As soon as we stepped out of college with diplomas on our hands, we think we’re invincible. “Engineering school was tough but we’re tougher” we say. We can easily get the high-paying jobs we want and we’ll be successful engineers we expect ourselves to be. Maybe we became disillusioned with what we read on the internet – “Engineers are more likely to succeed in real life.”, “Engineers are smarter than anyone else.”, “Engineers have it easier than most.”, “Engineers have the highest paying job in the professional world.”
But here’s a reality check for all of us: Not every engineer will succeed. Not unless we’re ready to accept the harsh truths of wanting to be successful:
#1 We all must work hard to succeed.
If you think success will just knock on your door one day, think again. If you want to get what you want, you have to work hard for it. That means plenty of sleepless nights working harder than you can imagine. That means knocking on more doors for opportunities. That means sacrifices must be made to achieve your goals. Yes, success will be painful. It will never be easy.
#2 Know your worth.
As the saying goes, do not compare your chapter one to somebody’s chapter 26. We all go through life at different paces. Don’t feel bad about not being able to succeed immediately when everybody else looks like they’re successful already. You just have to trust the timing of your life and know your worth. Know what you are capable of and know what you’re good at. Use them to your advantage. Don’t rely too much on the materialistic side of success.
#3 You’re ready to take risks.
While the safest way to get through life is to settle with what you already have, anyone who aspires to be a successful engineer knows that settling is just not the way to go. The option to fail may be scary but one has to take risks in order to find the success one wants. Come to think of it, failing eventually leads us to the right path. Failing may teach us a thing or two about success.
#4 Stay positive no matter what.
As young engineers get exposed to the harsh realities of life, we eventually start realizing that the real world is just difficult to deal with. We have never-ending bills to pay, nagging bosses to entertain and work that’s too stressful for us. We start to lose hope that we’ll be happy with our lives. We start to lose hope that we’ll be successful engineers.
STOP! Don’t ever let the negative thoughts get to you. You are only as good as your thoughts allow you to be. So no matter what happens, stay positive. Always think that everything you’re going through will prepare you for something better. Always remember that there will always be a light at the end of the tunnel.
#5 Some people can be bad for us.
Remember back in college, you used to hang out with peers who always were up for a night of drinking and sex instead of studying? Well, once you enter the real world, wanting to succeed in life means you’ll have to say goodbye to people who may be a bad influence to you. That may include the “cool” peers you used to hang out with.
Instead of partying and drinking with them, how about finding people who inspire you to be better at your job? Don’t hang out with toxic people who just drain the productive energy out of you. Choose your friends wisely.
#6 Don’t aim for perfection.
You’ll never get the perfect life. You will never get the perfect job and the perfect love life simultaneously. There will always be a flaw in something so you have to accept that aiming for perfection is useless. The good thing about not having perfection is that you’ll always have room for improvement. There lies the exciting part of your journey as an engineer and as an individual. Constantly find ways to improve yourself instead of being perfect.
#7 You’ll never get it the first time.
We’ve heard of different stories about how successful people and famous inventors often failed when they were just getting started with their careers. We will often encounter difficult situations and there will be times when we lose the fight. We will be rejected and criticized. We will get hurt throughout the process but what matters is we try again. Not all of us will ever get it the first time so you should get ready to get back up every time you fall.