If you want to be a rocket scientist or aerospace professional, this website is dedicated to helping you. But if you are an engineer looking for more comprehensive career advice, I have another hearty recommendation and great resource for you. Anthony Fasano is a Professional Engineer (PE) who has also become a certified career coach. He is also an author with an expanded and updated version of his book out now called Engineer Your Own Success. In this blog post I’ll give my review of this book. I’ll also gives links to his other resources that include a podcast, a blog, and conferences. If you are an engineer looking for career advice that is tailored to you, you need to check him out.
Let’s get into the book. The 2nd edition of Engineer Your Own Success came out at the end of 2014. It has all of the essential topics and comprehensive tips you would expect in a career advice book such as writing a great resume, acing an interview, and setting goals. It also has sections and information more specific to engineering careers, such as obtaining credentials and certifications. There is a good portion dedicated just to the Professional Engineer (PE) exam which is excellent. (I haven’t pursued the PE license but still think he has great advice because I applied many of the same steps to pass the PMP exam last year.)
The book also spends a healthy amount of space and persuasion on the “soft skills.” As an engineer himself and a career coach specializing in working with other engineers, it’s obvious he sees the value in this. I agree! But what is great about his approach is that he puts it in terms and contexts that should make sense to those of us that typically prefer more left-brain thinking. All of his examples and stories are from other engineers too.
Every chapter has many features that I love. There is a summary of key points to remember. There is a list of references that show Anthony has done his research and isn’t just giving his opinion. Those references are great for more in-depth learning and wisdom too. I think I read a lot of books but I’m very impressed with the number and variety he has in his book.
Another thing I love about the book is that it isn’t about just finding a job. It’s about making an extraordinary career–with an entrepreneurial mindset. There is a section about how to think like an entrepreneur. We need more of that! I can also vouch strongly for many recommendations he makes in his book such as joining Toastmasters and getting involved in professional societies.
This expanded 2nd edition also has worksheets and templates in an appendix. Very practical tools and exercises that will help you get into action and move forward. Another appendix has many articles from the “best of the blog.”
This book isn’t cheap and there are plenty of career advice books to choose from out there (including mine). But if you apply only 10% of what is in here, you’ll get much more than your money’s worth.
If my review and recommendation have persuaded you to invest in this book, I would appreciate you jumping to Amazon with this link. A small fraction of your purchase will support my efforts here.
Besides his book, Anthony also has many free resources available that I’ve taken advantage of and value. I subscribe to his podcast. Most of them have a 1-on-1 coaching session with another engineer, so they are fantastic (and fun) to listen to.
His website, Engineering Career Coach, has a blog, links to his podcast, and more–much of it for free.
And he also organizes and hosts live conferences. I haven’t been to one of these yet since I recently learned about him. His next event is May 1-2, 2015 in Washington DC. I’m looking at what I need to juggle in my life to get there…You can learn a little more about this event from the Kickstarter site where he successfully met his goal to pre-fund the event. (That’s a case where he is being entrepreneurial himself, which I salute him for.)
This should be plenty to keep you busy and advancing for a while if you are an engineer (or know an engineer). If you find this review and recommendation helpful I hope you’ll tell me about it in the future.
Onward and upward!