Boston IES chapter. But we had local meetings after a group of us formed the RI chapter of the IES, of which, I’m proud to say, I was the founding president. (Since I was only twenty-nine and new in the business, I was very pleased that my colleagues chose me as the first president. It was not until years later that I learned that they had previously been turned down by all my more experienced competitors.)
At meetings, collect business cards from those that you want to get to know. Start making a contact list, including both business and personal information. You’ll form a quicker and closer friendship if you can remember that he or she has an interest in baseball and has a three-year-old daughter named Michelle.
Initially, my resume included membership in the above-listed organizations. My next goal was to become a board member of RISPE. I asked the local president if there were any committee openings; there are always openings. I chose to become publications committee chairman, which qualified me to attend monthly board meetings, meet the leaders, and be seen and known. Soon, I met the nominating committee chairmen. After our friendship was cemented, I expressed interest in being on the board, and I became Treasurer the following year (most nominees run unopposed). That put me on the ladder, and I became RISPE president in four years. After my presidency, I nominated one of the recent past presidents for the Engineer of the Year award; not surprisingly, in a few years, he nominated me.
I don’t mean to imply that all this was easy; it took a lot of hard work. But, with determination and effort, you can establish credentials that will eventually distinguish you from your competitors. The important lesson here is that it doesn’t just happen—you make it happen.
Jack’s new book
I have recently completed a book on Marketing: “The ‘Smart Guide’ to MARKETING”, that is presently on “Pre-Sale” at the Kindle Store on Amazon, and is due for release on June first. Both the paperback & hardback (Case Laminated) versions are available from my website:
To see my YouTube video of:
“Your Disaster Recovery Plan” go to: Jack’s YouTube Channel.
Related topics include:
How to Prepare for a Job Interview – at Jack’s website
How to Prepare for a Job Interview – at experisjobs.
How to easily and quickly get the interviews that you want.
How to prepare for your interview and be ready for the likely questions.
How to start the job right and make the best first impression.
How to become known, build a reputation and make useful contacts.
How to gain credentials that will distinguish you from your competitors.
How to win awards that will make your resume shine.
Excerpted from ‘The “Smart Guide” to MARKETING’ Copyright © 2020 by Jack Gaskell. All rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted to copy and distribute this “Smart Guide” tip, upon condition that this message remains. Visit: My WEBSITE for additional tips.