Just thought I’d do a quick follow-up to my last post, in which I was plugging the value of attending live events, like meetups.
Just last night, we had the first local event in the South West Aerospace Hackers meet-up. That’s one that I jointly kicked off, literally just a week ago, having publicized the meetup on Meetup.com and elsewhere, and on LinkedIn. Have already had about 20 people register, and 10 people show up, just a week.
There was a really really good buzz in the room. We met in a local watering hole. Good buzz! Lots of talk, lot of frustrations shared. People started to plot, and hatch ideas for how they can rejig, replan their own careers, but also other projects and initiatives. Lots of good stuff shared there. The next event is already scheduled for about a month away.
Continue reading See? Meetups work! Stuff happens!
Here are three career moves that I strongly recommend you initiate this year, and maintain for the rest of your working (and non-working) life.
None of these suggestions are specific to aerospace, or any other profession, for that matter.
They are hard to start.
They are hard to maintain.
And they WORK.
Continue reading Three excellent career moves for a new year
I have this fine morning read three articles that allowed me to travel about 50 years in time in the space of an hour.
(1) The first is yet another Fleet Street article, alleging that UK industry has insufficient engineers for its specialist sectors. That’s news? It only provides further evidence that over two decades, government and industry in the UK (and I surmise, much of the western world) have failed (or refused) to solve a solvable problem.
The article suggests that if you’re a well qualified engineer, you’re sitting pretty. The world is your oyster, you can name your price and laugh at the days ahead.
What’s weird is that a quick perusal of readers’ comments on the article will tell you that engineers today feel like doing anything but laughing.
Continue reading Engineering in 2014: A Tale of Two Centuries
Some of these you may have already heard of. It’s good to be reminded of them. They are good habits to live and work by, not just in aerospace.
If you can apply them all, every day . . . . . . . I salute you. You should be my teacher.
Here they are:
20% of the inputs generate 80% of the outputs. I quoted this to you earlier in this series of posts. It applies to everything.
Continue reading Kickstart Your Aerospace Career – Final Words of Wisdom
What’s your most important technical skill?
Mechanical, hands-on aptitude?
Nope, nope, and nope.
I just saw something yesterday that made me realize:
Things are changing even faster than I thought.
Freelancer is a site that does just what it says on the tin: Connects people and businesses who need specific work done, with the people who can do that work, wherever in the world they are.
Nothing new. Guru, eLance and oDesk have been doing it for the last decade.
What came as a surprise to me was the kind or work being offered on Freelancer. The eLances and oDesks of the world have until now mainly been useful for copywriting, SEO, web dev, software coding, graphic design, etc. Never the “harder” technical stuff, and certainly not the engineering disciplines within aerospace. That has typically been packaged up and “thrown over the wall” to lower-cost firms, often in cheaper countries.
Not until now, that is.
Continue reading The game just changed for the aerospace engineer
(Hint: The default value is YES.)
Here’s a blog post well worth reading, entitled How to be a freelance engineer. Very insightful.
I would have prefaced it with two questions:
- Do you know the currency value of the skills you will bring to the marketplace as a freelance engineer?
- If the answer to Question 1 is yes, are you still sure you want to be a freelance engineer?
Author Seth Godin likes to ask people if there is anyone else in the world that can deliver the same goods or services as you, for the same money (or less).
If the answer to that question is YES, he will tell you that you are on a race to the bottom.
Continue reading Engineer, are you a commodity?
Last week, I attended a seminar entitled Sizing Your Market, given by two Bristol-area gentlemen (Greville Commins, Matt Hatch). Between them, they have launched, led, and exited several tech businesses over many years.
It’s an important topic to businesses, that’s obvious.
On the surface, though, it might seem to be an irrelevance to lone rangers who just want to beaver along and get the day’s work done..
Even if you are an employee, or a contractor working for a single customer at a time, you’ve got to think like a business if you want to protect yourself and get ahead. You’d better have at least a gut feel for how many other people you are likely to work for in your lifetime, what their needs/wants are, and how much they are prepared to pay for your services.
Here’s a quick summary of what I learned at the Sizing Your Market seminar:
Continue reading Think like a business – Know your market
Earlier this week, I attended a TEDx conference, sponsored by Airbus
There were several speakers. A few now-famous TED talk videos were shown.
One presentation really stood out. An economist named Martin Klettke, now working for Airbus, illustrated his approach to innovation.
An economist? Innovate? In a technical, aerospace environment? Blasphemy.
It’s not hard if you’re Martin Klettke.
It’s not hard if you dare to think differently.
Here are some of Martin’s one-liners that have stuck in my head every since:
Continue reading A simple recipe for innovation
I just read a thought-provoking post on LinkedIn:
Too many ideas, not enough good developers.
He was speaking Silicon Valley-ese, of course, and referring to coders and software geeks.
But it set me thinking:
How do I think of myself?
A bit like the two Medieval-era stonemasons, who were asked, “What do you do?
One replied, “I cut stones.”
Continue reading The Right Mindset