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Four Things Hydraulic Engineers Can Do To Remain In Demand In These Uncertain Times
If the world was already changing at high speed before, as we find ourselves in the middle of an ongoing Covid-19 situation, it is clear that continuous change is the only constant. Our companies are operating throughout these times, having to adjust and find a way forward. At the same time our customers are going through the same adjustment process. Not one link in the supply chain has remained unaffected by current events.
A new study of the Design Engineering group of Endeavor Business Media shows that many companies did not have a plan of action to deal with a ‘crisis’ situation and are now working on developing one. Similarly, we as hydraulic engineers need to personally have a career plan to weather out these uncertain times.
Let’s take a look at a few key findings from the study and how we can translate them into a personal career preparedness plan.
Challenge: Stay at home mandates
Working from home has been one of the big changes. Companies reported that for 35% the level of business activity has decreased. Less work, less employees needed. And we see this reflected in personal working status for over 54% of respondents transitioning to full or part-time working from home.
Even if personally as hydraulic engineers we can transition to a home office, it is still unclear how our workload can change due to our customers and suppliers being able to adjust to remote working. In some cases of course it’s not possible to fully work remotely.
Prepare a fully operational home office
Ensuring you are set-up well to work from home is an imperative. Consider having a quiet space, comfortable chair and table as the basics, but don’t forget to ensure all the software you need is available on your home computer. If some of your usual software is not available, look for an alternative program that can be used on your “lighter” home machine.
Contacting your software provider for an additional license to work from home may also a possibility.
Even if many of us are returning to the offices, having a home office set-up is a great way to remain operational in case of a new situation.
Challenge: Budget cuts
It’s logical to see companies are responding with a cautious approach to spending, cutting on equipment purchases, suspending contract services and unfortunately 31% of respondents reported they had to reduce staff.
Gain new skills
Perhaps you found yourself without a job, or with reduced workload. It is a good chance to ensure your skills are current and use the time to expand those skills. One way to make yourself more marketable to new potential employers/or clients is to learn new software that can help you offer quicker service or add value to your current offering, or offer expanded service. Paro Software supports this very much, and we offer a 1 month free trial for engineers to have ample time to test out working with HydroSym. Knowledge of working with a software is a value add and could be a differentiating factor if you are looking for a job.
Be obsessed with customers
This is a best practice for anytime, not just in times of uncertainty. Putting customers at the center and exceeding their expectations has became SOP (standard operating procedure). In the current situation as some projects are placed on hold and cost cutting abound, staying close to your customer to continue to deliver value is critical. Be involved in their decision making on how work can continue. If you stay close to them, you have a chance to be part of the solution.
At a time where a lot of movement is happening in companies, it is important to remain visible to those who may be searching for your expertise. Update your LinkedIn profile. Add specific projects you have worked on. Adjust your “Skills” section to include the new software programs you have learned or skills you have. For example if you use HydroSym and HydroMan. Potential employers a lot of times search for specific skills to find the right candidates. If you like to write, create a short article on LinkedIn about a relevant topic, this can also showcase your expertise and make your profile more searchable.
Request your free 1 month trial of HydroSym. Software for fast, error free design of hydraulic systems with an integrated Paro Library of over 40,000 hydraulic parts that can be added with a click to your schematic.