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8 Keys to Career Success

Success in the workplace requires a combination of skills, competencies, and experience. When recruiting talented engineers, employers assess your potential by reviewing your documents and interactions via interviews and events. Based on research by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), ECS spotlights 8 Keys to Career Success. Does your resume reflect some of these competencies? When interviewing, are you able to confidently show your abilities related to critical thinking, communication, leadership, etc.? Let’s take a look at the 8 Keys below.

Critical Thinking: Analyze issues, make decisions, and overcome problems by interpreting facts and exercising reason.

  • Critical thinking skills are put to the test every day during your engineering coursework. The tough part often lies in explaining your decision making process. Practice the structured method as outlined in the Student Handbook (p.34).

Communication: Articulate thoughts and ideas effectively in written and oral forms to a variety of audiences.

  • Both your interview and resume are prime examples of your oral and written communication skills—that’s why refining your confidence with both is so important. Volunteer for class presentations, schedule a mock interview, and have several people review your resume to avoid any silly mistakes.

Teamwork: Collaborate with individuals of diverse backgrounds and effectively manage conflict.

  • Who doesn’t love a class project? These are the experiences where our patience, leadership, delegation, and conflict resolution skills are often put to the test. Reflect on your experiences within a team, the role you took on, and how you navigated it—this is sure to come up during interviews!

Technology: Leverage digital technologies ethically and efficiently to solve problems.

  • Sure, you may have a tablet, phone, and laptop at your fingertips at all times—but, do you know how to use the technology on hand most effectively? Employers are looking for candidates to implement their critical thinking skills when determining when, how, and what technologies to use in a given situation.

Leadership: Use empathy to guide others, delegate work, and achieve common goals.

  • Leadership isn’t only found in a title. The skills of a leader require care to build, whether that be through volunteering, part-time work, or community involvement. Consider where you’ve used your emotional intelligence to guide others towards a common goal.

Professionalism: Demonstrate personal accountability, integrity, and ethical behavior with the larger community in mind.

  • Consider the impact your actions have on the people around you and take accountability for yourself. This means owning up to your mistakes and taking the appropriate steps to work towards recovery.

Career Management: Self-advocate for opportunities in the workplace, articulate strengths relevant to career goals, and address areas for professional growth.

  • Most people are used to articulating their strengths during an interview, but your career management capabilities extend beyond that interaction. Attend skill-building workshops and reflect on your goals to ensure consistent professional growth.

Global Fluency: Value and respect all people and appreciate individuals’ differences.

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Abraham Lincoln

About the author

Ashley Taylor

Ashley Taylor is a Career Counselor at Engineering Career Services.