Opening Day at the Engineering Coach Blog!


[Note, this is actually a reprint of a post from my previous website. The economic outlook in Texas and the Gulf Coast is not nearly as rosy as it was at the time this was originally written. Such is the nature of anything related to oil and gas, unfortunately.]

So many topics, so little time!

OK, so that’s an overused phrase. I get it. But I had to start somewhere and it was just too appropriate. As time goes on, you can expect to find blog posts with job search tips, ideas for improving productivity, humor, general engineering business tips, maybe some technical links – whatever strikes my fancy that I think you will find interesting and helpful. Some will be my own posts but I’ll also be sharing articles and posts from others where appropriate.

So let’s start with some good news and then a job search tip for using LinkedIn.

If you haven’t already heard, things are looking up for engineers right now. With all the fracking projects going on around the country, both producers and end-users are riding high. Fuel and feedstocks are cheaper than they’ve been in a long time, and plentiful, too. We’ve suddenly become a net exporter of energy again. All this is extremely good for the general economy. More significantly for us, lots of projects means lots of jobs for engineers. Yay!

If you’re currently employed in one of those related businesses, your paycheck is likely secure for the immediate future. If you want to get into one of these busy areas of engineering, now is the time to update and polish your resume and start applying. You’ll also want to make sure you’re on LinkedIn, with your profile complete. (Yes, you DO need to be on LI.) Then, start connecting with people you already know as well as people in companies you’d like to work for.

How to do this? Easy. Look at the Search box on the top right side of your LI page. The default choice is to search for “People” but if you click on the arrow, you get a drop-down box with other choices. Choose “Companies” and then type in the name of the company you’re interested in. When that page comes up, find the box on the right that says, “How You’re Connected”. That will show you, among other things, how many employees of that company are on LI. Click on the “See all” blue arrow. That will take you to a list of people within that company, who are already on Linked In, that you can start inviting to connect with you. Look especially for Process leads, Human Resources managers, company recruiters, etc. for starters. Just ask them to connect at this point. You can follow up later with a specific request to get more information about their company and maybe send your resume, if they express interest.

An important point to make here is that LI is not like Facebook. You don’t need to personally know everyone you’re connected to. The goal is to grow a network you can utilize throughout your career. Accept invites from people who ask you (unless they don’t look legit for some reason – they’re rare on LI but they do show up occasionally – trust your instincts). Of course, you wouldn’t ever give a recommendation for someone you know nothing about, but it’s OK to connect.

Keep in mind that networking is about developing and nurturing relationships. It’s not about using people to find jobs and then ignoring them the rest of the time. Try to give more than you get. The Golden Rule works as well here as it does anywhere else – treat others as you would want to be treated. Then, when you need help, others will be more than happy to do what they can.

So now it’s your turn…did you find this post helpful? Have any questions? If so, please comment and I’ll do my best to answer you. And then watch for my next post where I’ll share an article with tips for increasing productivity.


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