The Engineering Career Coach Podcast provides engineering career advice to engineers of all ages and experience levels. Engineering Management Institute and bestselling author Anthony Fasano, PE coaches engineers on the show ranging from recent engineering graduates to engineers from the best engineering consulting firms on different engineering career goals and challenges.
Each show includes a motivational segment, a live coaching session with an engineer on real career challenges, and an engineer career-changing tip. Topics covered include but are not limited to job search, goal setting, finding a mentor, communication skills, public speaking, networking, organizational skills, productivity, leadership and more.
TECC 240: Celebrating Black History Month with Kameelah S. Majied, PMP
In this episode, and in honor of recognizing Black History Month, I talk to Kameelah Samar Majied, PMP, Associate Director and Diversity Champion at Merck about Black women in engineering and STEM.
Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. Also known as African American History Month, the event grew out of "Negro History Week," the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month.
Here Are Some of the Key Points Discussed About Black History Month and Women in Engineering and STEM:
The mission of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) is to increase the amount of responsible Black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community.
NSBE, started in the year 1975, is one of the largest student-run organizations. This year there are approximately 20,000 members.
NSBE has three segments of talent:
NSBE Junior: Pre-college individuals who seek exposure to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)
Collegiate: Undergraduate and graduate students majoring in science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics (STEM) at a collegiate institution or graduate-level students who majored in STEM as undergraduates.
NSBE Professional: Working professionals and graduate students who majored in science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics who seek to fulfill NSBE's mission via avenues for networking and professional development while giving back to the community.
Black History Month was first called Negro Week. It is the recognition and celebration of all the contributions of Blacks to history. Black history is so important that everyone should focus on it.
The concept of people engineering is how you get people to function like a machine and to get them harmonized in terms of how they think and take an engineering approach to what they do every day. To do this, we need to get everyone involved in a project to focus on the finished product. The idea is to take the same train of thought and apply it to what we are all working toward. It is getting people to take the same concepts utilized in your discipline and what you are trained on, and solve real-life solutions.
STEM is in everything we do. Science, technology, engineering, and math is the foundation of global business. When there is a product that is being sold, there are engineers behind the design, manufacturing, and ultimately how the product can be used by the buyers. Business is driven by experts, ideas, and innovation to increase their customer base and drive their bottom-line revenue.
There is a deficit in representation for Blacks and Black women in STEM. There are very few Black women in executive leadership in the top 500 companies. Young Black girls in different cities and states need to have the opportunity to look up to someone who looks like them and aspire to be like them. The workforce representing diversity will benefit from diverse thoughts, talents, and voices to how things develop. One of the biggest problems Black women face in STEM is access, opportunity, and representation. Many people do not know about the opportunities that they can develop. Therefore, they need access and opportunity so that they can see what is available for them.
In recent years, Black communities have been polled and asked to answer questions like, "Do you trust your medical provider?" and "If you have a common cold, are you going to the doctor?" Their answers are almost always no. Based on the data from the polls, there is no level of comfort in these areas.
TECC 239: How to Effectively Lead People (Teach, Coach, Mentor, Inspire)
In this episode, I talk to Dr. Andrew Temte, President and Global Head of Corporate Learning at Kaplan, about his forthcoming book Balancing Act: Teach, Coach, Mentor, Inspire, which is about being an effective leader of people through teaching, coaching, mentoring, and inspiring. Andy talks about balance in life, balance at work, and balance between the two. The book, and our conversation, is packed with actionable strategies for improving one's ability to lead people, which, in my opinion, is the most important skill leaders can cultivate.
Here Are Some of the Key Points Discussed About Work-Life Balance and Strategies to Lead People:
You are rarely in perfect balance in anything that you do in life. Balance is the target condition that we are striving toward, but never quite ultimately getting to. It is okay, because that is the way that it should be.
In the process of learning, you purposefully put yourself in an off-balance position. A key skill is to be able to then strive to get back into a place of balance after the learning process.
Sometimes you get into a comfortable, more balanced state, which is unnatural. You need to search for a way to get back into an unbalanced state to become the next best version of yourself.
Similar to when driving a boat, as a leader, you are responsible for the wake that you leave behind you. The higher you climb in a leadership role, the more displacement you throw off in the environment that you are in. Having and understanding this mindset is key to understanding the power of your words and how they impact the people around you.
If you are engaging people through the proper education and learning programs and giving them skills to develop, it is often appreciated more than giving them a raise.
Followership is a neglected leadership trait. When you are in a leadership role, you should ask yourself how you can get people to follow you. You also need to realize that you are still a follower because you still have people in higher positions above you. Work on your ability to shift gears more fluently between being the leader and being the follower.
When talking to another person, that person is not in the same frame of mind as you. You are in a different mental and physical space than the person you are talking to. Everyone has something that they are dealing with. People filter information based on their personal experiences at that moment in their life. To get your message across, you need to be consistent, persistent, and agile in having the ability to say it in numerous ways.
More in This Episode…
In the Take Action Today segment of the show, Andy talks about the six words that he uses at work and home to hone in his philosophy for a balanced life.
About Dr. Andrew Temte, PhD, CFA
As President and Global Head of Corporate Learning, Dr. Andrew Temte, PhD, CFA, spearheads Kaplan's efforts in helping employees remain relevant in the future world of work, as well as in helping companies continuously improve by attracting the right talent and upskilling or reskilling their workforce. In this capacity, he oversees and leverages assets, capabilities, and talent across Kaplan's global footprint throughout the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore, the GCC, and Hong Kong.
A thought leader on issues related to professional education and workforce skilling, Andy has been published and cited in several media outlets.
“The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.” ~ Jim Rohn
Books Mentioned in This Episode:
Balancing Act: Teach Coach Mentor Inspire
TECC 238: Shaping Our Future Generations Through STEM Outreach
In this episode, I talk to Tiffani Teachey, a senior mechanical engineer and international best-selling author about STEM, and the importance of becoming involved in STEM, especially as a young girl. She talks about the books she has authored and how she uses that accomplishment to shape our future generations by encouraging girls to become more involved in STEM.
Here Are Some of the Key Points Discussed About STEM:
Statistics show that girls start questioning themselves at a young age, so we need to start exposing them to STEM earlier on in their lives. Giving them exposure, opportunity, access, and knowledge is the key to getting them more involved in STEM. Mentorship and representation is also a great way for them to visualize themselves and others in a career in STEM.
Exposing girls to role models who are women as engineers or even astronauts is the starting point to debunking the myth that only men can work in these positions. Telling the stories of the hidden women in history, as well as the stories of the women who are doing it now, will also help them to see the possibilities. This can be done through avenues like television, movies, and anything that influences their minds.
The book, “What Can I Be? STEM Careers from A to Z,” is the number 1 seller in STEM education. It is available in three languages so that the underrepresented minorities and Title 1 schools will not have a problem understanding it. It is targeted at children from 5 to 8 years old, and features six diverse children who walk them through the different careers.
There are 11 women authors talking about their experiences and transformations in the book called, “Saving Lives While Fighting for Mine: Stories to Empower Women to Win.” The section “Against All Odds” talks about how girls who are still in school need to speak up when they are not treated correctly. It also talks about dealing with discrimination and standing your ground as a woman once you have started your career. In addition, it has steps that women and girls can take to become empowered and have a great career in STEM.
More in this episode…
In the Take Action Today segment of the show, Tiffany talks about how you can empower the next generation of STEM leaders.
About Tiffani Teachey
Tiffani Teachey is a Sr. Mechanical Engineer, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) coach/advocate, professional speaker, international bestselling author of the children’s book “What Can I Be? STEM Careers from A to Z,” and “Saving Lives While Fighting for Mine: Stories to Empower Women to Win,” a women empowerment book. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering, as well as a Master of Science degree in Engineering Management, both from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
As an engineer with more than 16 years of experience, Tiffani has a passion for inspiring the next generation to engage in STEM careers. She is known for motivating, empowering, and inspiring others to succeed.
"Science is not a boy's game, it is not a girl's game. It is everyone's game. It is about where we are and where we are going. Space travel benefits us here on Earth. And we have not stopped yet. There's more exploration to come." ~ Nichelle Nichols, former NASA Ambassador and Star Trek actress.
Resources and Links Mentioned in This Session Include:
Tiffani Teachey Website
Connect with Tiffani Teachey on LinkedIn
Books Mentioned in This Episode:
What Can I Be? STEM Careers from A to Z
Saving Lives While Fighting for Mine: Stories to Empower Women to Win
How can you empower the future generations of STEM leaders?
We would love to hear any questions you might have or stories you might share on how you can ...
TECC 237: 9 Great Tips for Women in STEM: Navigating Career Challenges
In this episode, I talk with Dr. Tamara Baynham, PhD, an electrical engineer and director of Clinical Research at EBT Medical, Inc., based in Toronto, about women in STEM. She provides nine great tips on how women in STEM can navigate career challenges with confidence.
Here Are 9 Tips for Women in STEM to Navigate Career Challenges With Confidence:
1. Claim Your Seat at the Table
Claiming your seat at the table in your profession as a woman takes courage, boldness, and intentional navigation.
The most important thing to do is not internalize the thought that you should only be happy to be invited to sit at the table.
Understand that you have earned your place at the table and be vocal about what you believe and why you are there.
2. Be Open to Possibilities
Always stay open to take a divergent path in your career and life, no matter which path you planned to take.
Being open to possibilities may take you somewhere different that can pleasantly surprise you.
Sometimes when people set themselves up on a path, they become scared that they are going to fail, and become laser-focused. There is no such thing as failure — what you have is a closed door that opens you up to looking at another path. Know that you are going to be scared, but move past that!
3. Build a Support Network
Try to make connections with like-minded people who can help you grow in your career.
Look at your employee resource group. Most companies have employee resource groups that are focused on ethnicity, gender, and different points of distinctions and uniqueness an individual might have.
It will provide you with an opportunity to meet people in other parts of your company that you would have probably never interacted with, which in turn can open a lot of professional doors for you outside of just building a social network.
4. Set Clear Goals
Using a vision board will allow you to visualize yourself in an ideal state, and will increase your chances of achieving your goals.
Be open to pivoting or making changes in your original plan. It does not mean that you have failed to achieve your goal; it means that your goals have changed due to life circumstances.
Do not forget to add things that you personally want on your vision board and see how they combine with your professional goals.
5. Develop a Global Mindset
Many places in the world tend to group different kinds of people in separate boxes. Try to understand that everyone is different and everyone does things differently.
Look at how you are different from others and how your differences can bring unique things to the table.
6. Strive to Live Outside of Your Comfort Zone
Just because you decide to do something does not mean you are not going to get scared and have doubts. Become comfortable living with the fact that there is going to be uncertainty.
Think of something that you are interested in but are reluctant to try, and do it without thinking about it. You are reluctant because you have been calculating the "why nots" and "what could happen."
Allow yourself to fail sometimes and take the experiences and knowledge gained with you.
7. Be Open to Support No Matter Where It Comes From
It is a good idea to join a support network. It can help you to get comfortable with asking people for help, and you will have many more people who will be able to help you in many ways.
You can start from the ground up in networking and relationship building.
Try to express your desire for assistance to people in your support network.
Be prepared when you ask for help, and have your questions ready.
TECC 236: How to Level up in Your Engineering Career
In this episode, I talk to Shawn Livermore, a bestselling author, software engineer, consultant, and tech startup founder. He wrote a book called Average Joe that has lit the world on fire and has given hope to people, explaining that anyone in the tech world can create and that anyone on the peripheral of tech can break through to the center where innovation, creativity, and opportunity meet. And in this episode, we have the privilege to talk to him and hear him share some of his greatest stories, tips, and advice that will certainly help you to level up in your engineering career.
Here Are Some Ways on How You Can Level up in Your Career:
There is nothing magic in product creation like a tech genius, and a new product can take years to materialize.
There have been many studies done over many decades to find ways to identify who is going to be a genius later in their lives. The conclusion has always been that there is no reputable moment that anyone has had any data to prove this.
All of humanity seeks to worship something and this ties in with the great man theory. This means that some people have a feeling of empowerment of the genius gene and they seek the glory that they get from everyone for their accomplishments.
"We forged the chains we wear in life." ~ Charles Dickens. To be unbound by the chains of standardization, you need to look at the professional and personal situation that you are currently in and see if there are a series of plateaus that you can level up to in your future. You then need to find what is holding you back from continuing to level up and find a way to get over that obstacle.
A slow create framework is a series of free pdf's and videos, which allows anyone to plot out the various products you are creating, ideas you are iterating on, and problems you are solving, into a canvas. There are moments throughout the day where you drift off and daydream about many different things, these times are called mindless work by neuroscientists. When this happens, your mind turns off the executive control network, which is your decision-making network and turns on the default mode network, which is on whenever you are not specifically thinking about something. When your mind is in the default network, you will then begin to derive reflections to the canvas and begin solving the problems. This method allows people who never thought they were creative to be in a creative process all the time.
It is one of the most tragic things when intelligent people, like engineers, get caught up in the data side of things and find it difficult to talk to people. A system called the sustainable mystic triad has been developed. This system helps people to become fluent in their ideation and creative cycles, and their craft of speech. This means that someone like an engineer can be turned into a performer and show them how to form words so that they make a difference when talking to people.
Growth does not come from a magic moment or magic dust, it comes from procedural experimentation, gathering secrets, and using the secrets at the correct time. If you have a beautiful, perfect product with perfect product execution, then that is the magic that you are looking for.
More in This Episode…
In the Take Action Today segment of the show, Shawn talks about how you can level up in your career.
About Shawn Livermore
Shawn Livermore is the author of the Amazon best-selling business non-fiction book, Average Joe: Be the Silicon Valley Tech Genius. The book teaches anyone how to think, speak, and create like some of the brightest tech founders in the world. It dispels the myth of the tech genius, then, in a very satisfying twist, it reveals how to become the myth yourself. Shawn runs Product Perfect, a software consultancy, and lives in Southern California.
TECC 235: Women in STEM – Take Back Control of Your Career and Life
In this episode, I talk to Tiffany Dawson, an ex-mechanical engineer turned career coach for women in STEM about a difficult time she went through in her career, and how by getting the support she needed, she was able to use that experience and help other women around the world to excel in their careers. She also provides specific ways that women in STEM can create barriers for themselves to help boost their confidence and advance their success in work and life.
Here Are Some of the Key Points Discussed About Women in STEM:
Women in STEM generally face a lot of challenges, like not knowing how to progress their careers, thinking they are not good enough, and feeling lost. It is a good idea for them to get support from a manager or mentor to show them the ropes, which will spare them a lot of pain and suffering in silence.
With more responsibility, you may begin to feel less confident and that you do not know what you are doing. This can lead to you overworking so that you can be half a step in front of everyone else and hide these feelings from your team. This, in turn, will start to take a toll on your professional and personal life. You will start to suffer from imposter syndrome, which makes you feel like you are failing at work and home, and turns into a vicious cycle that you get stuck in. If you are experiencing this now, remember that you are not alone, and other people are experiencing this as well.
Once you share the way that you are feeling with your manager or mentor, you will get a sense of freedom because you were bottling everything up for so long. Your manager or mentor can help you to get a perspective on what is going on around you and give you advice on what you can do to prepare yourself better to carry on. If your manager or mentor cannot help you, start looking for someone or a group of people who will be able to help you. Do not leave everything as it is.
What you need to do to take back control of your career and life:
The first thing is to acknowledge the fact that you are in control of your career and life, and you have a choice in everything that you do.
Women need to stop waiting for people to notice their good work. In the workplace, if you do not acknowledge your good work, it is almost like it did not happen. You must find a way to promote the good work that you are doing.
Things you need to do to get promoted:
Take control of your career by knowing what you want and what you are aiming for.
Create a plan to get what you are aiming for.
What women in STEM need to do before they start creating the barriers in their lives:
Before you can start creating barriers in your life, first find what is important in your life, and how you can prioritize those things. By doing this, you can establish barriers that can help you to focus on those priorities.
Knowing what your values are is especially important. When making big decisions in your life, if the choice you are going for does not honor at least one of your top three values, then you know that the choice will not make you happy.
Figure out what your strengths are and honor them to ensure that you are going to have a good life.
Advice for men who want to support women in the workplace:
Creating genuine working relationships with women is important for women to feel included.
Amplifying a woman’s voice in meetings will help them to not be talked over by men. A man’s deeper voice can easily overshadow a woman’s voice because of the difference in their voice tones.
More in This Episode…
In the Take Action Today segment of the show, Tiffany Dawson talks about the one key action that anyone can take to seize opportunities and...