May 29 2020
Career Path Story - Sean Smith, Principal
Hi, my name is Sean Smith and I’m a Principal at Entuitive. Today, I wanted to share some of the lessons I’ve learned throughout my career journey. I hope these lessons help inspire you to continue to learn and lead at Entuitive, or perhaps to consider a career here.
Take Advantage of Career Opportunities, Even if They Scare You
When Entuitive was first starting up in 2011, I was working as a Principal at another firm. Barry Charnish, Dave Stevenson and Dave Watson approached me to join Entuitive and I have to say that it felt like a scary proposition – to leave a job at an established firm and to write a cheque as seed capital to invest in a new company with few projects was intimidating.
After many conversations with my wife and with one of my mentors, Andy Bergmann, I decided I believed that Entuitive had all the ingredients to be successful and that I could play a role in that success along with the other leaders. So, I took the leap and I could not be more happy that I did. It was scary, sure, but it was only scary until I did it and then it was exciting and challenging and rewarding.
Be Open Minded – Explore New Tasks and Projects Outside of Your Comfort Zone
Throughout my career I’ve believed that seeking out and making the most of opportunities would lead to success. It’s important to be open to change in your career and to get outside of your comfort zone from time to time. This is how you challenge yourself and grow.
When I first got into engineering my dream was to be an “engineer’s engineer” – a true technical guru. I shared this with my mentors who include Andy Bergmann, Mike Meschino, Barry Charnish and Eric Gordon. I remember being prompted to explore other sides of the engineering business and really began to appreciate the “people side”, running projects, meeting clients, being a leader, getting involved in business strategy as much as the technical side of the business.
Once I opened my mind to new ideas and a broader career path, my career evolved and got even better.
Take Thoughtful Risks and Think Outside the Box
I’m a huge proponent of thoughtful – not reckless – risk taking.
If you consider that the job of engineer is to work on a problem until risk is eliminated, then you’ll understand why being thoughtful about risk is important. As engineers, we know that we can address risk for our clients by thinking outside the box and getting creative with our problem solving. That’s what makes us great engineers.
If we apply this principle to our careers, we can have the potential to do great things for our future.
Be Collaborative and Use Your Emotional Intelligence
Many people are surprised when I say that emotional intelligence is one of the most important qualities an engineer needs to possess to be successful.
The thing is, engineering is a people business and at Entuitive we’re not selling widgets, we’re selling our people’s ability to solve our clients’ complex problems. So, the ability for engineers to understand, connect and collaborate with others is quite important. It’s something I’ve learned throughout my career, especially now that I lead our Business Development team – it’s incredibly important to see your clients’ problems and needs from their perspective in order to offer the right solutions.
Seek Out a Mentor, Find Where You Can Add Value, and Pursue a Leadership Role
Because I was always given the support to be the best I can be, it’s my mission to inspire all Entuitive employees to be their best versions of themselves. I encourage individuals to be their own leaders by seeking out opportunities and constantly working to learn and grow in their career.
An important piece of this puzzle for most people, and certainly for me, is to find a mentor. Someone who can guide you and share career wisdom and give you a little push to lead. And then, to always remember that it is also your responsibility to be a mentor for others in the same way.
In my experience, most people just need a little encouragement to try something new and become a little bit better than they were yesterday.
Or, click here to watch Sean’s full Career Path video.
Sean Smith, a Principal at Entuitive with 20 years of experience and a diverse range of skills. Sean is a force within Entuitive and one of the earliest members of the company. Throughout his career, Sean has demonstrated a desire to collaborate and to inspire. You’ll definitely have seen those qualities come through in his story and you’ll also have seen how important a role thoughtful risk taking has played throughout his career. Sean is known as much for his technical acumen as he is for his leadership and is truly a diverse individual with many skills. Ultimately, though, he is a leader who truly inspires us all and we’re sure this video will inspire you, too!