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Working is such a big part of life that it’s not worth staying in a job that you don’t like. I am a sophomore in college studying civil engineering. Then, when you’re looking for another job, prospective employers see your work history and think you can’t hold a job because you’re not lucky enough to have found a steady job. I was frugal and saved enough to last 2 years working on a passion project but realized later it wasn’t feasible, especially when software is not something I enjoy much, I do it because it comes with the territory of engineering. I don’t feel appreciated at work and frankly I am kind of sick having to do repetitive debug work. I am 52, and there is no way I can retire any time soon. Well, my question is about finances. I was a terrible leader and things just didn’t work out well when I tried to be a manager. 6. In it, Matt Damon & Ben Affleck made a point that Will Hunting was wasting his life by doing menial jobs like custodial support, construction work, etc, because he was a math genius with a photographic memory. I love engineering and the different aspects of working on a team. It used to be like this for us as well, but it feels as if a solar flare has hit semiconductor corporations around the year 2010 making their management and financial controlling idiots transfer into a zombie mode. I am in the oilfield, not as fast to evolve as ee/computer but when i as a newly minted manager @ 26 saw my amazing 50 years old boss being walked out due to commodities prices collapse, I knew right there and then..this is a transient business, save, invest, prepare and be ready to check out as fast as i can. For me I’d rather die than continue doing the mind numbing work I do now, sitting at a computer for 8 hours and being in 20-25 meetings and conference calls a week is not for me and never will be. It is much much better than working for a big corporation. Yes, there are bad teams, there are bad managers, and there are no doubt jobs where people feel trapped. Here is the problem Two years ago I suffered a heart attack after leaving a gym and doing some swimming. The 25+ year career guys are just the ones lucky enough to survive and perform as project engineers/managers. Very interesting blog here. One friend was originally in a really REALLY awful job in a certain division here and eventually got out of that and changed to another job internally and his job went from hell to just fine. Stories like this are why I’m saving as much as I can now. The ability to negotiate for a high salary, dissipated since those times. I agree with him, if you study engineering, you will not enjoy video games as before. LOL) because I am not spending enough time with them anymore. Too. Clearly Jake & Jason haven’t experienced engineering. That’s normally more than 1 out of 5 graduates for STEM students. Since I was a kid back then, I only know of the horror stories from other adults who were carrying a mortgage in Houston while searching the entire country for STEM work. I too would like to semi-retire by 40 (ideally 38 years old). Life is short so enjoy it! Now, my wife just lost her latest job, and again, we are both unemployed. There were other factors as well. Yup, that's the Industrial Engineer. It seems like my choices now as a software engineer (in my area) is to go write GUI’s for incredibly boring applications or work in the Web/Front End/Back End cloud, something I’m not all that interested in. Don’t quit now because you never know how it’s going to turn out. I’m going to major in ECE this upcoming fall and after reading your article and other things online I’m starting to get worried. I have tried the freelancing side of things, but I know from that that its very difficult to get any kind of steady jobs rolling along. 2. I still consider myself retired. This is truly income for dummies. Calling all engineers who are looking for a change….we have an exciting new high school in the Austin, TX area and are looking for someone to teach intro to engineering classes…please reach out via email if you are interested in changing students lives for the better and sharing your wealth of knowledge with our youth! I performed well and liked coworkers in my 20’s (prior to management), but even then unfortunately in my case there still wasn’t enough technical challenge – when advisors say to take control of your career, they are not kidding. As of now, I’ve been with my company for ten years. I consulted with graduate students and professors at school and they gave me similar answers that you gave me. You can try it for a couple of years and see how it works out. I know I’m mostly harping on semantics, and people can call themselves anything they want. How to Study During Engineering So That You Pass in Exams. Are all engineer fields like this? As I near the age of 80, I notice a subtle difference within weeks of my memory and mental state after being on the new job after a few weeks. I choose what projects to work on and let the market decide what my time is worth. Joining Intel as senior engineer, these requirements hit immediately, where I desperately tried to meet unreal expectations as newbie employee, in tasks I felt neither able nor willing to engage. They might be able to help. Lots of people change career, find a different job, and do other things with their life. Unfortunately, I couldn’t do it. We could easily do the same, but don’t want to do so. Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Mark Cuban, Zuckerburg. As a young engineer, strive to be a sponge and learn as much as you can about your chosen technical area. So I’m trying to make a big decision whether I should go to graduate school or just finish my military duty, possible as an interpretation officer, and find out my true passion. The first 7-8 years at Intel was great for me. The reality is these roles can be orders of magnitude removed from why you probably wanted to become an engineer in the first place. The main reason why I call it retirement is because I don’t plan to go back to my engineering career. I've done generally alright in my college math classes, getting As and Bs in all of them, but I can say I hate math with a passion. You also said that if its hard for me its probably difficult for others too, well the fact is that in one of my classes our prof said the class average was pretty good (like high 70s) while mine was far below very much in the failing range, I even get the feeling that I got the lowest grade in the entire class based off of other student’s scores. My salary is public record, less than 60k a year. Once this occurs (and it doesn’t take long), the engineering career paths in those firms goes downhill fast. I lost interest in the job/career. You say you quit your engineering job and became a blogger? The company can always hire more engineers. We need to find something that we enjoy and then the money will come. Anyway, I tried to learn more about computers at every opportunity. I’m more than unhappy right now with my current situation, even on the verge of having mental issues that are starting to affect my health. At least that’s what I think. The demand at the company stays the same, but you need to take care of the kids too. I am in almost the exact same position as you with almost the same amount of time in the work force. A consistent thread seems to be that engineering should be abandoned as a career field. My husband has been an engineer since graduating in 1991. Right now, I’ve seen numerous licensed plumbers earning over $80K in my state and w/ OT, etc, six figures is very doable w/o spending years in school. He retired, right? , That’s true about outsourcing. I will always prioritize my personal life and that means I have sometimes had to work jobs that I did not enjoy for 40 hours each week. I honestly never imagined, even two years ago, that I would have fallen out of love with technology, but I have — the company I work for now doesn’t do “bleeding edge” technology, although that is what the people that are hired for(including myself) projects know and are comfortable with. I’m having an issue now where my classes now are still as difficult if not even harder with difficult concepts such as statics as well as computer programming stuff which I have never had a strong aptitude in. I have had managers state, “You studied engineering? At the entry and midlevel, it was enough to excel at the technical side. If given an opportunity, would I have studied engineering again? I couldn’t work full-time and take care of my mom. Best wishes. My actual salary after more than 3 years experience is around 30k$ before taxes thats makes around 18k$ after taxes. I would just add that I totally agree with you here. There’s really no longer an incentive to stay in this field, other than the good salary, which really isn’t all that good if you think about it. I would like to get some advice or thoughts from different perspective? ... but hate math. Why is the guy who engineers the solutions making less money than the mechanic he is instructing??!! That’s what I’ll be graduating in next year and it’s refreshing to get a wise perspective from you on priorities and how it is out there. If you don’t like design & debug, you probably won’t like architecture either. If I’m 65 and in this same situation, you probably wouldn’t think twice about the whole retirement thing. I’ve seen people do that and they accept their lot in life then go back to the job they hate and just accept it as life. I have been fine since, but I have the fear of the stress and future for my family. I haven’t done anything related to engineering since I left in 2012. This may be why almost everybody in a technical role gets laid off eventually, if they stay long enough; mall companies, big companies – it doesn’t matter. A lot of people retire early with rentals. He’s doing very well. I am not a good multiplier. Trapped by sabbatical? I don’t think you would want to put up with it forever unless you like playing games – like our president…, “I think it’s great that you can handle both the technical and leadership aspect. When I was in high school, I dreamed of taking up Computer Engineering and become the only lady engineer in our batch. My words of wisdom to any reader here is, Beware the Big Corporation. I kind of got thrust into considering early retirement after 25+ years as a software engineer. I even learned a little French and German along the way, and the German is very handy now since I get to go to Germany often). Maybe you can find a low-tier company and be average in that company, but the pay won’t be great … This comment is right on. I guess I shouldn’t complain as I’m paid well yet I’m constantly brainstorming for what other new careers/small businesses I can start. I think you are going to be much happier now Joe. Really good article. I started at DEC (anyone remember them?) Sure, it’s less than that for let’s say electrical engineers but within a decade, that number could bloom to 40% and others in the field may be facing layoffs and downsizing, since they can’t provide other health care services for patients. Be prepared for the career to lose its luster eventually so that you can change careers or retire without drama. I think that programming skills are really important but I don’t want to sit in a chair all day! I made a leap from engineering to interior design a few years ago. But my biggest problem is what other career can I go into? However, this seems to be the only thing in my job that allows me to create on my own. Now that you’ve realized that’s the wrong choice, maybe you should consider what you’d realistically like to see yourself doing and pursue that. That’s lifestyle inflation for ya. Surprisingly I still love my job, I have some friction with my boss but I am sure he’s won’t be staying back for long as we follow a strict rotation policy. Just save and invest as much as you can when you’re young. Engineering is a good field, but it’s just getting more difficult everyday. What has this got to do with computer engineering? The person it takes to excel in the technical side and in the management side of things is a rare person indeed. Statics involved very complex mathematical equations derived using Algebra, Trigonometry, Calculus, Differential Equations, and Physics. FORTRAN did teach me basic programming principles. Also finding a job in the US as an international student, especially with the military duty in the way, is nearly impossible. For instance: “I noticed that you’ve been working on/doing great things in ____. They don’t care about you. The industry needs to find a better way to keep their engineers. The terms meaningful work or fair work for a fair wage no longer exist. Have been laid off 19 times in those 35 years of a mix of contract and full time positions. Create a new resume or upload an existing one. Do you have a good counselor or professor you can talk to? The flip side is you don’t have to be an engineer forever. You really should think about doing what you want. I too am an engineer and have undergone a similar transformation as I’ve progressed throughout my career. This work environment was non-existent prior to 2009. On the surface, it may appear that pharmacy is another adjunct health care field, kinda like the ‘pill dispensing’ version of a nurse but it isn’t. I have worked at a university lab over the last 2 years gaining some design experience. If I were you, I would try to get an engineering job with your undergrad degree. Hi, I loved the way you highlighted all the points. It is a big waste of time that will eventually form you into an obedient dog of the system. Good luck with the healthcare field. I used to enjoy breakdowns but at this stage problem solving no longer pique my attention because I have experienced enough breakdowns and there’s only so much that can go wrong. Technical only carries you so far. Lastly, I wanted to try something new. I fall into the latter category, where work is what enables me to find success in my personal life. I should have quit 5-6 years ago. You get to spend a lot of time in the ocean and that sounds like fun. Not sure what to do………………. That’s the way I think about it. My experience is that smaller companies typically treat employees better, despite lower pay and benefits. In my case : stress and heart failure, beacuse you try to keep everyone happy but yourself. Raises are based on how much you are paid w/in your pay level (are you at the bottom and thus underpaid, or at the top and “fully compensated”), and performance, which for engineers is subjective, unlike a sales job. I marched in this morning and told them I quit because my wife, my kids, and my health (both mental and physical) were more important. David work at the Amazon fulfillment center around Christmas as I understand. 1 talking about this. At least these people are in better physical shape than most engineers. They contacted me – I did not contact them. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Some people seems to do very well as an engineer. Years ago only engineers over the age of 40 were down trodden and at the mercy of contracting in order to find any type of work. Looking forward to seeing you next week. It’s rare to find engineers in their 40s who are still head town in the technical design. Being a technical leader is not a problem for a number of engineers. Money was good most of the time but I got sacked twice in 2008 and again in 2011 so I was jobless for about 1.5 years , I always hear some friend got sacked because no work or client not paying …etc . Besides doing full-system emulation, QEMU supports the "user" target. That’s great to hear and I know many people who like being a manager. When an engineer is on your team, they are trying to ship a successful product. What enabled you to finally do something about your monotony? Lots of companies (at least in my field of software engineering) say there is a career path for engineers that don’t want to go into management. i don’t envy that. In fact, I quit Intel a couple years ago to join another company (I’ve since returned).
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