I recently had the honor of interviewing Anthony Fasano, who just launched his new book: Engineer Your Own Success: 7 Key Elements to Creating an Extraordinary Engineering Career. Anthony is a design engineer turned executive coach, speaker and author. He now spends his time helping engineers around the world to create careers that are exciting, enjoyable, and rewarding while being well-balanced.
BTH: When did the “idea” for the book become your mission? What was your turning point in finding your writing “voice”?
AJF: After traveling around the country for over a year speaking to engineers on the topics of career growth and development, I realized that the information I was giving out was much needed and based on the response of my audience they were successfully using this information to advance! Earlier this year, I finally decided that this information should be in a book that all engineers can have access to. I guess over a year ago when I started writing daily career inspirational messages to engineers and other professionals known as A Daily Boost From Your Professional Partner, I realized that not only did I really enjoy writing but my readers enjoyed my content!
BTH: Why did you feel compelled to write this book? What was your perceived need from your constituents?
AJF: I felt compelled because I knew that I could only speak or coach to so many engineers on a weekly or yearly basis, however with the book I could get this career development information to thousands of engineers with no geographic limits. The need that I found was that engineers are very technically savvy but when it comes to communication, networking, leadership and other soft skills, we struggle. It is totally understandable that we struggle with these skills because they are never taught to us in school. Once I experienced this myself as a young engineer, I made it a goal to develop my skills and then transfer the information I learned to as many engineers that I could, hence the book – Engineer Your Own Success.
BTH: What is the biggest shortfall in the engineering community in terms of career development?
AJF: First of all, I believe that the college curriculum does not include enough classes (if any) on the topics I mentioned above, specifically communication and leadership. In addition to that, TIME is a huge shortfall for engineers. Many engineers realize that they need to develop some of these softer skills but due to stressful project deadlines, they don’t have the time to do so. That’s why my book and daily e-mails give them information in the form of easy to use strategies so they can fit some developmental tasks into their busy daily schedule. Chapter 6 on organizational skills also provides strategies for being more efficient, to be able to get more done in less time. The newfound ‘free’ time can be used to develop and advance or simply to enjoy with their families.
BTH: Has this shortfall always been there or has the recent economic meltdown contributed to it / made it more profound?
AJF: I think this shortfall has always been there, but the technology today and all of the different avenues of communication draw more attention to these skills. Also the more distractions that are out there make it critical to have great leaders in your company to keep everyone on track. The economic meltdown has unfortunately forced many engineers into unemployment and these soft skills become even more important for those unemployed as prospective employers today are looking for well-rounded engineers.
BTH: Why will readers benefit from your book?
AJF: By reading this book you will discover ways to:
Set goals that are in alignment with your true desires,
- Find the right mentor and get the most out of the relationship,
- Obtain the credentials needed to easily reach your goals,
- Become an effective communicator,
- Network your way to impactful relationships,
- Get and stay organized in a way that will increase productivity,
- Be a confident leader as you rise up the ladder to success!
You won’t learn many of these skills in a textbook, course or even your company, however all of these things together will change your life both personally and professionally forever!
BTH: How does your book differ from other resources available to the civil engineering community (if any)?
AJF: There are some other resources and they are all good, however mine does differ in a few ways. First of all I have advanced during the same generation as most of the engineers who will read the book so feel I feel like this book is very much geared towards TODAY hence the section on social networking. I also felt like some of the other books were very long and at points difficult to read so I tried to make my book information packed and to the point. It ended up a very easy to read 200 pages or so. Lastly I am a very inspirational person (or least I am told so) so this book represents me and who I am, which is different than any other book. Intertwined with the information I give the readers is a lot of inspiration that will motivate them in their career. It’s one thing to give people information that they can use, it’s another thing to inspire them to use it!
BTH: What’s a key excerpt/quote from your book? Why do you feel it is significant?
AJF: One point that I make in my book is the statement that: Developing relationships is directly related to developing your career. In today’s world people are always in a hurry and they forget how important it is to build solid relationships with other professionals. Most people today would rather text someone one line rather than call them or grab lunch and really bond with the person. The more solid relationships you build, not only will there be more opportunities available to you, but your career will be much more enjoyable!