Career Advice

How to Improve the Quality of Your Engineering Design Work and Boost Your Confidence
Anthony Fasano posted on February 24, 2014 |

The following is a summary of Session 13 of my podcast, The Engineering Career Coach (TECC) Podcast with Anthony Fasano, PE. I will summarize the main points in this post here; however, you can also listen to the show through the player below or by subscribing on iTunes. I offer a career-changing tip at the end of each podcast session.

I have found that many young engineers today are making costly technical mistakes during the design process because they are trying to do too many things at once. While multitasking seems to be becoming second nature in today’s fast-paced world, it is NOT good practice for design engineers.

In this session of the TECC Podcast, I help a young engineer in Texas try to overcome this challenge and not only improve the quality of his design work but also boost his confidence, which is directly related to performance.

The key points that I cover in this session include:

  • Creating quality-control checklists that you can use on every engineering design project will help reduce errors, for example by adding a typical detail to the plans or ensuring that the callouts are at a legible text size.
  • These checklists can not only reduce design errors, but in the process they can save you and your firm a lot of time and money.
  • Taking this one step further and implementing practices like this company-wide will show your supervisor a certain level of responsibility and possibly facilitate your own career development.
  • Implementing quality-control measures will help you increase your level of confidence, knowing that there are some safety nets to ensure your designs are adequate. This is critical, as many engineers stumble due to lack of confidence.
  • You can also boost your confidence by reflecting on past victories that you have had in your career, whether positive conversations with a supervisor or compliments from a client.
  • It is easy to get dejected when you make a technical error, but it is important to learn from it and take action to make sure the same mistake does not happen again.
  • Implementing new procedures in your career will most likely mean creating new habits. To create a new habit, you must engage in it every day for three or four weeks in a row before it becomes cemented as permanent.

This session of the podcast also contains a career-changing tip at the end to help you implement some of these recommendations immediately in your career.

Please leave a comment below and let me know what quality-control procedures you have implemented in your design processes.

This is a guest post by Anthony Fasano, PE, author of Engineer Your Own Success. Anthony found success as an engineer at a very early age and now writes and podcasts to help other engineers do the same. Visit Anthony’s website at for free engineering career advice and other resources.

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