Do a self-assessment in the form of a career test. The great thing about career tests is that they help you to identify your true interests, personality, skills etc and matches them with the careers you’re best suited for. Once you have finished the career test, it will likely show the different types of engineering jobs that are suitable for you. This is explained in Pat Sweet’s article called the “Three Simple Questions That Will Change Your Engineering Career.”
Do your research on the most appealing disciplines. There are lots of resources that you can use to do research on the different types of engineering jobs. It is as simple as searching on Google but be sure to look at the professional organization’s websites for particular disciplines for more detailed information. There is also an article by Anthony Fasano that is worth reading called “Creating A Plan To Transition As An Engineer From One Discipline To Another.”
Find out if you would have to retrain. Now, there are many factors which would determine whether you need to retrain or not and this includes whether you have transferable experience and skills. It is possible that you would need to get further education and you will need to create a plan where you can get the required education while working at your job. Having an engineering undergraduate degree can actually help you to get a wide variety of careers and you can learn more by reading Derek Sankey’s article, “How An Engineering Degree Can Help You Find A Career In Another Sector.”
Do research on the particular companies and industries that you want to work in. In addition to narrowing down on a particular engineering discipline, you should also learn more about the particular industry and companies in that industry. This is because the company that you work at will significantly impact your life and happiness. So, be sure to take the time to learn about various relevant industries and companies and pay attention to the companies that have projects you want to undertake. There is a great article called, “How To Decide To Take The Technical Or Managerial Career Path As An Engineer” by Engineering.com that gets into more details.
Make sure and network. There is a career coach, J.T. O’Donnell that wrote an article, “Wrong Career Path (and 4 Steps To Get You Back On Track)” that is definitely worth reading. She basically talks about how many jobs are filled by referrals and as a result, you need to network heavily and constantly meet new people. This will help you to make connections and eventually get a referral.
Do interviews for information. It is highly recommended that you interview or simply talk to other experienced professionals that work in the company or field that you want to join. However, be sure to know exactly what you want to ask and say and be sure to follow up with a thank you note or email.
Consider working with a specialist recruiter such as Redline who have a number of engineering roles.They can assist you in finding suitable jobs based on your preferences, education, experience and skills. Also, most recruiters learn about jobs before they are publicly posted so they can get your resume to the right hands as quickly as possible.