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Guru
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Young Engineer Takes a Non-traditional Career Path

06/03/2016 9:53 AM

I thought the CR4 community would appreciate this story from Electronics 360, about a young mechanical engineer who gave up corporate life to be a "maker." A lot of what I've read about millennials -- that they want meaningful work and they value independence -- is borne out in his career path. I'd be interested to hear from the other millennials in the CR4 audience. Does this kind of career appeal to you? What about those of you who've been working for years and years. Would you choose this path if you were starting out today?

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Guru

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#1

Re: Young Engineer Takes a Non-traditional Career Path

06/03/2016 11:35 AM

I was in engineering for almost 40 years before I joined a non-profit organization in my present city 15 years ago.

I never was a risk taker. Maybe because my parents grew up during the great depression and never had any money. Father was a carpenter/farmer and mom stayed at home.

I always needed the security of a paycheck since there was no other income for me. I've done well and enjoyed my work.

Who else can say that they built some of the first, if not the first, tracking collars for Polar Bears, had spy satellites in orbit around the earth, built fake rocks to hide ground radar in Viet Nam and worked on some of the first active noise cancellation systems for civil and military use.

I would never have done any of that on my own as a tinkerer.

More power to the risk takers out there, it just isn't me.

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Guru
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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Young Engineer Takes a Non-traditional Career Path

06/03/2016 12:35 PM

I'm with you, Lyn. When I grew up, everyone's fathers worked for the same employers throughout their careers. A job meant not just a paycheck but health insurance and a pension. That's what I wanted -- not necessarily working the same place, but doing the same kind of job (I started out as a reference librarian at a university library), with a paycheck and benefits. Two periods of unemployment and a couple of changes of direction, I'm still happier working for someone else than I'd ever have been working for myself.

I wonder how much is how we grew up and how much is the change the world of work over the last 40 years.

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#3

Re: Young Engineer Takes a Non-traditional Career Path

06/03/2016 12:51 PM

I have always worked toward independence and pushed myself towards the most challenging endeavors....but in the end you do what works...

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Guru

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#4

Re: Young Engineer Takes a Non-traditional Career Path

06/03/2016 7:32 PM

Always been an independent type myself. I learned early in my working career that even with a good work ethic, brains, and morals that apparently was not what it took to keep a job so I started putting far more effort into building my fallback countermeasures than most people do and that ultimately lead to my being able to self-employed most of my life.

In my roughly 23 years of working I can say I have only had one job that lasted over 1 1/2 years. Everything else either had my department close down, the whole business close down, some back stabbing weasel try to set me up to take a fall for them (been through that several times now) or I walked out due to the overwhelmingly dangerously idiotic actions of management where I worked.

Honestly, I wouldn't know what to do if I ever found a stable secure job where all I had to do was do my actual job when I showed up every day.

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