An engineer’s work tends to revolve around many elements like creativity and design, numbers, coding, and project management, but the more studies evaluate what workplace conditions are demanding, the more a reframing of soft skills has become apparent, particularly power skills that are key to future-proofing your career.
Power skills are in high demand, and the employers’ priority has shifted from just ensuring top talented engineers stay onboard, to making sure that their skills can evolve quickly enough to stay competitive.
What Are Power Skills?
No matter the engineering specialty and active sector you’re in, as a working professional, you need a foundational set of power skills that will support you and guarantee you add value beyond what can be done by automated systems and intelligent machines, operate in a digital environment, and being flexible at all time to adapt to new ways of working with new technologies.
Where hard skills require doing, soft skills are often more focused around ways of being or thinking.
At the core, we are talking about soft skills, which are ways and competencies that allow you to manage your interactions with people, navigate your time and efforts, as well as resolve issues in a way that makes you stand out without jeopardizing your mental health.
Why should we call them power skills?
Studies have shown that strong soft skills boost productivity and retention and deliver outstanding performance in return on investment. This is where the perceived attitude towards soft skills shifted. By calling them power skills, we remove the inaccurate assumption that they’re not a must-have for top-performing engineers and working professionals from various working backgrounds and sectors.
Power Skills in High Demand for Engineers
Strong power skills are essential for leading change in engineering projects, creating a safe environment for innovation and creativity, and fostering team members belonging. Needless to say, what makes these skills unique, is that no matter the technological advancements, they can only be executed and buffed out with human resources, not sophisticated machinery and software.
Leadership and Management
With the challenges the pandemic inflicted on engineers, a new need for employees to feel more engaged and empowered rose. By polishing your leadership skills, regardless of whether you hold the title of team leader/manager or not, you are creating a culture where employees feel they can bring their whole potential to the workplace, and challenging the cultural misperceptions that can undermine diversity.
Creativity as a power skill and value
Creativity is now a must-have asset for every engineer looking to leverage the competitive landscape. Creative engineers will have the ability to disparate data and make meaning from them to help them develop meaningful projects, design state-of-the-art products, and make better decisions that go hand in hand with smarter strategies.
Personal development and self-management
Small successes help win small battles to better be ready for big challenges. By continuously improving knowledge, you’re one step ahead of other professionals. Personal development for an engineer is about getting into the right mindset and having the determination to see the big picture rather than settle for instant gratification. By becoming mentally stronger and setting academic and professional goals with measurable milestones, you’ll develop a well-balanced personal and professional life.
As a leading example, the primary objective of soft skills support as part of teaching at ESILV is to get its engineering students to work on behavioral skills that will facilitate project teamwork, throughout their course and during their professional life.
To achieve this objective, the pedagogical team sets up training workshops throughout the process of ideation and realization of the project, led by dedicated trainers and soft skills specialists, and provides student-engineers with tools such as for example the MBTI, and punctuates the project path with a certain number of soft skills deliverables.
Interested in developing your engineering power skills? Check out ESILV’s programmes.