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Too Early To Switch Careers?

11/23/2016 9:49 AM

Electrical Engineer-in-Training here need your opinion on something. I've been working for 11 months at a large global consulting firm in the buildings department. All of our projects are large local government contracts or doing small renovation projects for them. Some are P3 contracts and work as the owner's engineer. Because of the type of work there are long tedious standards and forms we have to fill out for any work that needs to be done. I did not get a lot of design experience, I was mostly bloated with CAD work in aCAD, Microstation, and Revit and only 2 site visits for a small demolition project all year. We only have 1 mid level electrical engineer, it's mostly seniors and EITs, and all the seniors are extermely busy all the time I rarely get a chance to learn from them. I had an outstanding end of the year review, and was shown how well the company is doing.

I am going for an interview at a firm which is a significantly smaller and focuses on data centre designs, and does commercial projects.

I want to know your opinion if it would be better for my career future if I continue or make a major change after only 1 year in my career.

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#1

Re: Too early to switch Careers?

11/23/2016 10:12 AM

That all depends on what factors are involved.

  • Borden with current job
  • Need more challenges
  • Fiscal advantages
  • etc...

There's very few people that can answer this.

BUT,. there is one for this situation.

Ask him.

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#11
In reply to #1

Re: Too early to switch Careers?

11/26/2016 4:03 PM

When you close one door, another opens up. The only relevant question is "what responsibility(ies)" do you have? The days of spending 30 yrs at a company are over. Do your best to leave on good terms.....you never know.

Best...

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#12
In reply to #11

Re: Too early to switch Careers?

11/26/2016 6:24 PM

There many reasons as well as risks about switching jobs. It's good about asking experienced, yet it still comes down to Only one that can answer.

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#2

Re: Too early to switch Careers?

11/23/2016 10:26 AM

Only you can know what is best for your career. It's great that your management praises your work, but if you allow discontent and negative attitudes to fester, it will eventually get noticed and reflect in your work...guaranteed!. Have you discussed this with your manager? Your review would have been the perfect time to voice your concerns and perhaps turn it into your advantage and present opportunities for cross-training and progression into work that is to your satisfaction. Alternatively, never assume that your current employer is the ideal benchmark for an entire industry. Gone are the days of loyalty of an employee to a company, and certainly the reverse is also true. Always keep your options open, whether you've been with a company for 10 minutes, 10 months, or 10 years. Good Luck!

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#3

Re: Too Early To Switch Careers?

11/23/2016 11:50 AM

No, it is not too early to switch careers. (Just to answer your initial question. )

Its good that you consider your present position as a "career" position and not a "fly by night" temporary operation. But don't feel obligated to stay there just because they were the first to offer you a job. The first things you should ask yourself is if your present job meets your present intellectual and fiscal desires? Promises are cheap regardless of their sincerity. Similarly does the claims of the job prospect meet your intellectual and fiscal desires?

Remember most will one day make a mistake in their career choices, they are very rarely a fatal choice. We can never really know which was the ideal choice. Keep in mind Robert Frost's elegant poem "The Road Not Taken". Just don't stand at your cross road and never make a step forward. That is not forgivable.

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#4

Re: Too Early To Switch Careers?

11/23/2016 1:35 PM

I remember my first job and having similar thoughts after about the first week.

Cripes. I wasn't cut out to work for a living and thyus changed my outlooks and careers to be more fitting as a self sustaining bum and here I am now 23+ years later living my dream life!

Sure I have stumbled and fell up onto that employment horse a number of times over the years but each time I did my best to get back off it as soon as the opportunity gave an opening to get my foot out of the door and run.

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#5

Re: Too Early To Switch Careers?

11/23/2016 2:36 PM

Yes.

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#6

Re: Too Early To Switch Careers?

11/23/2016 3:16 PM

As long as the new job offers a significant financial incentive, go for it.

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#7

Re: Too Early To Switch Careers?

11/24/2016 3:29 AM

There are several things to establish at interview:

  • Can the interviewee do the work?
  • Will the interviewee do the work?
  • Is there a fit between the firm's characteristics and the interviewee's characteristics?

The firm that is interviewing has a serious problem to address. The only way the problem will be addressed is to hire someone. Something in this particular application tells them that the interviewee might have something that will fix the problem. Find out what the problem is, and sell them the solution: hire this individual.

Enjoy the experience.

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#8

Re: Too Early To Switch Careers?

11/24/2016 7:36 AM

In order to succeed it will be a case of not 'what you know' but 'who you know' and as you progress then not 'who you are' but 'what you are'.

If you are in a position where there are a number of jobs for you to pick and choose from then pick the one that gives you the kills and experience for the next job.

Only you can decide what is best and the decision will probably forced on you by external pressure nothing to do with a career, but more of survival - enough money to pay the rent, to buy the food etc.

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#9

Re: Too Early To Switch Careers?

11/24/2016 8:02 AM

Lots of advise, but, it is purely up to you to decide. There are pros and cons for both staying and going. Make yourself a list for both existing and possible new jobs. Be as comprehensive as possible to see which one "aligns" with what you want from your career and indeed the rest of your life.

Personally, I am old school and would tend to stick it out for a little longer. A year probably doesn't give you the time to get all the "experience" you can garner, then again, I don't know how much you can get from a "large" firm as they may tend to pigeon hole you. Bear in mind that there are people who like the pigeon hole thing, but it sounds like you aren't one of them.

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#10

Re: Too Early To Switch Careers?

11/26/2016 2:15 AM

Stay atleast 2 years, max 3 years each job(This gives you a leverage to ask a raise on your next job). CAD like any other softwares can be easily learned from personal study. Master what is there for you to learn, know everything you need to know, except personal lives of your superiors and peers. Be self-taught and be independent in learning. Do not waste a precious year without learning some practical stuff. Get acquainted with standards the most and ask superiors. Repeated job is boring but you know, adds up a burden bringing negativity in the head.

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#13

Re: Too Early To Switch Careers?

11/27/2016 6:54 AM

From Gutmonarch #10 ".....learning some practical stuff. Get acquainted with standards...."

Yes, and also you should get to know the component parts of your products/service and suppliers of these parts/service, and their customers - you also need to know where you are in the market place.

You never know, but if you feel you are getting nowhere despite being an employee in a company with a career structure, then one day you might reach a point where you think you could make an improved product/service at a lower price, and be able to break away and set up your own company in competition.

It's an option to consider - as an alternative to stagnating as employee in a job of doubtful progress or fulfillment.

The stagnating bit is the depressing time you spend working hard to progress before you realise, despite your efforts, that there are no prospects with that employer.

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#14

Re: Too Early To Switch Careers?

11/28/2016 10:48 AM

There are many things to consider and most of those are already listed above in the responses. I am going to throw in some basic stuff from years spent making hiring decisions.

Work history. When looking to hire an employee I am looking for someone who knows how to settle in, work well with others, willing take on any project assigned and finish it satisfactorily regardless of how "sexy" it is.

Time on the job. This is important for those who are trying to grow stable businesses. Turnover and training slow things down and they are expensive since training an employee is not as profitable as one who knows how to get things done within the system of your company. I have never had any luck with those who have a "gig" mindset and so I don't hire someone who has bounced around a lot or has numerous long term gaps in employment.

What have you done (beside whine)? I know, that sounds harsh, but it is a very real concern when hiring in any company. I need to see successfully completed projects. On budget, on time, works as needed. It doesn't have to be earth shattering, stop the presses stuff either. Just a demonstrable track record of success. Genius is nice, perseverance will get my nod every time though.

In my current (large multinational) company there are two tracks for engineers. One is a career building track and the other is the keep things running track. On the career building track it is almost a military lifestyle where you will be assigned to a different site and different project every few years. Pay is competitive for entry level positions. The other track is where you find most senior engineers. Folks with families, roots, and in-depth knowledge of specific plants and systems. It seems about half of these positions are from the builder track and the rest, myself included are recruited for outside. I hope this helps you focus your thoughts more.

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AverageJoe (1); gutmonarch (1); horace40 (2); JWthetech (1); Kevin LaPaire (1); lyn (1); phoenix911 (2); PWSlack (1); Randall (1); rashavarek (1); redfred (1); tcmtech (1)

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