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How to build a career in chemical engineering?

How to build a career in chemical engineering?

(OP)
Advice for a fresh graduate of chemical engineering on how to build a career in plant design and management?

RE: How to build a career in chemical engineering?

Try to find a rich woman to marry .....

MJCronin
Sr. Process Engineer

RE: How to build a career in chemical engineering?

(OP)
Very funny...

RE: How to build a career in chemical engineering?

3
OK, if that doesn't work for you, find a rich man to marry!

Barring that, find another profession- one which offers a higher reward to risk ratio than engineering. That will likely require more education.

Barring that: it's too late for you to go to a good school if you didn't, so that's off the table. Your only hope is to work hard at finding the best jobs, then work hard at doing those jobs AND at building your skills through continual learning and development. If you want to go into management, get some training in the type of management you want to do, but wait a bit- get it after you've worked for a while. If you want to go to the dark side, get an MBA and kiss the respect of the rest of your engineering colleagues goodbye forever afterward...

A few other golden nuggets of advice, worth exactly what you've paid me to offer them:

- don't work for free- it devalues your services and those of your colleagues and peers, and rarely buys you the respect of your boss or employer that you think it might
- even if you are paid for overtime etc., don't work too much of it. Workaholism is a disease and results in a shattered life. People with shattered lives rarely make up for it with satisfying careers
- don't be afraid to jump to a new job or even a new industry rather than clinging to the manufacture of buggy whips or leaded gasoline after they're out of fashion
- if you don't love engineering, get out. Life's too short and you work too much of your life to be a slave to it, and there's a crowd of people who do love engineering waiting to take your place when you go

Best of luck!

RE: How to build a career in chemical engineering?

@moltenmetal,

Some of the best advice i have ever read on these pages smile

Bets regards, Morten

RE: How to build a career in chemical engineering?

(OP)
@moltenmetal
That's a great post.
Loving it

RE: How to build a career in chemical engineering?

And when You make a flashing career,
can You inform us how You did it.
We all want to make more money.

RE: How to build a career in chemical engineering?

There are a lot of factors that play into your future success. You have control over some of them, and there are others that are beyond your control. For now, focus on those you can control. As a new graduate, focus on building your skills and knowledge. New graduates all start at the same point - virtually none of them are of much value to the company. They hired you with the expectation that you will become valuable. If you want to be successful, focus on building knowledge as fast as you can. That is, make yourself valuable as fast as you can. You have complete control over your attitude and your desire to learn from each task (experience). You don't have complete control over which tasks you are assigned, but in many cases you can influence that. For example, pursue opportunities to get assigned to large projects. Large capital projects expose you to a maximum number of learning opportunities in a minimum amount of time. You'll get to learn from the specific tasks that you are assigned (they'll be low-level tasks at first) but you'll also get the opportunity to learn from what others on the team are doing. Pay attention during team meetings and soak up everything you can. That's especially true when they're trying to solve problems.

There are no companies that are true meritocracies. You'll see undeserving people advance faster than you - that happens everywhere. But in the long run, success largely depends on your knowledge and skills. Maximize the value of each experience. While you're completing a task, truly understanding how the process works and how the equipment works. For example, when you're doing simulations, notice the sensitivities when you make changes to streams or units blocks. You'll notice some surprising and interesting things. File that info (knowledge) away. Do the same when you're designing, say, a heat exchanger. Change the velocity of the streams, for example, and notice how the heat transfer rate changes. Understand why these changes happen. Over time, all that accrued experience will make you a valuable (knowledgeable) dude - valuable your company and valuable in the marketplace if you want (or need) to go elsewhere.

Some engineers let their experiences wash over them without benefiting from them. Others just want cook-book recipes for doing each task, without actively engaging their brain. Even those engineers can usually find jobs, but they won't have many opportunities open up for them - their destiny in mostly in other peoples hands rather than their own.

RE: How to build a career in chemical engineering?

(OP)
@don1980
Thanks.
That was really insightful.
@europipe
Sure I would definitely come back here to share my story.
However, it isn't all about the money, it's about finding fulfilment.

RE: How to build a career in chemical engineering?

@Othukaey ,

quote: it's about finding fulfilment.

Sure, you are young and eager to start.

RE: How to build a career in chemical engineering?

(OP)
@europipe
Yes I'm young and very eager to start.
I really can't wait.
I'm ready like NOW.

RE: How to build a career in chemical engineering?

You want to be successful? 1: Listen to others and take their advice 2: Make mistakes and learn from them

The worst thing you can do is not listen to anyone.

RE: How to build a career in chemical engineering?

I graduated in 2014 and I'm trying to do the same as you are Othukaey. So far, I've found that demonstarting you can learn on the fly and confidence in your knowledge are important. BootsChemE has provided you not only good career advice, but good life advice as well; I try to follow that advice everyday.

Go forth and problem solve!

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