Northeastern (46th Annual) and North-Central (45th Annual) Joint Meeting (20–22 March 2011)

Paper No. 7
Presentation Time: 11:35 AM


BLAUVELT, Robert P., GEI Consultants, 1 Greenwood Ave, Suite 210, Montclair, NJ 07042,

Entry level geologists and environmental scientists often lack a basic understanding of career path opportunities, planning, and development with their respective (new) organizations. This is especially true when the employer is a large, multi-national or regional environmental or engineering consulting firm. Drawing from my own 30 plus years of professional experience, as well as from close colleagues and friends, I lay out the basics of career path preparation – from entry level through senior management and eventual equity level positions. I describe the typical pitfalls of many entry level candidates as they progress (and sometimes plateau) in project management experience, develop good, bad, or unnoticeable personal reputations in the profession, and expand their own technical skill sets: either at one firm or through a series of employers

Today’s job market is highly connected and competitive and the shrinkage and re-structuring of the engineering and environmental consulting business that has occurred over the past ten years combined with the contrasting work habits and styles of Millennial and GenX employees is driving significant cultural changes within most surviving firms. One way these changes are being manifested is in how new employees are selected, trained, mentored, and groomed for leadership positions but their older, and sometimes no wiser, (Baby Boom) supervisors and managers. The basic outline of one possible career path or ladder which I describe and present is intended to focus entry level candidates early on the skills and traits needed to prosper and even thrive in a demanding, results-oriented engineering or environmental consulting paradigm.