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Insights How to maintain your competitive edge in a civil engineering job

Civil engineering can be a challenging, exciting and lucrative career. With so many of the world’s biggest challenges surrounding the growing population and living environments, it is also a profession that can have a huge positive impact on the world. In fact, the industry is estimated to have been worth a massive $7.74 trillion in 2020, and it is clear that this is a huge area of opportunity.

Combining ambition, intelligence and practical problem-solving, seeking a civil engineering job can be a smart choice for those who want a fulfilling career that they can be proud of. But it takes more than simply being passionate about civil engineering to maintain your competitiveness in the job market.

In this article, we explore some of the top ways that civil engineers can develop and maintain a competitive edge.

Remain ambitious

Although knowledge and talent can be useful tools in developing a career in civil engineering, without the ambition to drive them forward they will have little impact on your progression. In fact, ambitious individuals and companies are the reason why civil engineering has progressed so significantly in recent years and is helping overcome major global issues such as the sustainability of the built environment.

Your ambition doesn't have to be grand in scale. You can apply your ambition in small ways every day, such as finding smarter, more efficient ways to undertake your everyday tasks. The sum of these small improvements over time will help make a big difference in the long run.

However, having a grand vision can be beneficial. Knowing how you want to help your business and push the engineering industry forward will help you focus on doing the small things that will eventually add up.

three people sitting at a desk looking at charts and graphs

Challenge yourself

Sometimes we need to step outside our comfort zone to achieve things we never thought possible. This is why challenging yourself as a civil engineer can help you progress your career further than you ever thought you could.

For example, you may challenge yourself by asking management for additional responsibility within your team. Alternatively, if you are unable to take on more responsibility you may take on a side project in your own time. This project could be used to learn or practice new skills and help you develop your confidence across the spectrum of civil engineering capabilities.

Seek feedback

Feedback is a powerful tool when used correctly. Of course, it isn’t always easy to receive feedback, especially on engineering projects that you have worked hard to complete. But when you make feedback a regular and established part of your working process it will become a helpful tool for improvement.

Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Request feedback regularly rather than when you think you need to make improvements
  • Ask for feedback to be constructive
  • Develop a process for turning feedback into actionable steps
  • Request follow-up meetings to review your progress against feedback given

Add value to the company (and clients)

The ability to add value beyond your specified job roles and responsibilities is a great way to stand out from the crowd and develop your competitive edge as a civil engineer. Not only does this highlight you as a high-value individual, but it also supports the case that you are capable of taking on more responsibility. This will help you propel your career.

Find your next civil engineering with us

A career in civil engineering can be both challenging and rewarding. Those that want to get ahead in their career need to create a competitive edge and demonstrate their value on every project.

Here at AtkinsRéalis , we have an established history as a leading employer of ambitious, forward-thinking civil engineers. With global-reaching projects and a commitment to learning and development, we are the perfect place to progress your career.

If you are interested in working with us, you can check out our civil engineering opportunities here.