CAD Manager's Q&A: Improving Your Career Prospects8 Mar, 2006 By: Robert Green
Can you give me some pointers on improving my career prospects as a CAD manager?
Robert Green replies: I get this general question a lot, particularly at speaking engagements where I can talk to people one-on-one. Although I can’t give specific career advice, I’m happy to share some tips that the successful CAD managers I know seem to share. p>
Network with Your Peers. By associating with other smart people, you’ll gain valuable insight on how to do your job today and, perhaps more importantly, you’ll see workplace trends earlier and react faster. For CAD managers, I find user group meetings, industry events, professional societies and trade shows to be the best places for networking. Remember that the better connected you are, the more opportunities will come your way.
Learn Some Networking. Not the type of networking discussed above, but actual computer networking technology. Each year, I see more and more CAD managers becoming their companies’ go-to IT resources. In fact, it’s more common now than ever to find IT departments run by engineers, CAD managers and product-design specialists. So don’t limit yourself: Expand your pool of knowledge whenever you can so you’ll be more hirable in the future.
Know Your Competition. Read everything you can about the business segment you’re in and make it a point to read the Web sites of your main competitors. You don’t want to get caught napping and let your competition lap you in the technology race, right? It never hurts to know what the competition is up to -- and you never know, your next job opportunity might be with them!
Don’t be Provincial. Just because you do things a certain way in California doesn’t mean that somebody in Toronto hasn’t figured out something better. Just because we innovate in a certain way in North America it doesn’t mean we can’t learn something from India or China. So get outside your comfort zone via traveling, studying a foreign language or reading a good book about business or politics. If you shake it up mentally every so often, you’ll see great new career opportunities just waiting for you! Try it. At the very least, you’ll interview better and be able to fit in with a wider range of companies. (With special thanks to my mother, who taught me this career-building concept from the time I was old enough to walk.)
Talk with Your Management More. If you ask your management what you can do to boost your career, you might be surprised to find that you get some great feedback!