Do Engineers Know What They Don’t Know?
I’m not an engineer, but I’m surrounded by them at work and at home. I’ve even been accused of thinking like one—which knowing the context of when it was said, I take as a compliment. So, with all this immersion into the ways and minds of engineers, I can’t say I surprised when I hear a talented engineer utter phrases such as “who was the idiot that designed this,” “I’ll figure it out as I go,” "how hard could it be" and “directions/instructions/training-who needs that?” Doesn't it seem like these phrases are more likely to come out when the engineer in question is in a hurry? And doesn't that seem counter-productive?
Nearly every engineer in the world today has one thing in common. They’re stubborn, you say? No, not quite (but I know a few engineers who are). I think the one thing that all engineers are: pressed for time. They need bigger, better, faster and they need it yesterday. Sound like you?
I don’t care if you’re a manufacturing engineer, design engineer, an R&D engineer, a sales engineer or a domestic engineer. Regardless, I’m sure you’re always looking for ways to improve on the status quo and get things done quicker. But sometimes just doing what you're currently doing, only doing it faster isn't the right answer.
What are the things you should realize if you find yourself racing against time?
- Know your time is a limited commodity. You need to find ways to use it wisely. Have you heard the saying, sometimes you have to spend time now to make time later? (Probably not because I just made that up.) But it makes sense, doesn’t it?
- Realize that you don’t know what you don’t know. That even applies to the most talented engineer. The expression “I didn’t know that” is meant for this statement. We can’t be an expert in all things. Seek out those who are. Which brings me to…
- It’s okay to stop and ask for help if you don’t know how to do something. You could waste your time trying to figure it out on your own, or you could ask someone who knows. Be honest—you know that if you ask the right source, you’ll likely get an immediate answer.
So, what does this boil down to? Figure out what fits your schedule and then do your research, get educated and get proper training. Leverage the resources that are already available to you. Maybe with any luck, you’ll uncover things you didn’t know and figure out how to use that knowledge to get your job done and get it done fast.
PS. For all those KeyCreator using CAD engineers, don’t forget to check out KeyCreator University where a host of resources and expertise reside. KCU will certainly help you get up to speed quickly on powerful new functions, or show you synergistic ways to use individual ones, to get your job done. KCU is where you’ll figure out how to spend your time wisely.