Finding Alternative Career Paths with Lindsay O’Leary

Episode #76
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Are you considering a career switch? Then this episode presents an alternative most people don’t even think of. Today, ASCE’s Director of Technical Advancement, Lindsay O’Leary, reveals how working in the non-profit sector can be a great career move for engineers.

Being involved with organizations and associations on the side of your day job is already beneficial to your career growth. You get to meet like-minded people, learn soft and people skills you can apply at your workplace, and increase your network — all of which can then lead to job opportunities down the road.

Now, working full-time at one of these organizations can bring just as many career and personal rewards as being part of it part-time. And you don’t even have to completely get out of your areas of expertise to do it. Most of these organizations need people with enough knowledge to fill in technical positions just as traditional engineering firms out there.

So forget the old-school “managerial vs. technical” career path debate. There’s more out there if you think creatively about what your engineering career could look like — and what you want it to look like.

Lindsay O'Leary, P.E., CAE, LEED AP, M.ASCE is a civil engineer working in the non-profit arena, supporting other civil engineers across the World, who ​protect the public health, safety, and welfare. In this full-time role with the American Society of Civil Engineers, she is devoted to the advancement of the civil engineering profession as well as delivering value to members.

Prior to joining the ASCE staff team, Lindsay served as the Executive Director on the ASCE Texas Section staff team for five years. She regularly worked with the Section’s Board of Direction and Executive Committee to implement the strategic plan and ensured the Section was one of the most active sections within ASCE.

Prior to starting her career in the non-profit arena, Lindsay provided a comprehensive range of civil and environmental engineering consulting services to private and public sector clients for 10 years. Lindsay's engineering experience includes: waste containment facility design, permitting, and performance evaluation for various waste streams; water resources & mixed-use land development engineering; environmental compliance monitoring; environmental site assessments; oil & gas litigation; and health & safety implementation.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Lindsay’s civil engineering background and her current work at ASCE
  • How to get into the non-profit sector (+ the biggest challenge you’ll face)
  • Why engineers should get involved with professional organizations
  • The many job opportunities in the non-profit sector (including technical roles)
  • How ASCE and other organizations help advance your career and the profession
  • Lindsay's day-to-day life as an ASCE staff member
  • The hard work behind ASCE’s codes and standards (and those who create them)
  • Lindsay’s two pieces of advice for a successful career

Resources Mentioned:

Career Coaching Services – Engineering Our Future
FREE PE Preparation Course – Engineering Our Future
Newsletter – Engineering Our Future
ASCE – American Society of Civil Engineers
ASCE Texas Section
NSPE – National Society of Professional Engineers
ISI – Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure
AISC – American Institute of Steel Construction
ACI – American concrete institute
AISI – American Iron and Steel Institute
ACPA – American Concrete Pipe Association
EWB – Engineers without borders
CAE – Certified Association Executive Credential
Infrastructure Report Card
IIJA – Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

Connect With Lindsay:

Email – loleary@asce.org
LinkedIn
Twitter – @LindsayAnneO

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