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Engineers Need Social Skills Too

Q. I just graduated from engineering school and know I'm a good engineer. But like so many in our profession, I lack social skills and I'm afraid that's going to hold me back. What do you think I should do?

Ans. Sign up with the Toastmasters International group in your area for a start. That will help you meet, greet and speak with members of the corporate world in a meaningful way. You are right that dealing elegantly with other business people is the most important job you ever will have, so it's up to you to learn it. Evening courses in speech and communications will also help. You may want to pick up a copy of "The Engineer's Career Guide" by John A. Hoschette, (Wiley $69.95). If you can't afford to buy one, your library should be able to find one for you.

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