The Power Of Networking – The Structural Engineer Baker

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June 1, 2021
The following is the third in a series of short stories from IIBEC emerging professional members.

Networking and word of mouth are powerful tools within the building enclosure consulting profession. I recently heard a story from a colleague of mine who graduated as a structural engineer, but after struggling to find work, settled for a position baking treats for a catering company in Ontario. While catering an event, he was chatting with an owner of a large engineering firm and mentioned his engineering background and subsequent challenges finding a position with a building enclosure focus. After a few minutes of conversation (while holding a tray of baked goods), the baker had secured an interview with a notable engineering firm. The engineer-turned-baker had a successful interview and was offered a position a few weeks later, which he accepted.
Similarly, when I left my company a few years ago and was considering a career switch, I was able to chat with a fellow grad who has recently heard from a contractor about a small roof consulting firm looking to expand services to include exterior walls. My leadership positions with the IIBEC Southern Ontario Chapter and IIBEC committees helped me leverage an interview with this Canadian-owned, privately held design and building enclosure consulting company. I was offered a position and gladly accepted, and this firm has continued to encourage and support my professional growth and development. If you are not currently volunteering with IIBEC or other local professional associations, I strongly encourage you to get involved. Who knows what opportunities will arise next from the power of networking?