Defy the nay-sayers

Name: Marek Klemes | Program: Electrical | Graduation Year: 8T1 |

37 years in hindsight: what worked for me

I suppose the only role of luck was that electricity and science were my hobbies. That made my career not feel like “work”, on average, although it was in fact hard work.
What worked for me: defying the nay-sayers who claimed it was too difficult for the pay, instead putting all my stubborness and effort into what I liked and desperately wanted to know. If you do that honestly, the rewards will come…
Also keep an open mind and keep learning, even after you run out of higher degrees to nail. As my Ph.D. advisor said, “it keeps you honest”. Keep technical and avoid management distractions (they’re a one-way street). In fact, learn more than one specialty because it helps make you more unique and marketable (count on getting laid off at least once). If you master 1 specialty out of N, you are “1 in N”, but if you master 2, you are “one in N-squared” [more precisely, one in N(N-1)/2]. Document your achievements and publish your best work. Share your knowledge freely, learn from others and give them recognition; it doesn’t cost you anything as long as it’s real. Do not “pull rank” but count on your expertise; it will prevail.