To succeed in today's increasingly tough global economy, engineers must learn to work and network in the new multi-cultural and multi-national environment.
As an engineer, you need to understand the values and culture of your particular company or organization. And you need to be increasingly receptive to new ideas--whether they originate across the aisle or across the ocean. The battle cry "Buy American" or "Buy European" has been replaced with "Buy What Works."
The new business success paradigm has more products designed, manufactured, tested, and serviced outside of the U.S. Engineers must adopt a global, multicultural mindset and accept diverse and global teams from areas heretofore regarded as technologically infant.
Large companies have accepted the globalization and subsequent integration of technical talent. Computers, the Internet and other globalization technologies have broken down many of the barriers to communication. Engineers can now share real time images and engage in teleconferencing with colleagues across several time zones. Some firms have proposed a 'work around the clock' culture in which tasks are shifted from one time zone to the next in a restless cycle.
Engineers who embrace the value of networking, who efficiently share silos of information with local, national and international colleagues will succeed in elevating their careers.
Segueing further, networking and connecting means sharpening basic communications skills—aside from overcoming language barriers. This includes everything from honing one's writing skills for reports, design books and memos to perfecting a good "elevator speech" to sell an idea to colleagues, supervisors and managers.
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Alex A. Kecskes has written hundreds of published articles on health/fitness, "green" issues, TV/film entertainment, restaurant reviews and many other topics. As a former Andy/Belding/One Show ad agency copywriter, he also writes web content, ads, brochures, sales letters, mailers and scripts for national B2B and B2C clients.