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 Angie O'Keeffe from Hewlett-Packard to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Angie O'Keeffe

Materials Engineer

Hewlett-Packard

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  Angie O'Keeffe
Don't be afraid to speak out, but have your data to support your argument. Good problem solving skills will help but you don't have to be an expert in every area but get to the people who do know. Most people love to transfer their knowledge especially when the request for information is genuine. Your own interest level will determine the kind of response you get, you'll build your networks this way. Get your hands dirty, never think that some part of the job is below you, you'll get two invaluable things from this - knowledge, you'll learn things that others would overlook and you'll have a better understanding of processes and your products
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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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