Engineering Career GPS Series

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Stuck in a job rut? The Burns & McDonnell-sponsored Engineering Career GPS video series, featured on, will help you navigate through the daily grind to your ideal career destination.

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Episode Recap

Episode 1: 5 ½ Clues It's Time to Leave Your Job

Are you getting clues it's time for a career change?

Key clues:

  1. Company doesn't value employees
  2. Bad relationship with manager
  3. Company financial health in question
  4. Poor communication culture
  5. Unchallenging work
  6. Salary (alone, not a reason to quit)


Episode 2: The Value of Credentials

Roger considers the next step in his career and ponders pursing an MBA and his PE certification.

Key lessons:

  • Networking is a critical career management skill.
  • Credentials are valuable but are no substitute for a career plan.
  • Consider seeking out a mentor.

Episode 3: The Career App

Miyagi mentors Roger, helping him navigate what's best for his career through an engineering career match app. Gotta love technology!

Key lessons:

  • Mentors and colleagues can be a big help.
  • There may be better job for you.
  • Consider your skills and interests.
  • Open your mind to the possibility of consulting.

Episode 4: Post Meeting Glow

Roger has an epiphany about a new career direction during an intense game of ping-pong against Jen.

Key lesson: Consulting careers have a number of advantages, such as interesting work, big-name clients and the opportunity for long-term career development.

Episode 5: Resume Time

Roger gets blasted by his boss again, motivating him to work on his resume. Jen offers suggestions on how to write a strong resume.

Key lessons:

  • Keep it short.
  • Spell and grammar check.
  • Quantify your achievements.
  • Give examples of leadership.
  • Include keywords relevant to your job application.
  • Customize your resume and cover letter every time.

Episode 6: Do You Have an Online Profile?

After no responses to his job applications, Roger turns to Jen for advice. She helps him get started on LinkedIn.

Key lessons:

  • Linkedin is a valuable networking tool.
  • Start with creating a strong profile.
  • Customize your invitations when you make connections.

Episode 7: Establishing Your Online Presence

Roger gets some early traction with LinkedIn.

Key lessons:

  • Create your Google+ profile, as it will be the first link that pops up in a Google search.
  • Consider online industry discussions through platforms such as Twitter.

Episode 8: The Mock Interview

Roger lands an interview through his connections on LinkedIn, so Jen helps him conduct a mock interview.

Key lessons:

  • Dress the part and mind your phone manners.
  • Research the company.
  • Practice your responses to interviewer questions.
  • Prepare questions to ask the company representative with whom you're interviewing.

Episode 9: The Interview Follow-Up

Roger had such a great interview that he's dancing in the foyer on his way into work. He and Jen discuss the best way to follow up with a thank you.

Key lessons:

  • Follow up promptly after your meetings.
  • Email is fine.
  • Hand written notes are even better.

Episode 10: Evaluate Future Employer

Roger and Jason meet in the parking lot of a cafe while Roger is looking under the hood of his car. They talk about how to evaluate an offer, and Jason reminds Roger that money isn't everything. They focus on the culture of the firm Roger is considering.

Key questions:

  • What do you value in a job?
  • What work will you do?
  • With whom will you be working?
  • Does the company support the community? Is it active in your industry? 
  • What after-hours events such as social and athletic activities are offered?
  • What will your total compensation be?

Episode 11: The Job Offer

Roger is so excited to get a job offer that he attempts to dunk a basketball. Jen and Roger discuss his offer and what he plans to ask for in the negotiation process.

Key lessons:

  • What’s important to your next career move?
    • Opportunities for advancement
    • Vacation and benefits
    • Professional development
    • Compensation
  • Negotiating an offer is an art. Be sure you consider all elements.

Episode 12: The Return

Roger comes back to his old company during an ASME chapter meeting and runs into Jen. She compliments him on his blog and presentation skills before they face off in a ping-pong finale.

Key lessons:

  • Keep your career growing by blogging, presenting, tweeting, etc.
  • Don't leave career planning until your job search.
  • Building your career is a continuous process.