What Children Taught Me About Being an Engineer and Getting a Job

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What Lessons About Career And Getting A Job Can Engineers Learn From Children?

Have you ever been in a classroom where that one picture was starring at you?

Well, imagine yourself building a new school, with tons of kindergarden stuff around you. That was me.

As engineers, we often have time to reflect. But, it isn’t often that we reflect on the point of our work.

When I was finishing up the new construction of an elementary school in Sunnyside, NY, I walked into a classroom with a bunch of pictures.

One of them really made think:

0 Kid drawing(2)
It reads “I wonder: What do scientists do?”

“That’s a good question”, I thought to myself.

“What do we do?”, “Why am I working in the first place?, “Who did I really build this for?”

As I starred at the picture, I realized that there is more to my job than just solving problems. We actually help make learning possible for kids. I mean, kids don’t have to worry about anything! They just learn and play because we put in the work -_-

They have fun.

Why being a kid is more fun than being a 24-year old engineer? >.<

We can do tons of stuff, too! But, the more I looked at these images, the more I realized how much our lives suck.

Those darn kids have it good! Why we gotta be the one who make good stuff for them?!

Anyway… we are always looking to find the “best method”, but never think about who benefits from it.

Imagine what our work does for another person… It makes a difference.

So, what can we learn from kids?

Let’s take a look at 12 other lessons I learned while being in that classroom that made me realize that sometimes we just need to think like a kid.

Lessons We Can Learn From Children

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Good engineers never try to solve a problem. Because problems aren’t solvable. They don’t have a finite answer. Solve by imagining.

Think like a kid.

2 kid drawing

The reason you can’t find work is because you can’t tell a story. What is your story? Why can’t you explain it to someone else? It’s because you think there is too much involved. It’s just a story.
Think like a kid.
3 kid drawing
Engineering is just what you are above. A bunch of shortcuts and with a main story and pictures. Find your answer with simplicity, not complications.
Think like a kid.
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Sometimes, it’s just too good to be true. That’s why we don’t believe it.
Be quiet.
Follow the instructions.
Think like a kid.
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Mistakes are good. That’s why we need to edit. No one is perfect.
If you don’t ask questions, you can’t find answers.
Think like a kid.
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Our way of thinking is based off of emotion. Don’t let that go away.
Emotion makes story interesting.
Be brave.
Think like a kid.
7 kid drawing
Math has always helped to see things faster. Calculus is just another shortcut.
Know it’s utility and keep looking at “10”. 10 is the answer.
Think like a kid.
8 kid drawing
The story was the point, not the words. Without your umbrella, how will you stay dry?
Overcome challenge through positivity. Tell what happened in your story, then accept the lessons that come with it.
Think like a kid.
9 kid drawing
Strategy is your friend. Strategy makes life simple.
Keep it simple. Even the strategy. Repeat as required.
Think like a kid.
10 kid drawing
Explain yourself to your friend.
Understand yourself first. Then, explain.
Think like a kid.
11 kid drawing
Answer with reflections. Teaching helps you to reflect.
Make connections in yourself through teaching.
Don’t look for reflection.
Think like a kid.
12 kid drawing
As an engineer once said, “Think like a computer, work like a kid”.
Share. Tell more. Next. How.
Strategy isn’t the beginning. It’s the “How” to your question.
Always remember… you are not alone.
Just think like a kid.
Have you ever thought like a kid at work, school or by doing something ordinary?

Category: Lessons, Motivational
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Eyram Sotome

I like helping those who need help. Kind of like superman without the tights. To put it simply, you are in the right place. Thanks for reading.

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Comments (6 people commented this post)

  • avatar image


    March 2, 2016 Reply
    Great article and great site!! It would be great to have the very open mind of kids. As we grow old we think more 'inside' the box. A kid's mind is so open to ideas and thinking 'outside' the box.
    • avatar image

      Eyram Sotome

      March 2, 2016 Reply
      Very true! It's the same for new engineers as well :D Sometimes, we are so "inside the box" the box because of school, we fail to realize how solving problems is more than just getting the answer right.
  • avatar image

    Moin Ahmed

    August 17, 2015 Reply
    Eyram, you are a star !
  • avatar image

    Damian Pinto

    July 28, 2015 Reply
    Very interesting this article. I loved it.   This coincides with a quote from the Holy Bible that says "if you are not like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 18:3). Thank you for these wonderful tips. Greetings friend.
    • avatar image

      Eyram Sotome

      August 5, 2015 Reply
      So true, Damian. Thanks for reading the article! The verse totally made my day :)
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