I regularly receive same question from different planning and non-planning engineer: I want to improve my skills? Well, my answer to this question may be shocking for you, but that is the only way to move forward.
Are you looking for success or waiting for it to come to you?
I am wondering why some young and even experienced engineers are waiting for the sky miracle to change their lives. One of the engineers who was asking for one of my courses is telling me that he is looking for a job for the past 2 years. Really! Two years you cannot find a job? I am not telling that he is Lying, but he is extremely wrong! I remember when I was fresh graduated engineer, I kept sending my resume to companies for 3 months, and I adjusted my resume for every job to focus on the skills they are asking for. However, in these three months, I took English course, AutoCAD course, and primavera course as well. I got hired in the first interview, you know why? Because when the interviewer asked me about the salary I am asking for, my answer was that I am learning, and I need you more than you need me, therefore I will accept any salary you offer to me. However, I guarantied him that I am very welling to learn and you can reevaluate my performance after 3 months then we can adjust my salary or fire me if I am not good. I was working around 14 hours per day, after I finish my work in the technical office I continue in the site to observe how the construction works were executed. After completing 1 year in this company, my salary was almost the double when I started, and whatever I saved in one year, I invested it to find a job in the gulf countries to learn more. And guess what? My salary in the gulf was almost the same in my country Egypt, my friends thought at that time I am crazy, but my point of view is, whenever you start in a new organization, or new country, work to learn then work to earn.
What is your actions to improve yourself?
There is a famous sentence says that “If You Want Something You’ve Never Had, You’ve Got To Do Something You’ve Never Done.” So, you need to enhance your skills, get better job, increase your income,…etc. what did you do to achieve this? Act right now, not tomorrow, not after an hour, if you failed to take the action now, you might fail to take it for the rest of your life. Developing never stop. If you think you know everything in your career, please let me tell you, you are falling and after few years you will find that your colleagues are way ahead of you. Finally, and in order to close all the doors that might face you taking the correct action, your decision after reading this article will be only one of two options:
Option 1 : Find an excuse not to develop yourself.
Option 2: Find a solution to develop yourself.
What possible actions I could take as a Planning Engineer to enhance myself?
Let me brief for you the main required skills for a planning engineer, then you need to ask yourself: what I am missing?
- Can read and understand project documents.
- Effectively communicate with project team.
- Have good information about construction projects sequence of works.
- Able to develop project schedule Fast and Accurate.
- Positively involve project team during planning stage and develop the plan for their best use.
- Flexible and fast doing changes to project plan per site conditions.
- Provide useful reports to the project team. Different reports for different team members.
- Can predict project risks and suggest mitigation plan to the project team.
- Guide the project team to perform their tasks fast and more effective by telling them which area is better to be executed first and will return better invoice amount for example.
- Can protect his/her company entitlement whenever a delay events happen.
- Keep records of the project and share information with project team.
- Raise a warning flag when he monitors the progress and find delays/potential delays.
- Finally, and the most important: Work smart not hard.
Developing your skills is a continuous operation, it should not be stopped at all. Whether your age is 20 or 80, it does not matter, best investment is when you invest in yourself. You will feel more confident, and it will give you more power. I am not trying to sell anything to you, all I am trying to say, do not stand in this dark zone where no improvement is happening to your skills. You know where you are weak in, find a way to improve it, or find an excuse to keep standing where you are.