Many engineers join our Institute for Engineering Career Development to find the perfect engineering job or as I like to say it, create their ideal engineering career. My question to our members is always, “How do you define the best engineering job?” In my opinion, the best engineering job for each person is the job that will allow him or her to achieve all of his or her career goals and have fun in the process.
This post was inspired by a lunch that I recently had with an old colleague of mine who I worked with years ago at a civil engineering consulting firm. He recently found his perfect engineering job by accident. So, for purposes of this post, I will call him Jim. Jim is a civil engineer who was always been very adept at using the AutoCAD design programs.
Let’s talk a little about Jim’s skills in his engineering career.
Jim and his wife recently decided to relocate so he had to find a new job. He applied to quite a few civil engineering companies. One of the interviews that he went on was for a civil engineering manager. The interview didn’t go so well as they told him that they didn’t think he had the experience needed for this position. However, they did say to him that they were in the process of creating a new position within the company that they thought might be a good fit for him.
This company was looking to take a competent design engineer and use him or her to serve as an AutoCAD support person for the hundreds of design engineers they had in their company. They specifically wanted someone with a good amount of experience as a design engineer as well as a lot of AutoCAD knowledge. Jim jumped at the opportunity to interview for this new position and ultimately was offered it and accepted the position.
The perfect engineering job for Jim
This ended up being the perfect engineering job for Jim. He gets to use the computer programs that he loves every day and he still gets to help other engineers with their designs, seeing many different projects and problems. However, he doesn’t have some of the stresses that a typical design engineer has including late hours, deadlines, dealing with clients, staying billable, preparing proposals, marking-up invoices, receivable collections, etc. Now it’s not to say that those are awful things, in fact many engineers may love doing them, but for Jim he’d rather be doing the computing and the helping of other designers.
Since I started Powerful Purpose Associates and the Institute for Engineering Career Development, I have been on a mission to prove to engineers that they really can create their ideal engineering career, so any time I find one who has, I like to share his or her story. I hope this story provides inspiration for all of you out there searching for your “best engineering job.”
To your success,
Anthony Fasano, PE, LEED AP
Engineering Management Institute
Author of Engineer Your Own Success