While chatting informally with some co-workers, I heard some of them talking about their frustrations about not feeling recognized for their work or working on projects they don’t think makes a difference.
Corporations, which usually mean people in management roles, value those individuals who go beyond doing what they are told to do and look up from their daily work and try to plan for what they want to accomplish in the next 9 months.
As engineers, we are judged on our productivity but more importantly for our potential and influence. For any piece of work we produce, how many other engineers does it influence? Is the engineer helping others to be more productive? Can the engineer take on bigger projects?
When we work on any project, we should ask ourselves what is the BHAG? What is the elevator speech if I happen to be standing next to the CEO and she is asking me what my project is about.
If you are working on a project that you think is not adding a lot of value, finish up the project, document it well and ask to be assign to something else. Better yet, dream up something you are really passionate about, and pitch your idea to as many people as you can.