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Smart Career Management

2020-02-13 @ 6:30 pm 8:30 pm EST

On Thursday, February 13, 2020, the IEEE Consultants’ Network of Northern NJ (www.TechnologyOnTap.org) will host a presentation on smart career management.

About the Topic

A few decades ago, when most engineers retired it was from their very first job. All that started to change as many companies faced a downturn. Being an outstanding performer was no longer sufficient. These days, engineers need to remain alert on various aspects of their assignments, their business unit, the company at large, and make continuous course corrections. This brings us to today’s environment and the question of “How to build and sustain a long-term career in a dynamic and challenging work climate?”

Interestingly, a career journey today is very much like the journey our pioneers undertook to explore the world. With no guidebooks, Google Maps, and weather reports, the pioneers worked with both surviving the near-term, while preparing long-term goals. This is precisely what an engineer should expect and prepare for in today’s work environment.

Career topics covered in this presentation, along with a brief summary of discussion points are listed below. The talk will conclude with key takeaways along with the top 10 list of “DO’s” and “DON’T’s”

Personal development: ● importance of understanding and accepting skills and talents; ● driving the career to be in optimal performance space; ● aligning self-perception with that of others; ● exploring opportunities to showcase technical talents; ● identifying and growing in areas of future applications; ● investing in the future; ● leaving the comfort zone to opt for assignments that broadens skillset; ● attending talks and seminars inside and outside the company; ● value of volunteering for non-work assignments.

Organization and time management: benefits of getting well organized on the job; ● identifying time wasters and eliminating them; ● setting priorities.
Communication and Interfaces: ● working with Different management styles; ● handling disagreements; ● Tips on executive interaction and communication; ● respecting peer perceptions; ● Avoiding membership with the “complainers club”!! Importance of prompt responses to requests; ● obtaining feedback on communication skills – It is the receiver’s perception that matters.

Communication and Interfaces: ● working with Different management styles; ● handling disagreements; ● Tips on executive interaction and communication; ● respecting peer perceptions; ● Avoiding membership with the “complainers club”!! Importance of prompt responses to requests; ● obtaining feedback on communication skills – It is the receiver’s perception that matters.

Performance Review: ● taking ownership of the process; ● avoiding passive participation in reviews; ● Receiving and following up on reviews; ● accepting feedback and implementing changes to improve.

Networking: ● looking out for networking opportunities; ● making the most of talks and seminar attendance; ● maintaining contact with connections made; ● networking with vendors/customers at every opportunity.

Corporate awareness: ● staying tuned to what is going on with the company; ● monitoring internal and external news reports, reorganizations and their impact down the chain; ● PROs and CONS of changing jobs within the company; ● recognizing a shift in core business strategy and taking action.

About the Speaker

Chitra Venkatraman recently retired after a four-decade-long career as a Technical Manager at Nokia in Murray Hill, NJ. She received a BSEE from the University of Madras, India, in 1977, and an MSEE from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, in 1981. After graduation, she joined AT&T Bell Labs in 1981 as a Member of Technical Staff. From 1981 until 1988, she worked primarily on the design of central office power systems and processor controls. From 1988 until 1996, she worked on Wireless Base Station development and testing where she pioneered concepts of Wireless Base Station Integration testing. She became a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff in 1993. As the wireless industry was evolving rapidly, she developed test methodologies to integrate various parts of the Base station – Digital, Analog and RF interfaces including compliance to Air Interface standards. As such, she is one of the early cellular system pioneers. From 1996 until 2018, she led the Wireless Integration as a Technical Manager, developing test strategies and methodologies for Wireless products designed by Lucent/Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia. Under her leadership, her team covered all the technologies from Analog, CDMA, TDMA, UMTS, and LTE. More recently, she validated Alcatel-Lucent products for NB IoT performance. Throughout this 22-year period, she worked extensively with all of the North-American Customers, conducting Acceptance testing for them and investigating many of the problems they experienced.

Chitra Venkataraman is a Senior Member of the IEEE. She is currently serving as the IEEE North Jersey Section’s Employment and Career Services Committee Chair. She represents IEEE at various STEM events around NJ. Since her retirement in 2018, she has been volunteering in Humanitarian services and STEM fields. She is an American Red Cross Community Volunteer Leader, a mentor at the Students2Science organization, a corporate mentor to NJIT-Society of Women Engineers and a Volunteer STEM mentor at the Liberty Science Center.

Consultants’ Network of Northern New Jersey (CNNNJ)

Morris County Library

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Whippany, NJ 07981 United States
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