Career Advice

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by dukebound85, Nov 18, 2009.

  1. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    As many of you know, I tend to post career advice questions fairly frequently.

    I now have a new issue


    My lease expires at end of Jan

    My situation is I need to renew my lease or not.

    I am able to add a job transfer clause which would let me get out with 60 days notice providing I have proof of job transfer with my current company. To do this, I will have to pay 110% of reg lease rate

    I am also able to sign a short lease for whatever length I want for 110% lease rate. Con over the job transfer is that the lease rate changes month to month

    Situation Part 2
    My 1 year "anniversary" at my current job is coming up in Feb

    This is significant as after a year, I would not have to repay the relocation bonus I had received when i first signed up

    Situation Part 3

    I have found out a few things working here
    1) The job is stable and my coworkers are awesome
    2) Despite that, I miss my family, friends, and what CO has to offer over NY
    3) I really don't have a passion nor care greatly for what I do or engineering in general
    4) I would like to try and move back to CO so I can visit my family more easily as now, with my vacation, I am really limited to 2 trips home per year. That and my friends weddings eat up vacation time as well
    5) If I lived closer to home, I wouldn't have these issues with time off plus I could come back for the holidays (Only can come back over Xmas this year)

    Am i being "weak" in the sense of missing home? Should I just bear it?

    Or should I try and find something closer to home. I am really close with my family and this year has been really hard for me. I do not know if any job is worth that sacrafice, or is it? I want some opinions

    If I do decide to leave, what is the best way to inform them? I am hesitant to tell them before I pass my 1 year mark. Is 2 weeks adequate? I have had good performance reviews but would I be blacklisted in a sense as they have long term plans for me and I want to leave early?

    If I move back, what other career paths can I do with an engineering degree? I am not an engineer. I didn't like it as a student and don't like it as a career. i hate 7-5 hrs. I want to travel and not sit at a desk all day. Should I pursue something else? I mean you only live once so better enjoy what you do right?

    Any and all advice is welcome as always. You all are always a great resource with great insight. I have no one to bounce my thoughts off really (with an objective eye) so I resort to these forums

    Of course...I would no longer have any insurance in time between jobs so that can be an important factor as well
  2. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    At a minimum, stay for the year to retain the bonus, as any savings will be needed for moving should you go back to CO. Practical matters will have to be taken into account, no matter what you decide on the "bigger picture".

    1. What is the job (curious), and do you like what you do (actual career path)?
    If not, can you go into detail with the issues (I know you'r not happy, but I can't tell if its the career path or lack of local family and familiar surroundings you left behind)?

    2. Obviously you're homesick, but which do you value more; access to family or job satisfaction?

    Ideally, you should go for both, but it's not always realistic to expect that, especially with the economics as they are. Industries are still shifting overseas from the US, and practical matters means you either deal with the employment offerings to remain close to family, or relocate to maintain a career path most likely. Sad, but simple fact. So you've really got to sort your priorities IMO.

    3. How did you come to this revelation?
    Again, I'm not sure if the dissatisfaction is due to the career or lack of family, as one can have bearing on the other.

    4 & 5 would be addressed in the above. I'm just trying to get an idea of where your priorities are.

    It depends on the POV. If taken from practical matters, Yes, as a stable job isn't easy to come by right now. But for long term happiness, maybe you need to reconsider a different career (and it's possible you will hate it, as it will depend on the job market in CO, now and in the future).

    If you value the ability to pay your bills, or really love what you do, then you follow the work. Otherwise, put family first, and live with the employment consequences.

    I know this seems to be predicated on one or the other, but its more common to not have both in my experience. For me, when I followed the "job", I was happy. When I decided to follow family after they all relocated to a central spot (previously scattered all over the US), I paid dearly. Still am, actually, as the job market here is beyond lousy, and looks to continue that way. I'd need to move again myself to find work, and it seems most of it I'd want, is overseas. That would be a difficulty for me, as I'm horrible with languages, as well as the move would be rather difficult (expensive too).

    Verbally and written at the same time IMO. At a minimum, written, as it's a formal notice. Verbal could be problematic, especially if it's close to the 1yr aniversary date. Two weeks is the minimum standard, but longer is better, say 1 - 2 months. It allows them more time to find a replacement (assuming it's not an eliminated position), and even have you train that individual. It's better for both the company and you, as you're seen as thoughtful and considerate of the company's interests (can translate into a good recommendation from that employer).

    That's going to depend on the job market in CO, and specifically where you go. I've no idea of the specific industries there that would be able to use your skills.

    But you could consider things such as sales, or on-site installation/technical support for an industrial company, if it exists (i.e. large machinery as an example). Industrial equipment sales personnel can make a decent living. More than the engineers in fact, depending on the products sold. But it's a small market.

    As per insurance, COBRA's possibility, but it's more expensive than the usual premiums. :eek: Otherwise you'd be betting on the fact you're young and low odds something's going to go drastically wrong until you're re-employed. :p
  3. dukebound85 thread starter macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    Yes, I will definitely stay for the year. The issue is at hand as I need to deal with how I am going to approach my lease
    I am a mechanical engineer for the military

    I dont enjoy engineering though this job is good for engineering.

    I did engineering in school as it was a solid degree. My dream has always been to fly
    The career path is stable (government job) but its engineering and I will never be able to be near Colorado with this job
    Both. I don't enjoy engineering although this job is "good" and will never be outsourced

    However, I don't enjoy being an engineer and being 2000 miles from my fam is tough
    That is my current dilemma
    I didnt enjoy engineering in college (though I did great). Just really don't care for engineering things lol.

    However, I had an offer and accpeted
    I want a job and I want to be near my family, or at least within driving distance if I wanted to visit over weekend
    I would be fine never working in engineering again. I want to do something I like
    With my lease, Id exten to end of feb and I started on feb 9 of last year

    Id give 2 weeks but to get someone to replace me would take about 6 months with clearance processing
    Thanks for the thoughts. I am just trying to get all angles I can before I make a somewhat rash decsion:eek:
  4. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    You'd need to go month-to-month until you leave NY. It seems clear you've no business being there. You hate the job, and you don't like the area, as family's not there. It seems a no brainer.

    So the issue is in the details IMO. Engineering is an excellent way to begin flight school, as you want to be a pilot. Given the economy, going to school now is a really good idea, as you're working towards your future plans, not stuck in a dead-end.

    Look into private flight schools and even the military. From the scheduling (i.e. apply, and assuming acceptance, plan backwards off the academic year). Something to think about, as you'd either have to stay where you are, or move back to CO temporarily until a start date for flight school.

    It's not that tough, but you have to get the paperwork started,... You know the drill. :p

    You're definitely in the wrong profession. If you hate it, your work will suffer in time from what I've seen and experienced (fresh graduates that finished, but had no enthusiasm for it at all). One example happens to be my best friend during high school. He obtained a Mechanical degree as just as you did. He also didn't like it, and was lost. Now he's a dentist. :eek: :D

    Another example is me. ;) I liked Materials Eng. (research) and finished with high hopes for the future, but hated the work I ended up with (QC job for a plastic packaging firm, but it wasn't what I expected - no lab work/testing at all). It was a total joke, so I left, and went back for a Computer Eng. degree. Best thing I ever did.

    Understandable. Seriously. Near finished, and have to do something... your situation is nothing new.

    You'd have to settle for whatever you can find in the area you want to be, and deal with it. As that's likely a recipe for unhappiness, maybe the re-training in flight school is worth the headache/hassle. You'd likely be away from home for awhile, but at least you've something to look forward to: A future career in something you're passionate about. Pilots can live just about anywhere, so long as they can get to where their route is based from, according to those I've met. Others here could offer up far more than I can on this. ;)

    OK, so you won't be able to train. But you need to give more than 2 weeks if at all possible. I'd say 2 months if at all possible, as it has bearing on your future. Seriously. Two weeks is sort of like an emergency resignation for such a job (i.e. parent died, and the other is infirm and you have to take care of that person indefinitely type of situation) - If it's not, it won't bode well for a reference. It will matter in future employment endeavors.
  5. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    I'll weigh in, if I may.

    If you don't like where you live, and would rather live somewhere else, that's not weak. It doesn't matter what your reason is, although your reason is a damn good one, IMO.

    Okay, I'm gonna give you the best advice on this topic that you will ever get.

    Do NOT, under any circumstances, for any reason, leave your current job until you have a new job. There are many reasons for this:

    1. The economy is recovering, but job growth is still lagging. It's rough out there if you're looking for a job. If you quit before you have a new one, it could be a LONG time before you get another one.

    2. You're young. Most of the people getting offers in engineering are experienced; hiring managers know they can get well-seasoned engineers, even P.E.'s, for not much more than what they used to pay entry level guys. I imagine this is also true to some extent in other industries; so even if you leave engineering, you could run into this again.

    3. If you're presently employed while you're interviewing for a new job, you can easily say "do not contact my present employer" on your job application. If you leave your current job and there are hard feelings, the reference you get from them might not be quite as glowing as you'd like.

    You should also absolutely wait until your 1-year commitment is up before you make any announcement, since you accepted a relocation bonus. You will definitely get blacklisted (in the area of NY where you are now, at least) if you leave before then. Do not mention this agreement to any prospective employers; they'll see you as someone who might bolt as soon as your probationary period is over. OTOH, if you do your year, then give proper notice, and leave on good terms, you won't have any problems - at least none that will follow you to CO.

    As for how to tell them, it's very simple. When you give your notice (2 weeks is generally sufficient unless you're management level or higher), simply state that you have accepted another offer, show your appreciation for the job, and leave on the best terms you can. You don't owe them any explanation, at least not in writing. There's nothing wrong with telling them that you're just not feeling it in NY and accepted an opportunity to work closer to home and family.

    Yes, you should enjoy what you do. I have a ME degree, and I work in an MEP firm designing and commissioning data centers. It's not what I had in mind for myself when I was in college, but it fell into my lap right after graduation, and now I've been doing it for long enough that I spend a good amount of time in project management, commissioning, construction management, etc. - so I'm not at my desk much more than I care to be. And I like it a lot better than the 8-5 grind. With experience comes a lot of liberty.

    If you're considering another career path with your degree, mechanical engineering is probably the most diverse engineering discipline. You can do part/component design and/or testing, power generation, aerospace/aircraft design, petrochemical design and consulting, construction management, energy conservation, manufacturing, and a whole lot more.

    If you ever need some help or advice, feel free to PM me. I don't know how much help I can be, but I'll certainly do my best.
  6. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Definitely good advice, but as he seems totally dissatisfied with engineering all together, I went with the re-training route. I might be missing something though.

    Also quite true. The older guys are having a hard time of it, as they're used to much higher pay rates. But given the current economy, it's likely any new job will mean a pay cut.

    This can be a major warning though, if I understand HR correctly (as they at least do the screening to make the interview list for the engineering manager that will do the interview). It's more likely it will end up in the "No" pile

    From what I've understood, 2 weeks isn't enough now, as it's more likely to result in a not so wonderful recommendation. The current market has changed things as I've come to understand via discussions with others (HR, and Project Managers who give the recommendations). It's not exactly fair, but that's what I've been lead to believe. But I wouldn't go so far as to presume they're not the most anal bunch on the planet either. :eek: :p

    There's possibilities, but I'm under the impression he's disillusioned entirely with engineering. So I suggested sales or installation/tech support,... related to eliminate the need for further education. Not sure what the market is in CO, so I've no idea what's actually there (no details to really search with).
  7. mscriv macrumors 601


    Aug 14, 2008
    Dallas, Texas
    It's no secret you're not happy and you've been struggling with this for a while. It sounds like it's time to take some action, but with the current economy it can be hard to know what to do, especially since the job search would be in a different state/area. Are you absolutely positive there are no transfer options within the military that would be possible for you? I mean c'mon we're talking about the US Military here. I'm sure there are some type of military jobs available in the Colorado area. The key is finding out about them and if you would be qualified and eligible.

    You can always use the internet and the standard job searching websites, but another option would be locating a recruiter or headhunter that works the Colorado area. Contact them and provide a resume. Recruiters get paid by companies when they suggest a candidate that is hired so they have an invested interest in having a pool of qualified candidates available to them.

    As has been mentioned, going back to school is another option if you do wish to make a career change. As you are well aware, education is not cheap unless you intend to resume the full time student lifestyle and live off of loans. This isn't cheap either, it just delays the expense. You could always ask mom and dad if you can move back in with them while you pursue education or conduct a local job search. It doen't get any closer to home then living with the parents. Then your late night drunk posts can start with, "it's me again, typing from mom and dad's basement..." :D
  8. SpookTheHamster macrumors 65816


    Nov 7, 2004
    Engineering degrees are some of the most valuable around. They will give you access to careers that would otherwise require a specific degree, and sometimes are seen as preferable. As an example (though it's probably not a path you'd like to take) engineers tend to excel in jobs in banking due to their head for numbers and good problem solving/pattern spotting skills.

    As has already been said, if you want to be a pilot you picked a good degree. If you want to go into the military having a good degree should put you above the average person.

    Also, consider that engineering is probably HUGELY more diverse than you have ever considered. You can go literally anywhere. You say you want to travel, an interesting way of doing that would be working in motorsport. Traveling staff range from mechanics, support engineers (responsible for running the cars & electronics), race engineers (making decisions during the race based on information given by all the other engineers), strategists, controls engineers, and more. It's not really 'engineering' as most would think of it: there's no project management or budget to be constrained by, it's limited only by your mind and (at least even from a factory role) it's a lot of fun.
  9. dmr727 macrumors G3


    Dec 29, 2007
    There's some good advice on this thread, duke. I don't have much to offer, although a couple of people threw the pilot thing out there, and I know that you're at least somewhat looking into that career path. I'm not going to hijack this thread with garbage about the piloting career, but I will say this:

    Don't make the plunge without talking to some professional pilots first. Don't trust anyone at a flight school, or anyone that advertises in a magazine. And whatever you do, don't listen to a word that comes out of Kit Darby's mouth. You need some facts from someone that's spent the better part of their life paying bills on the money they receive from flying an airplane. Once you have that and you still want to do it - welcome to the club. But I'd be a serious doucher (thank you TDD) if I stood back and watched you leave a good engineering job for an aviation gig without opening your eyes to some realities first.
  10. dukebound85 thread starter macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    Thanks for all the advice

    I just want to do what I feel is in my best interest. However, I have no passion for what I do but it does pay the bills

    I feel under the gun as I need to figure out my lease decsion
  11. Dagless macrumors Core


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    You're not being weak but it might be worth bearing with. Home is home but if there are no jobs going or if the situation just isn't that great there it might be worth staying away and just getting used to it.
  12. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Understandable, but paying the bills right now is important, as there's not a glut of positions available. It's taking people a while to find jobs, so the advice to remain employed where you are until another position has been aquired or set plans to go back to school, if that's the direction you wish to go.

    Without a new job to replace the current one, or acceptance at a uni, stay where you are, month to month until you have something solid. Then give notice, and go.

    Good luck. :)

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