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Career Advice - Need Some Direction - Page 2

post #16 of 44
This entitled generation is fascinating. Make crappy employees though. Give me sharp hungry kid with no degree any day.

Anyhow, a few questions:

1. how do you define "deserving" a better job?
2. who "deserves" your job?
3. In what way are you better than the people in 2?
4. If you don't know what you want, how will you know when you have it?
5. What if it disappoints?
post #17 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLay87 View Post
It's part of the military.

.....

I was actually thinking about aerospace engineering, as I'm also interested in going for physics and would probably enjoy working on spacecraft or aircraft design..

The military certainly isn't for everyone. Pursuing work in the aerospace engineering field makes it somewhat likely that you would work on DoD projects. Would working for a corporation that has a military contract be out of the question? You clearly are not okay being a part of the military, are you okay being a contractor for the military?
post #18 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
The military certainly isn't for everyone. Pursuing work in the aerospace engineering field makes it somewhat likely that you would work on DoD projects. Would working for a corporation that has a military contract be out of the question? You clearly are not okay being a part of the military, are you okay being a contractor for the military?

Yes. Aside from DoD projects, though, the private industry is starting to open up. NASA is still kicking, as well.
post #19 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLay87 View Post
What's wrong with my writing?

Nothing whatsoever. Your posts are rather long so I figured you liked to write.
post #20 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt View Post
This entitled generation is fascinating. Make crappy employees though. Give me sharp hungry kid with no degree any day.



I've had a great year as far as the interns I've had, so it isn't a "generational" issue in my mind. The key is finding the kids that don't feel entitled. . . rather they are sharp and hungry just like you said. I've got one engineering student coming back next summer, and I'm really looking forward to finding some BIG projects for him.
post #21 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLay87 View Post
HgaleK's thread inspired me to post this. I've been meaning to post this for quite some time, but just never got around to it, for whatever reason.

Anyways, I'm basically lost, in terms of where to go from here with myself professionally. The economy really threw a wrench into the whole works, and so now my smooth plan that was envisioned when I was still in school is no longer a viable option. I'm looking for somewhere to go from here, but I really have no idea where to go or how to even start looking.

I received my BS in Civil Engineering in 4 years. I was on the Dean's Honor Roll for some time, was in the Honors' program for a couple semesters, and managed to get through with a 3.0 GPA. I also passed the Fundamentals of Engineering exam and so am a certified EIT. I am a dues paying member of American Society of Civil Engineers and Engineers Without borders. I have held two internships, one in the private sector and another at a public sector job working for the company that manages the sewers here.

Sounds great, right? Well, it's not. I graduated at probably the worst possible time, as all engineering companies were laying off left and right. Even the stimulus money, which was supposed to help create jobs, did little in the engineering field, as companies would just increase the workload on their current employees or rehire old ones (the job gains were mainly in the people doing the building - construction - rather than the people doing the design work).

I applied for jobs, sending out about 50 resumes on a daily basis, for probably 6 months. I got 2 interviews, both of which I didn't get. They "really liked me" but needed someone "with more experience". In other words, because there were so many out of work engineers with 10+ years of experience that could be hired at an incredibly low wage, I was shit outta luck.

So I went back to school. I got an Economics major in two semesters. I am fairly knowledgeable about economics/finance on top of this. After searching for about a year I finally received a job at a company that manages retirement plans for people. They are paying for me to get my Series 6 and 63 FINRA licenses in December. They have wonderful benefits.

But the job sucks. I sit at a desk for 9 hours a day in a call center talking to the dumbest fucking people on earth that need to pull money out of their 401k's. They yell at me when they mail something and we haven't received it yet. They get pissy if they filled out the form wrong and ask me to write on their form to correct it for them. Etc...

I hate my job. I can't stand it. I don't enjoy going into work whatsoever. The people are really nice, the company has great benefits and they have a really cool culture, but I just can't stand my job. I have two fucking degrees, and here I have to sit 9 hours a day for someone that probably failed out of highschool and can't even say the fucking word beneficiary (NO IT'S NOT BENEFICIURARY).

Seriously, I deserve so much better than this. I pictured myself graduating with the BSCE, getting a Geotech Engineer job and making $40-50k a year doing something I enjoy. I'm currently making $17 an hour doing something I fucking hate.

My financial situation isn't bad at all, especially in comparison to most people my age. However, I am about $6000 in debt from going back for the Econ major. I am also trying to save up a 10-month safety net, so that's about $12000-15000 of saving before I consider my finances to be "in order". That's a lot on $17 an hour.

I don't know where to go from here. I'm completely lost.

I know that I'd like to have a job making a decent amount of money (doesn't have to be too much). I like helping people. I like traveling (but not too much), I enjoy using my hands (but I don't want to come home tired every day). I want to be able to set my own hours, or at least not be a slave to the clock. I don't want to have a boss looking over my shoulder or micromanaging me.

I don't know if I should try going back into Engineering or stay in Econ, or maybe even find something entirely new. I'm worried that whatever choice I make now is going to affect my career path for the rest of my life, as if I stay in Econ then I won't be marketable as an engineer due to the fact that I'd be older with no experience. I'm also worried that Engineering is a very sensitive job field which experiences the brunt of economic downturns, whereas people always need help having their money managed, etc... in Econ/Finance.

Could you guys offer some advice? I'm seriously completely at a loss when it comes to this and it's really starting to affect my sanity.

I work for an environmental and engineering consulting firm. We focus on the commercial real estate field. We are hiring and you have the perfect background. It isn't sexy work but please PM me and we can discuss it more. You have the perfect credentials for what we do.
post #22 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLay87 View Post
HgaleK's thread inspired me to post this. I've been meaning to post this for quite some time, but just never got around to it, for whatever reason.

Anyways, I'm basically lost, in terms of where to go from here with myself professionally. The economy really threw a wrench into the whole works, and so now my smooth plan that was envisioned when I was still in school is no longer a viable option. I'm looking for somewhere to go from here, but I really have no idea where to go or how to even start looking.

I received my BS in Civil Engineering in 4 years. I was on the Dean's Honor Roll for some time, was in the Honors' program for a couple semesters, and managed to get through with a 3.0 GPA. I also passed the Fundamentals of Engineering exam and so am a certified EIT. I am a dues paying member of American Society of Civil Engineers and Engineers Without borders. I have held two internships, one in the private sector and another at a public sector job working for the company that manages the sewers here.

Sounds great, right? Well, it's not. I graduated at probably the worst possible time, as all engineering companies were laying off left and right. Even the stimulus money, which was supposed to help create jobs, did little in the engineering field, as companies would just increase the workload on their current employees or rehire old ones (the job gains were mainly in the people doing the building - construction - rather than the people doing the design work).

I applied for jobs, sending out about 50 resumes on a daily basis, for probably 6 months. I got 2 interviews, both of which I didn't get. They "really liked me" but needed someone "with more experience". In other words, because there were so many out of work engineers with 10+ years of experience that could be hired at an incredibly low wage, I was shit outta luck.

So I went back to school. I got an Economics major in two semesters. I am fairly knowledgeable about economics/finance on top of this. After searching for about a year I finally received a job at a company that manages retirement plans for people. They are paying for me to get my Series 6 and 63 FINRA licenses in December. They have wonderful benefits.

But the job sucks. I sit at a desk for 9 hours a day in a call center talking to the dumbest fucking people on earth that need to pull money out of their 401k's. They yell at me when they mail something and we haven't received it yet. They get pissy if they filled out the form wrong and ask me to write on their form to correct it for them. Etc...

I hate my job. I can't stand it. I don't enjoy going into work whatsoever. The people are really nice, the company has great benefits and they have a really cool culture, but I just can't stand my job. I have two fucking degrees, and here I have to sit 9 hours a day for someone that probably failed out of highschool and can't even say the fucking word beneficiary (NO IT'S NOT BENEFICIURARY).

Seriously, I deserve so much better than this. I pictured myself graduating with the BSCE, getting a Geotech Engineer job and making $40-50k a year doing something I enjoy. I'm currently making $17 an hour doing something I fucking hate.

My financial situation isn't bad at all, especially in comparison to most people my age. However, I am about $6000 in debt from going back for the Econ major. I am also trying to save up a 10-month safety net, so that's about $12000-15000 of saving before I consider my finances to be "in order". That's a lot on $17 an hour.

I don't know where to go from here. I'm completely lost.

I know that I'd like to have a job making a decent amount of money (doesn't have to be too much). I like helping people. I like traveling (but not too much), I enjoy using my hands (but I don't want to come home tired every day). I want to be able to set my own hours, or at least not be a slave to the clock. I don't want to have a boss looking over my shoulder or micromanaging me.

I don't know if I should try going back into Engineering or stay in Econ, or maybe even find something entirely new. I'm worried that whatever choice I make now is going to affect my career path for the rest of my life, as if I stay in Econ then I won't be marketable as an engineer due to the fact that I'd be older with no experience. I'm also worried that Engineering is a very sensitive job field which experiences the brunt of economic downturns, whereas people always need help having their money managed, etc... in Econ/Finance.

Could you guys offer some advice? I'm seriously completely at a loss when it comes to this and it's really starting to affect my sanity.

I have been through a lot of what you have gone through.

I enrolled in college and had no idea what direction to take. For some reason I was afraid to go into business because at the time, I was not the best student, and I thought that the classes would be too tough, as my older brother had a hard time with them and didn't get very far. I decided on being a teacher as I thought it suited me well. I missed the state certification PRAXIS test by 1 question before my senior year, so I decided to change my major to History, which would get me out of college in 4 years.

When I got out of college, I had no idea what I wanted to do, with even fewer options. I got a job at Nordstrom and worked until I caught my first break. My dad had re-married, and his brother-in-law was fairly high up in a company. After getting an interview for the job, I killed it and got the job. I worked for this company for 20 months before recently getting laid off.

In 20 months, I learned that getting a job is not half as much what you know, as who you know. In my previous job, I did a lot of networking with customers and with young people my age. I learned what they did, where they worked, etc. When I got laid off, I had exponentially more options that I did before, because I had experience, but more importantly, people that would put my resume into the hands of important people at their companies. I am in a region where most oil companies have a strong presence, which has helped direct me to industries I had never thought of. Things can always come along and present opportunities you might not have considered.

The point of my post is that you are always interviewing for something, no matter what job you are at, or who you encounter. One of the biggest differentiators between you and someone else getting a job is your personality. I applied for many jobs that I was more than qualified for, but did not get anywhere because there is so much talent and saturation in the market. Apply for thousands of jobs might not get you anywhere. It got old for me very quick, as well as got me nowhere. I got farther with people I knew well that were friends, or people I have previously worked for.

I would seek out young professional groups and go to your friends and family, which is something I am sure you have already done. While you may not be interested in being anywhere affiliated with the military, I suggest thinking again. Remember, you have a specialized degree and are still in the minority of educated people at that level. I am of the opinion that it is insulting to not use an education that many people have no shot at ever achieving. It may not be perfect for now, but the longer time passes, the harder it is to break into the job market. It is better to make your next decision with healthy bank accounts and a possible 401k, than anything else. I don't love a lot of what I have done, but I have two things keeping me going: 1) My situation can only get better from the experience I am building on 2) I will be able to ensure an education and a suitable standard of living for my children when they come. It is never too early to plan for the future.

SORRY for being so long-winded! Hope this helped...
post #23 of 44
I graduated from a CEE program 2.5 years ago. Didn't end up in CEE (went into the business world instead), but a lot of my CEE friends with lower-range GPAs found success with the Army Corps of Engineers (what's wrong with working for the military? Decent pay, great benefits, and highly respected "experience" that you admit you lack). Alternatively, railroads, construction companies, and the US Geological Survey are always looking for geotechs. None of those jobs are going to pay much, but you need experience before you can say you "deserve" anything. Alternatively, go back to school for a year - get a masters that employers value.
post #24 of 44
You want some real advice? Decide what you want to do and do it, stop dicking around with lots of different fields. Don't flirt with ideas, don't dick around in grad school, pick and commit to a career.
post #25 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdaws View Post
I graduated from a CEE program 2.5 years ago. Didn't end up in CEE (went into the business world instead), but a lot of my CEE friends with lower-range GPAs found success with the Army Corps of Engineers (what's wrong with working for the military? Decent pay, great benefits, and highly respected "experience" that you admit you lack). Alternatively, railroads, construction companies, and the US Geological Survey are always looking for geotechs. None of those jobs are going to pay much, but you need experience before you can say you "deserve" anything.

Alternatively, go back to school for a year - get a masters that employers value.

Well obviously the USACE only builds nukes and other weapons and tortures prisoners in their free time so it interferes with the OP's altruistic values.
post #26 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chas
I work for an environmental and engineering consulting firm. We focus on the commercial real estate field. We are hiring and you have the perfect background. It isn't sexy work but please PM me and we can discuss it more. You have the perfect credentials for what we do.

Thanks a ton for the help, sent you a PM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by akatsuki
You want some real advice? Decide what you want to do and do it, stop dicking around with lots of different fields. Don't flirt with ideas, don't dick around in grad school, pick and commit to a career.

I admit that this is a problem: I don't really know what I want. I've been like this for quite some time, though; I'll get interested in something for some time to a ridiculous extent and then lose all interest and move on to something else. I really do need to pick a field and stick with it but I'm having trouble doing so.

Quote:
Well obviously the USACE only builds nukes and other weapons and tortures prisoners in their free time so it interferes with the OP's altruistic values.

The amount of presumptions in this thread is mind boggling.
post #27 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLay87 View Post
The amount of entitlement I have is mind boggling.

FTFY.
post #28 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by bananananana View Post
Well obviously the USACE only builds nukes and other weapons and tortures prisoners in their free time so it interferes with the OP's altruistic values.

He certainly comes across as possessing this mentality, at least to a lesser degree. This is exactly why he shouldn't consider working for the USACE. No matter how wrong that mindset is, someone with that mindset doesn't belong in that environment. Not to mention the fact that USACE has next to nothing to do with the actual military. Their primary mission is to develop and maintain the nation's water and related environmental resources. I know you are aware of this, clearly he is not.

Oddly enough, if he compared pay, benefits and time off over the course of a career, he would probably make more in the USACE. It's possible that a USACE electrician will make more than he will as an engineer. They already start at more than his expected 40-50k a year.
post #29 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLay87 View Post
Thanks a ton for the help, sent you a PM.



I admit that this is a problem: I don't really know what I want. I've been like this for quite some time, though; I'll get interested in something for some time to a ridiculous extent and then lose all interest and move on to something else. I really do need to pick a field and stick with it but I'm having trouble doing so.



The amount of presumptions in this thread is mind boggling.

What's even more mind boggling is that after two full pages of people calling you a whiny baby, you still think you're not the problem.

Enjoy chronic underemployment, my man. You deserve it.
post #30 of 44
...and on the occasions where people have asked him questions to that effect, he has either not answered, or responded with something along the lines of "i just do, so there"
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