After spending 28 years as a public employee, Rodney Abrams is here today to share some insights in how to make your career a successful one.
Even though he knew he wanted to be an engineer, it was after networking with the Society of Black Engineers in 1992 that he decided his career path. “Networking is extremely important. It is the best way to aid in your career growth and exposure.” It was in this group that he was exposed to the field of building design and infrastructure.
Advice Rodney shared for those just starting in their career:
- Discover your interest. Find out what excites you, and then pursue it. This will lead to a more fulfilling, satisfying, and rewarding life.
- Research the industry, the types of jobs currently available, and also the jobs that will be available in the future. Always have a back up plan.
- Find organizations in your area of interest. Become involved so that you can gain exposure to more things. Volunteer if needed. Networking works.
- Work to improve on both your technical and soft skills.
- Do what you need to do to become comfortable in your own skin.
Some people rise to the top, and some do not. Tips to help you rise are:
- Values: Have a set of core values, and always maintain your integrity.
- Change: Expect change. The only constant thing in life is change.
- Do not expect life to be fair: It is not and has never been.
- Mistakes: You will make them. Own up to them, turn them into teachable moments, and then learn from them.
- Do your homework; always be in learning mode.
- Save your money for a rainy day because it will rain one day.
Rodney and Beverly are both readers and encourage you to always be reading to learn, and to embrace new ideas. Here are a few books suggested:
- American: An Autobiography of Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.
- My American Journey: An Autobiography of Colin Powell
- Who Moved My Cheese? By Spencer Johnson (a business classic)
Rodney graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering from Penn State University. From there he went on to receive a Master of Science from Thomas Edison State College, and a Master of Science in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.
While spending 28 years working with the Army Corp of Engineers, in The Pentagon, and with Public Works, he concurrently spent 28 years in the Army Reserves, where he holds the rank of Colonel.