Most of my friends earn more than me working in finance sector, HR, food industry and some of them just barely made through school. Then the penny pinchers came, and ticked everyone off. Humans weren’t designed to work like that, no matter how attractive the salary is. Got to agree with brian. You have to be flexible. But my biggest problem is what other career can I go into? That was the last straw so I decided to leave the job and become a full-time mom. From what I’ve seen, the guys who don’t shift gears either way end up as “journeymen” who go from contract to contract, hoping to latch on for the same salary they had a decade ago while struggling to adapt to the ever-changing technical tools that the software companies push. With SS down the road, FireCalc says that I am there with 0 failures. Our son, RB40Jr, is only in 3rd grade, but it looks like he’ll be good with math. Arizona also has many defense and non-defense jobs. Good luck! I agree about the manager and job. It’s stupid! You’ll need to fill out the application, submit a resume and/or references, and arrange an interview. Afterwards, many companies develop into the CYA-kind of organizations, run by MBA-types. That is a reason to have it, even if you do not become an engineer. I firmly believe Engineering (or any career for that matter) is something you have to have a passion for, and frankly I never had it. The word “Retirement” means different things to different people. Joy. My goals and circumstance are very similar to yours. With my background I have a few questions I want to ask. I don’t want to end up like this. lol Not everyone can make the transition from worker to manager. Monday I have a phone interview from someone at another iconic brand. The knowledge I get is the knowledge I take with me. Unfortunately for me it just doesn’t seem to be possible to have that kind of job immediately, so I’ll end up drudging through my job until I can get there. I have been thinking about switching over to statistics or accounting or something with numbers and not too much science. I think it’s good to try something else. They always demand more and I got burned out. I can definitely respect RB40’s decision to move on. If I’m 65 and in this same situation, you probably wouldn’t think twice about the whole retirement thing. Stressed beyond measure and unable to disconnect when not at the office. I’ve just met with a friend’s son who has an associates degree (AS) in Radiology Tech (yes, it’s not even a bachelors program in biology or chemistry) and he’s already earning $55K at a Massachusetts clinic with time & half for overtime. Similarly, not all engineering employers are located in Silicon Valley or along the West Coast where the average cost of living pushes even a modest salary to near the poverty line. I was ready to move on from engineering so I didn’t put a lot of effort into making it work. The only difference was the sign on the front door! I don’t do music anymore (a career I have had since high school – mostly on the side but full time for 5 years), but after 6 years of engineering in different companies, it was just not satisfying. Everything gets boring after a while. I am now 55 and still working as a contractor for engineering companies. Some people are just better at it than others. I think I would hate a job like that. A lot of people retire early with rentals. ), and am in the process of getting my real estate license. I think Kodak in Rochester, which had 60k workers at the peak, is 100% gone now. I am in a fairly similar situation as what you mentioned; the biggest problem is dealing with politics in a sunset industry because there is no real upside of raising to management level. Good blog. Life is way better for me. I do not see any stability in the future as companies look for all manner of reasons/justifications to can someone (note: I always ace the ridiculous interviews and my technical expertise is never an issue in my first review but something always happens-I’m usually laid back and like to keep out of office politics-to suddenly make me appear incompetent). You can try it for a couple of years and see how it works out. Do what you need to for your health, but one thing I haven’t seen in this advice is something you absolutely need to know: being an engineer is nothing like being an engineering student. However, this seems to be the only thing in my job that allows me to create on my own. But IMO anyone who makes a blanket statement like the above about Intel’s culture should do a bit of self-examination. 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. While I expect that phone interview, which I had to reschedule, to go nowhere, I am nonetheless preparing for it. Have you considered going into programming? I think getting an advanced diploma could be a good way to “fill up” my near empty resume from the undergrad, but at the same time I am not sure if I want to do this. It was Jack Welch’s idea to “squeeze” the bottom 10% so they’d leave the company on their own…GE did not have layoffs like us, so maybe that made sense for them. Working as an developer for an ERP company, new boss arrived about 1-2 year aago from an bigger three letter ERP company. My mom told me not to become an engineer, and so I didn’t. 2. The CPU is getting more and more complicated and the budget couldn’t keep up. I think that good managers who thrive are those that have mental health /counseling /psychiatry training. Formed in 1981, Maltaward carried out Civil Engineering contracts throughout the South East of England. This means even with a PhD, I will probably have to work my ass off everyday, hide my personality, and actually excel at what I do. Even a TV was rare in Thailand when I was a kid. Are there any other professions where I could use some of my skills? 1.5 years is a long gap in the resume. I became more senior and the expectation was to sit in god awful meetings all day, make slides sets, and influence others. i'm a structural engineer and have definitely thought about switching to aerospace. That’s the way I think about it. Also, I loved debugging and working with logic analyzers. If you like the leadership role, then that’s great. I couldn’t disagree with you more about your management line… I have a team of 10 and am the first to arrive and last to leave. WTF.”. i don’t envy that. Many of my friends have troubles too, but it’s much easier if you are in the right area. This work environment was non-existent prior to 2009. Being a senior engineer most of all the work load falls on my shoulders. He set me up with a Defender like game and I was hooked. Students could take graduate-level courses during their senior year and shorten the time to complete the Master’s degree. However, you can do specialization in any subdivisions as per the current industrial demand. Then, at some point, you will likely be compelled to grow your company so that you can reduce your workload and hire your own engineers to do the execution aspect. I think it’s best to work for small companies and shoot for the moon. And a principal should be charging $500 per hour or more. My new department head was very demanding and I left shortly after that. I liked it at first, but all the corporate BS that came with it just killed it for me. In hindsight, I probably would’ve made a better accountant than computer engineer. That clarion call ended circa 2012. I make $90K plus right now at 40 hrs per week. And in my field, we’re a technology integrator, so if I want to dive deep into something I can most likely, and if I want to generalize and focus on high level stuff, I can too. A sabbatical would be great to get your head straight. ), no one looks at it as retirement – rather, it’s all about her becoming a stay-at-home mom. I understand that you worked at Intel for a long time but were there any drawbacks when you were thinking about retiring at early age? I’m a software engineer and only a few years out of college. Thank you for your input. I have worked for some of the largest and most successful companies in the US, like IBM, Apple, Netapp, Amazon, and unfortunately, felt like I was not valued at any of them and was never happy with the positions I had at these companies, but knew they would open other doors for me if I was patient. Not so. I’m sorry to hear that. Sometimes a little respect from management is all I ask for… And forget about being envious, it is sad to know that my job can be outsourced to China, while sales people and receptionist are needed here…, And there is a lack of engineers out there. “This whole gig based engineering thing aerospace ” What is the motivation behind this? I am a big part of trying to do that with some projects we are working on now. Is it some MBA consulting ideology? I retired because it was time to go because of age and to make room for others to move up. I wasn’t sad when they laid me off and gave me a severance. You have to be a multiplier when you’re a senior-level engineer. Yeah!No reason to be stressed. Is this a location specific thing? With 2 years of experience he got a job offer with pay almost twice as high as mine now. I cannot move up the technical ladder because they will want me to lead projects (again) and work insane hours which I want to be done with now that I have 3 kids. Thus more of the older folks become “full-time direct consultants” rather than the go-to guys. LOL! I don’t know what my job as an engineering would be like, but it doesn’t seems like studying 6 more years in grad school and doing research for the rest of my life under tremendous pressure would be the course to bet on. To those for whom work is the end, success is often found in working longer and harder than those around you. 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. He continued to work long after he made a decision to leave because he understood that simply making a decision does not will it into existence. My immediate family are all engineers, except for me. (Professional interpreter for an example). I can actually say that my sole efforts generated 20+ million in sales for my last company. For some reasons, I majored in ECE. 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. Beware the big house, the expensive car, spending money like it grows on trees. out of 230 at my high school. Good luck with the job search. ), you do a good interview, you will be fine. I am a sophomore in college studying civil engineering. I’m sure the real estate market will turn around at some point. Personally, I think it’s one of the better job. The theme of ‘Good Will Hunting’ has proven itself to be a bit of a sham. I am looking at being a science teacher or going into healthcare. Financial independence will give you more choices. Thanks. This all sounds so nice and dandy but I must admit I am scared out of my brains for this big shift because of all of the time and energy I have already invested in a career thus far. You like your job and company now, but who knows what can happen in 5 years. My parents couldn’t afford for me to make any mistakes in choosing careers since they weren’t rich and still had our extended family to support back home, so I picked the safest, highest in demand career I could find. Maybe should move to work on site? I study chemical engineering at one of the best public universities in the US, but I’m not good at it. DEC closed our site in 1991 and I decided to finish college as a full time student, graduating in 1994 with a BSEE. “Well, you received such and such promotion and such and such raises.” Well, I never asked for them, you gave them to me! It’s not about what you know (because they can always claim you’re inferior despite otherwise) but your perceived “value” which is subject to change on a dime. After you get an engineering degree enroll to get a MBA as soon as you can. Also Korea has a much worse work environment than the US, with crazy work ethics that require “voluntary” overtime work(60~100 hrs a week), not enough salary (50k~ for PhD holders), and other factors. My parents also had to spend sh*t load of money for my education, and I believe they even loaned money from the bank. But being about 10 years into my field, I will say that I have had my fair share of burnout since there is always something new to learn, to the point where your job is literally an endless parade of people showing you what you are doing wrong, and never getting anything fully correct. Nobody cares about you and your good work, you are small part of a big machine, and you spend your life trying to figure out where is that engineering discovery thrill you hoped for while studying. I would really appreciate your advice. I’ve been working 3 years as an engineer in computer hardware (servers) and see the writing on the wall. There weren’t many of those guys left at my old company. The other stuff wasn’t important to me. I think that makes a big difference. I think we will be OK if he quits..it is not ideal..but we will survive. He is an engineer and I am in accounting/finance. I’m in contact with the previous boss before that and can get the recommendation letter from him if needed. My wife makes a decent income to support this decision, and we are about to start a family so not bringing home this stress will be a big positive. We also received $500 bonuses for simply meeting milestones – doing our jobs….it boosted morale a LOT though. But when they were handing out vsp, I guess that was a wake up call that I was expendable. I like to stay moving. Have you transitioned from your last job? Why is the guy who engineers the solutions making less money than the mechanic he is instructing??!! One way to get started is to focus first on your relevant civil engineering experience. Seriously, how many engineers who’re not dean’s list with a relevant internship/CO-OP find a job anyways? If you did complete those 19 credits, it sounds like you are very close. Some people think I’m crazy to switch careers at this point. Eventually, one realizes that work and, especially volunteering, can be fun and an interesting part of a retirement program. At the moment, everyone I know who has an EE job is worried. 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