What are the things you do that solidify your engineering identity?
What actions do you take that help you feel like an engineer?
For many people, engineering goes beyond putting your seal on a drawing – which constitutes the distinctive mark of the professional engineer, assuring the general public that the work meets the standards of professionalism.
I’m willing to bet that for most people, their engineering identity is made up of more than just that one action.
Maybe you feel like an engineer when you lead a team to solve a problem.
Or maybe you’re reminded of your engineering identity when you use the engineering design process.
It could be something as simple as rearranging a production line’s workflow to make the process more efficient and the operator’s job a little easier.
I often see my engineering identity come out in my hobbies (stay tuned for a post on what knitting and STEM have in common 😉).
I often meet engineers that have lost their connection to their engineering identity. They lose sight of the impact they have on the world, or the meaning behind their work. They have de-humanized their engineering work, and see it more as “just a job” – versus an opportunity to make the world a better place.
The good news is that I often see these same engineers reconnect to their engineering identity through outreach! The joy that results from a sharing your own engineering success stories with a group of kids ends up rubbing off on the storyteller too. It’s a refreshing way to get back to why you love engineering.
When was the last time you really felt like an engineer?