Career Transition for Engineers – Applying Old Skills to Fresh Challenges


Honestly, finding an engineering job with a corner seat and mail room would not be possible. Engineers, especially in the civil and mechanical fields, have a tough job life. And, this is one of the reasons engineers are looking for a transition. A career transition in the life of an engineer implies using the old developed skills into new challenges in the new job.

The Career Transition

The career transition would require you to go through some phases, where you have to learn something new, forget something old and bring to use skills you have not used for a long time now.

Career Transition & skills
Skills Wood Blocks Photo from Shutterstock

Talking About the Engineering Industry

The Engineering industry is not as simple as the simple one area of employment. There are a number of other sectors that the engineers can step into once they decide to quit the typical engineering job they are in. The transition may sound difficult as it requires a person to move out of the comfort zone.

But career change happens in three major steps. Realization, deciding to move further and doing it. Skill wise, thriving in the new environment comes to answering three basic questions. What is valued? What new needs to be learned? What needs to be forgotten?

Knowing What Is Valued?

Every sector, every industry will have a particular skill set that is valued more than the other. When you decide to move on, first find the skills that are most valued in the industry. Make a decent resignation from your present organization and identify which characteristics and practices are rewarded. Be flexible and open and your step of career transition would be successful.

What Is New Required To Learn?

Some industries see rapid changes, some industries are slow. There can be a vast difference of your previous knowledge about an industry and what is working at the moment. It is important to research the industry thoroughly and then know what needs to be added to the skill set to meet the requirements.

By rapidly learning what you need to learn, you are moving a step closer to your desired phase of life. Find areas where you need get up to speed and areas that can wait.

Why Do You Need to Forget Somethings?

Clinging to some old practices does not make a lot of sense usually. Of course, it is not a blank state, where you can free yourself from the past, but the key here is to learn what to apply and forgetting the rest.

The Trick

You would not land a new job without applicable skills, no matter how dramatic the change is. The trick to master the transition is to leverage the applicable skills and leverage the gap between new and old.

Engineers have the skill to adapt, learn and change and hence the transition period is smoother.

Which Fields Can You Be In?

Engineers have the ability to try their luck in a number of fields. But some fields require a little fewer efforts than the rest. There are ways where engineering degrees are used in non-engineering fields. Here are some fields you can think about:

  • Management: Engineers make good managers. They have all the required qualities that are needed to fit in a managerial role.
  • Technical Writing
  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Finance: Fields like treasury management and risk management

Before you take the final steps, here are somethings you must keep in mind

  • Give yourself the time to understand the change. Put the inconsiderable amount of thought, time and investment during the transition
  • Know what you want to do and how you want to do it
  • Have a plan before you decide to move on
  • Identify transferable skills

Engineers are instilled with a number of skills that are sure to help them in the transition phase.


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