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Mentoring Conversations • All About Technical Competencies

Updated: Nov 11, 2021

Part 1 of 5 for the October edition of "Converging over Coffee"

I’ve always enjoyed conversations with engineers and other professionals in various early to mid stages of their careers and it has always been really interesting (at least for me!) and always a couple of things I learn. This week’s series discusses some of my takeaways from 5 of such themes.

We all started our professional journeys by learning fundamental, technical competencies. The first few years of a professional career, we’re working hard to find ways to use what we spent years in school studying and learning practical applications of these technical competencies. All perfectly normal and mostly a smooth ride, until one day we’re told that’s not quite enough anymore. Or maybe no one tells us, but we slowly realize that work is stagnating and together with that, our career progression.

Avoiding this malaise - which tends to show up after the first few professional years - takes a shift in the definition of “technical” to start thinking broader instead of just deeper. It’s NOT a choice between going broader OR going deeper. It’s a false premise to assume that expanding beyond traditional technical competencies means becoming less technical or not going deeper technically.

Instead, going broader generates fresh, more complex perspectives & problems statements that forces us to be more proficient, more creative in how we use traditional technical competencies to find solutions. Doing this also means you will find yourself solving bigger, more worthy problems.

Go broader to go deeper.

Go further with the problems to go further with your professional journey.

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