Tuesday, March 10, 2015

What does professional service mean?

Being a P.Eng or a Professional Engineer comes with the expectation of providing a service.  The most obvious form of service, is that to one's employer or client(s), but that is not the full meaning of professional service.

Service for a professional usually includes participation in professional societies.  Elsie was a strong supporter of that and advocated that her fellow engineers should do more than the bear minimum of just joining a society and paying dues.  She believed that they should also consider looking for organizations and societies that would broadened their ideas and points of view, and that reached out in to society at large.  From her perspective, this would allow engineers to contribute their knowledge and expertise to the larger population, while at the same time offering untold benefits to the individuals willing to stretch themselves.

Elsie led by example.  When she joined an organization she fully engaged with it.  She committed herself to being present at meetings, serving on committees and taking leadership roles.  Even later in her life, when she had held many key leadership positions, she was always willing to what needed doing - even if that meant taking minutes at the meeting.  

Elsie knew that engineers could contribute a lot to society because of their knowledge and experience with rapidly changing technologies.  She was interested in the possibilities and opportunities of what we now often refer to as knowledge mobilization or knowledge translation.

Regardless of whether you are en engineer, is there an area in your professional life where you can stretch yourself a little this week?   


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