PART3, Advanced Civil Engineering Construction
MT KAO (Blog: http://mtkaoforum31.blogspot.tw/) (email@example.com)
3. How will young man start his professional career?
1) Young professionals must try to learn from the beginning the ways that political institutions, social establishment, and commercial interest groups exert influences on each other and make their compromise to make the government operational and the economy functioning in the real world.
In a democracy or open society, the elite, instead of accumulation of people, must settle and conclude for what to do in terms of government policies, economic agenda and social behaviors for now and future. And engineers are part of them and not those to be informed and ruled, so will be involved in the process contributing intelligence.
So as professionals, it's essential to know who the ultimate stakeholders are. Understand their strong feeling or wanting to wish something to happen and knowing that there will be the most sensible and efficient way to meet public interest by social norms, market rules, and not the least, regulations and laws.
Never mind the possibility that bad side of humanity always have chances to get through in an open society and free market; and trust that the corruption and rent seeking will be diminished under long practice of liberalism and democracy.
A young beginner has to think bigger than what he will have learnt from the textbook which present to him maybe a serene technological realm; rather, he has to learn reasoning, contention and compromise that always happening in a bustling world from the outset.
We trust that candid engineers with sufficient secularity knowledge will be able to save the industry and the world one day.
2) The professionals don't produce, manufacture or build, they only offer design report and solutions based on professional knowledge accrued through education and training. The services provide plans and procedures to bring about machine, house and other complex things; and are required and valuable more than the clients would recognize.
The professional knowledge isn't the same as common sense and experience derived in daily life by any person. It's of professionals' the pride made them distinguished from ordinary people, however, the exercise of them so as to apply the concept, principle and information learnt correctly, need professional " skill", the ability leading to success.
World Economic Forum (WEF) in 2020 consider the most important professional " skill" consist of the ability for: complex problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, people management, coordinating with others , emotional intelligence, judgement and decision making, service orientation, negotiation , and cognitive flexibility, though not to be stringently followed but meaningful in the practice.
Finally, the professional has to exercise good "judgement" based on experience, analysis and endeavors to accomplish missions assigned to him by the project. It's the most difficult parts for the professionals because only a humble and experienced engineer believes this's an uncertain world that only through endless efforts the probability of success will possibly rise up.
3) Right altitude shall be most important for freshmen; and they've to be steadfast when offered elementary skill and details. Always the new starters don't appreciate the facts that technology advances only going through repetitive working on simple topics in the boring assignment.
Young people must know right attitude breed passions, which kindled with appropriate conceptualization and inflamed by curiosity will drive them for decent performance and further inspire innovation and creativeness. Also when they consider themselves fully engaged in the industry they will be able to tell what is good and bad, right and wrong, full-hearted or cold shouldered for their career. Then it's time for them to be in a position to solve problems lately and retain a prominent position in the industry.
Though engineers take time to be mature, which is in great difference with many other professions; they must determine what they will be at early stage according to their awareness and capability: consultant or contractor, technical or managerial, domestic or international, employed or boss. It means people shall identify his own personality and recognize the ability to adapt is rather limited before coming to age, say 30s, in a turbulent world.
Besides, young man also needs to be bound by degrees of the objectivism; so in most of the cases he has to obtain as many as possible licenses, certificates, and academic degrees in line with many countries' system.
4) The young student must understand that the modern construction industry essentially is governed with human distrust: terms of contracts, laws, certificates, checks, guarantees, tests, investigations and reports, are used to stimulate the antagonism between, and also to protect, parties with confronting interests.
There is an accelerated and gravitated tendency, especially in the developed countries that the added value allocated in the name to protect the benefit of final owner/investor has outweighed the expense throw in for engineering and construction. The outcome is that the engineers lose its importance playing their roles and professionalism rooted at trust and confidence between the clients and engineers reduced while legal and financial people commanding.
Young professionals with less confrontational mentality may strive to turn the tendency back so that non engineer's gradual domination on the industry to prove the technical world is still belongs to the engineers.
5) Young engineers shall trust the systems and accept the lead of the higher-up with patience from the moment he join the organization employ him. In his tenure as a team member people will learn to cultivate personal character, discipline and professional strength, and to lead an engineering team when time ripen.
Even in a relatively small engineering company, there's still requirement to be a good leader, which at least will be:
(1) Create a steady and sound work environment, face difficulties with resolutions so that the professionals will work efficiently.
(2) Find the new customers and win their trust.
(3) Reward those who work hard with decent pay.
(4) Adopt strategies for development that the Company needs.
(5) Recruit people of high talent and take the lead in competition
(6) Let the people in the team do what they are able to do
6) Unlike manufacturing or IT industries, construction business has its origin and background attached to history, culture and custom of the vernacular country. So the contracts and the trading systems used for engineering related contracts also need to have tight link with human affairs and common sense of the vernacular country.
To be a successful engineer one has to secure more humanity characteristics and know more about social behaviors, and pay respect to tradition and conventional wisdom which may be dismissed as redundancy soon to be discarded in the process of modernization. Eventually, engineering is an art rather than a science, if your approaches to the clients, colleagues or even competitors are in more civil ways from the young days, you're successful.