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Chapter 1
In Relation to the Work

Excerpt

However menial and trivial your early assignments may appear, give them your best efforts.

Many young engineers feel that the minor chores of a technical project are beneath their dignity and unworthy of their college training. They expect to prove their true worth in some major, vital enterprise. Actually, the spirit and effectiveness with which you tackle your first humble tasks will very likely be carefully watched and may affect your entire career.

Occasionally you may worry unduly about where your job is going to get you — whether it is sufficiently strategic or significant. Of course these are pertinent considerations and you would do well to take some stock of them. But by and large, it is fundamentally true that if you take care of your present job well, the future will take care of itself. This is particularly so within large corporations, which constantly search for competent people to move into more responsible positions. Success depends so largely upon personality, native ability, and vigorous, intelligent prosecution of any job that it is no exaggeration to say that your ultimate chances are much better if you do a good job on some minor detail than if you do a mediocre job as a project leader. Furthermore, it is also true that if you do not first make a good showing on your present job you are not likely to be given the opportunity to try something else more to your liking.

  • However menial and trivial your early assignments may appear, give them your best efforts.
  • Demonstrate the ability to get things done.
  • In carrying out a project, do not wait passively for anyone — suppliers, sales people, colleagues, supervisors — to make good on their delivery promises; go after them and keep relentlessly after them.
  • Confirm your instructions and the other person's commitments in writing.
  • When sent out on a business trip of any kind, prepare for it, execute the business to completion, and follow up after you return.
  • Develop a “let's go see!” attitude.
  • Avoid the very appearance of vacillating.
  • Don't be timid — speak up — express yourself and promote your ideas.
  • Strive for conciseness and clarity in oral or written reports.
  • Be extremely careful of the accuracy of your statements.
Topics: Engineers

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