Why do you even want to do this?
Seriously, why do you want to do this?
I know this may come across tongue-in-cheek, but for real, why do you even want to go through preparing for and taking the FE Exam?
If you are anything like me, the moment you walked across that stage and grabbed your diploma you swore you would never open a book again to study, let alone, sit down and take an exam.
It was onward and upward in to a career of engineering where the sky was the only limit to what we could achieve –
Until it wasn’t.
It became evident real quick that as much as I thought an engineering degree was the golden ticket to a long and rewarding career, it surely wasn’t.
There was an ultra competitive bureaucratic structure in place within the corporate world, and although it was never outright verbalized, it was expected that in order to continue progressing in to a position you deserved, you must be pursuing your engineering license.
So pursuing is what I did.
But pursuing the FE Exam was one thing, sustaining that pursuit was something much deeper.
When I talk with many of our new students coming in to Prepineer about their “why”, many keep it surface level, simply operating along the lines of just wanting to pass the Engineer In Training Exam…period.
Though this “just wanting to pass” will get you started, there must be something deeper that will be the thing that will pull you through to the end.
The process of becoming a Professional Engineer is a serious endeavor that takes a level of dedication and commitment that none of us is equipped with at the onset.
You see, we went through all of our academic years with teachers, peers and other support elements helping us stay in line, show up and finish it out.
Post academia, this is just not the case – we are on our own.
With ever-growing commitments and a support group that is likely near non-existent, preparing for the FE Exam is usually done in a vacuum and it’s nothing short of a challenge – and in fact, it shouldn’t be.
We are all trying to become licensed engineers, and just like the “weed out” classes in college, only the strong should survive, after all, it’s with our Professional Engineering license that we are granted the privilege and responsibility of designing systems that will better serve and protect our communities.
So when I ask why you want to take the FE Exam, think about it a bit more than just at surface level.
Are you committed to seeing it through?
What about those days that come where you feel like just packing it in, do you have a “why” that’s going to help you pull through?
At this point, just wanting to pass isn’t going to cut it, I will tell you that right now.
So assess your motivations, what is the long term goal of it all?
Is it more time freedom?
Is it a promotion?
Maybe it’s just about ensuring your job so that you can take care of your family?
Begin with the end in mind and work your way back.
Doing this will allow your mind to focus on the big picture, helping you keep steady when you encounter the guaranteed obstacles along the way.
You’ve got to be honest with yourself and assess what is naturally pushing you to get this done in the first place – what’s convicting you from within?
Bring to light and tangibly define your “positive” intrinsic motivations that exist. Our society tends to highlight the negatives ahead of the positives, pressures from expectations, family members, employers – these are motivations, but the root of them is negative, and won’t sustain you over the long haul.
We’ve got to transcend this trend, and re-rack our minds to think positive.
It’s the positive motivations that will build your resilience and ability to sustain in the darkest of times that are surely to come.
Start Small…really small
Look, you have probably heard me say this before, but I will continue to scream it from the mountain tops until you believe in yourself enough to take that first step in your own personal pursuit to becoming a Professional Engineer.
Preparing for the FE Exam is not something that happens overnight.
It’s not simply an effort of looking at the NCEES specifications, opening a book and showing up to take the exam.
What seems like it should be a trivial task – something we have done a thousand times before – will be a battle, both mentally and logistically for longer than we want – real talk.
Test prep post-academia is just, plain a simple, a different game, and we must give ourselves grace to think smaller, much smaller.
Success in anything comes from progress made through taking small steps consistently.
Executing on the micro allows us to focus on the quick wins rather than being overwhelmed with where we eventually need to be. We would never go out and expect ourselves to be ready to run a marathon right away, however, that’s how many of us approach the FE Exam – and it’s destroying the hopes and dreams of so many talented engineers out there.
I can’t let that be your story.
Wherever you stand today, trust that knowing everything about what the journey entails isn’t what is important, right now.
What is, is that you take that first step in the direction, allowing whatever the motivation may be to manifest itself in to action – and let the rest play out as it will.
You got this, we are here to help. Click here to learn more about how we help our students get it done! 🙂