Ambition Britain: two in three engineers feel they have more to give

Paul Boughton

Two in three of Britain’s engineers feel they have more to give in their career in order to reach their full potential.

Amid increasingly positive economic signals, Britain’s engineers are showing they are not prepared to rest on their laurels. According to research by Randstad Construction, Property and Engineering*, the specialist engineering recruiter, 70 per cent of engineers feel they are yet to reach their full potential.

This ambition within the engineering sector comes despite the fact the industry has some of the highest levels of professional fulfilment compared to other sectors in the UK. Two thirds (66 per cent) of engineers describe themselves as professionally fulfilled – above the UK average of 62 per cent.

Owen Goodhead, managing director of Randstad Construction, Property and Engineering said: “Positive signals for the UK economy seem to be appearing every week which is fantastic news if we’re to achieve a sustainable recovery. What is even more encouraging though is that despite being one of the most professionally fulfilled sectors in the UK, those working in engineering have the ambition to advance even further.”

British engineers feel that the most important influence on being able to achieve your potential comes from your personal characteristics. More than a two fifths (43 per cent) of staff in the sector feel this is the case.

Adaptability is viewed as the most important personal characteristic. Two thirds of engineers (66 per cent) feel adaptability is vital in order to achieve success in the sector. Determination is viewed at the next most important character trait (60 per cent) and having a strong work ethic is seen as the third most important characteristic (59 per cent).

Support from your employer is seen as the second most important factor in helping you achieve your potential within construction. Two fifths of staff (39 per cent) feel that training, development, good leadership and culture are key to success. This is closely followed by support from mentor at your place of work which is seen as important by 29 per cent of those working in the industry.

Across the UK workforce as a whole, your individual characteristics are seen as being both the key to achieving your potential at work as well as the most likely roadblock to your success. More than a third (36 per cent) of Britain’s most fulfilled staff say that it is the individual themselves who provides the biggest barrier to reaching their potential.

Within the engineering sector, the proportion of those who feel the individual provides the biggest barrier to success is much higher at 68 per cent.

Owen Goodhead, said: “The engineering sector has been suffering from a shortage of talent for some time thanks to lower graduate levels, restrained immigration and a loss of talent abroad. Many businesses are crying out for skilled employees and are willing to provide support to help their talent flourish. This is likely why such a large proportion of engineers feel it is the individual themselves who provides the biggest barrier to success. The opportunities to succeed are out there, it’s up to the engineers themselves to make sure they make the most of them.

“It is vital that anyone who hopes to achieve more in their professional life understands what will help them do so and what may provide a barrier. And who better to glean this advice from than those who understand what fulfilment and success means to them and how they can continue to achieve it in the future.”

Randstad recently launched the How I Became platform, inspired by the real stories of real people who are fulfilled at work. The platform contains films from people who work in a range of business sectors, from education to finance providing key pieces of advice designed to help future candidates on their path to professional fulfilment.  The hub is designed to be a dynamic place to find career boosting advice.

Owen Goodhead, said: “Those with the passion and purpose to drive their career forward and reach their potential have a lot to offer others who may feel at a crossroads in their professional lives. We believe in helping people find fulfilment at work which is why we have set up the How I Became platform in order for real people to share their experiences and advice. We invite anyone keen to pass on their thoughts on how to achieve fulfilment at work to visit the site and share their experiences.”   
* A survey of over 2,000 UK workers from a variety of sectors conducted by Canadean in September 2013.

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