There is something to be said about graduating from a civil engineering course and starting your own practice. But before that can happen, for most people a few years would be dedicated to being an employee of a construction or engineering firm. While this may seem like a problem for some who are just raring to be their own boss, it does have its benefits.
Working for a Firm Gives You Experience
This is perhaps the best part of waiting for your opportunity to start out on your own. When you work for someone else’s firm, you gain experience that prepares you for that day when you can finally go solo. Your boss and perhaps most of your colleagues when you begin fresh out of college are likely to have more experience than you and know the ins and outs of the business infinitely more. As you spend more time working with them, you learn what they know, and you might even find a mentor. Your mentor can be the company owner, a manager, a supervisor or just one of the more experienced members of your team. A mentor can teach you things you never learned in school, and probably help you grow your own network of partners, suppliers and clients.
You Get to Use the Firm’s Tools
Of course, your firm will allow you to use most or all of their tools for free. You may not earn more by having this opportunity, but it certainly beats having to fork over your own money to finish a project. Plus you gain a certain level of expertise on the matter. You also learn to estimate the cost of the project by using the company’s civil construction estimating software. Eventually, when you do leave your job and start your own firm, you’ll have a solid idea what to purchase for your practice. You’ll know which ones to prioritise and which ones can wait or be borrowed or rented.
So the next time you worry about your future while applying with or working for a firm, take a pause and look at the bright side. You’ll be ready to start your own firm someday, but for now, never stop learning what you can from someone else.