Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Tracey Roche from Analog Devices to give some advice for people considering this job:

Tracey Roche

Design Engineer

Analog Devices

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Tracey Roche

3 main things:

1. Be organised.

2. Try to keep a positive attitude.

3. Persevere. Working in a Design Evaluation role or indeed any electronic engineering role, requires problem-solving skills and half the battle with this is having a positive attitude. If you have a negative/pessimistic attitude, the battle to find a solution is lost before you even start. In debugging an issue, start with the basics and work from there. Like peeling an onion, gradually peel off the outter layers to reveal the inner core of the onion...as you work, you get more clues and develop a better understanding of the product/issue you are working on.

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Realist?
Realist
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
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Self Assessment

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Skills

Just about all occupations are characterised by a particular set of skills. We often associate the idea of skills to specific technical activities, like fine hand-eye coordination, or problem solving. However, there are a range of life skills which are equally important, and often overlooked.

We all have valuable skills we may be unaware of. Skill based self assessments help us to focus on those skills we may have, and identify the skills we may be weak in.

You can learn more about career skills here: Go to section on Transferable Career Skills

Useful Links

Prospects Planner [UK]  
A job exploration tool which aims to help you identify your skills, motivations and interests and then to match yourself to relevant job types. Designed for at College students. (Registration required)
Communication Skills Self-Assessment Inventory 
Download a 20 item questionnaire that measures your Communication Skills from HTC Consulting.
Skills You Need 
Several free assessments covering many soft-skills used in the workplace. Requires an email to receive results.
Motivated Skills Test 
For existing workers, this is a quick and easy way to identify the skills which are central to your career satisfaction and success. Free, from Stewart, Cooper & Coon

Paper Based Assessments

You can download a number of self assessments from the links below.

Skills:
Use the exercise on this downloadable worksheet to discover the most sought after skills needed to get jobs in the modern workplace. By rating yourself on these skills, you can see where your strengths and weaknesses may lie. Then, you can look for opportunities to develop and practice your underdeveloped skills.

Download:
Worksheet - Career Skills Self-Assessment
[pdf - 540Kb, 4 pages]
Download Self-Assement Worksheet

Career Interests
Use the exercise on this downloadable worksheet to identify where your interests lie. This exercise takes no more than 10 min to complete and can help identify what career interest groups you are most interested in.

Download:
Worksheet - Career Interests Self-Assessment
[pdf - 97Kb, 1 page]
Download Self-Assement Worksheet

Values
This brief exercise helps to clarify your values according to six commonly used categories.
Download:
Worksheet - Values Self-Assessment
[pdf - 145Kb, 2 pages]
Download Self-Assement Worksheet