Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Employers want you to be awesome...

This tech bubble has exploded into every aspect of our lives.  It's also influenced the way our generation works.  Think back to the start of Facebook, Apple, Microsoft...they consist of young, innovative, very hard working people.  But technology has left us to have an attention span of a 2 year old. 

So how do you look awesome to a employer?

1. Flexibility. If something needs to get done, it needs to get done.  Facebook didn't crash and burn because Mark Zuckerburg didn't ONLY work from 9-5.

2. Innovation.  To be honest, it doesn't have to be anything fancy.  Take a step back to look at the big picture. My team @ NASA was having a terrible time with the adhesive precision of a pin in a slot.  (This slot was round).  Since the slot was round, the adhesive would pull the pin in any direction.  I proposed constraining the pin using a v-groove.  Although it hasn't been testing, it was celebrated like the invention of sliced bread :-) Simple ideas help. 

3. Expression. Don't be afraid to express your ideas/questions.  Why do we do this? Why can't we do that? Instead of forcing it upon people, ask why it's not a viable option...they may come to realize that it is, and you were being snotty about it .  Also, expect to be shot down. Just remember that expression bridges the gap from innovation into production.

4. People that can shut up and listen.  Let's face it.  You don't know much about anything.  Listen to the people around you.  They often will give you the answers and advice to succeed.  They've been there, you haven't.  (Just be weary of the downers...which brings me to my NEXT point.)

5.  Enthusiasm. Nobody likes a Debbie Downer.  Even if you don't like it, do you best and learn something.  You're going to do a lot of things you don't like in  your lifetime.  Might as well get used to dealing with it (and making the most of it.)
  If you really want to know how to do this, try filling water vials for 8 hours...with cold, wet, raw hands.  You'll end up singing "99 bottles"....twice, haha.  You gotta make the most of situations.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Don't give up

   I graduated high school just as this current day recession started.  This infamous year of 2008 left me jobless, but due to my planning and hard work in high school, I was able to pursue an undergraduate education.  The start of my freshman year was tough.  I left sunny Southern California while looking as dismal prospects of finding a job once I graduated.  Oftne people would ask me, "Why engineering? It's so hhhaarrrdd. Just take the easy route and go for political science."  I would often comment it with "Well what do you want to do after you graduate?"
   "Become a lawyer... They make lots of money."  [Okay sidenote.  Lawyears make a lot of money, but they work hard too.  I've heard it's twice the salary for double the work.  $80,000 for 80 hrs per week.  Plus, there's a ton of reading legal jargon.  Personally, I think it's very difficult to work though.  Being a lawyer is NOT for the weary.]
   My first two year were particularily touch because I would time and time again that half (that's right..50%) of the industry is retiring in the next 5-10 years.  Aside from politics, they need someone to fill these roles.  So employers said they were looking, but I still didn't get an internship those summers....

Always look ahead.  Trust the people who tell you of great futures.