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Working half time as an engineer?

by bentley4
Tags: engineer, time, working
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EMFsmith
#19
May11-11, 08:16 PM
P: 32
Long hours, Sometimes tedious and monotonous work, but at the end of the day, A BLOODY GOOD SALARY!
Thats what ive found, personally i wish i earned half the amount but did something Physics based, i chose money over passion and ended up regretting it, try not to make the same mistakes, if you wanna do engineering then go for it mate, do what you can to get a foothold in this very competitive market and then do what you can to prove yourself. Thats really the best advice i can give on a personal level, other that scour the forums for other information, theres far more intellectually and academically qualified people in this forum :)
bentley4
#20
May11-11, 08:58 PM
P: 66
Thnx for your reply EMFsmith.
I have the same opinion. I love pure physics, much more then just engineering. But from what I've read chances of finding a good job is so much harder. It's silly knowing so much information for such limited possibilities. Completely disproportional, unless you are very good. Engineering is the best way to go I figure if I want to be able to provide a decent income for a girlfriend and family one day perhaps. You say you regretted it, but how can you be so sure you would get a decent job? What would you have liked to do?
My interest is mainly grasping physics to a full extent, I'm not so much interested in doing experiments. And there's very little use for theoretical physicists right now I reckon.
elkement
#21
May12-11, 07:27 AM
P: 123
Hi bentley4,

I can relate a lot to you plans and wishes - and I can also relate to most of the advice that have been given in this thread. As TMFKAN64 I also know software engineering best.

It took me some years of over-committed full-time jobs to find out that I rather would like to work less (as the remaining money is more than sufficient anyway) and pursue other interests - such as working on a more physics-related project again, studying or giving a lecture at a university myself.
I managed to negotiate on a 4 days week with my previous employer (software industry), though at that time this was really an exception. Then I started my own company which made things much easier.

Speaking from these experiences I can confirm that the higher specialized you are the easier it is to work this way. I think that specialization alone is not sufficient still: Especially if you work self-employed you need to be known as a renowned expert in the respective technical community you are part of. In this case you are able to select engagements that fit your style of working. It is very important that you are not forced to jump though every hoop offered to you by your employer or by your clients (forced by financial requirements or work contracts).

I have e.g. stopped to fully engage in large projects or take operational responsibilities - I am rather working as a reviewer or I am engaged in a project only in very specific (typically critical) phases. Of course this requires you to have a lot of hands-on experience with all aspects of these technical projects - so that in principle you could do it all, but you select to do only the interesting / tough stuff (which is also well paid).

So in summary I think that - unfortunately - working part-time is an option that should rather be part of your long-term plan. I would say that it took me some years working in a very specific field until I was able to control and shape my work style (or negotiate for it in an environment not yet prepared for it). But personally I feel that this is gradually changing (I should say that I am from middle Europe BTW). I feel that more and more young professionals are rather asking their employers for flexible working hours, even if this damages their 'classical corporate career'.
bentley4
#22
May12-11, 05:01 PM
P: 66
Dear Elkement.

Thank you, that's some really useful stuff you wrote. I'm happy to hear that you get the feeling that things are slowly changing. If I would graduate, it would still be at least 5 years from now and hopefully the job market has matured a little by then. I can imagine the economical climate would be more relaxed as well(kondratieff cycle).
bentley4
#23
May13-11, 04:06 AM
P: 66
Correction, according to the kondratieff cycle it is going to get even worse.
Ryker
#24
May13-11, 12:25 PM
P: 1,088
Quote Quote by bentley4 View Post
I am an INTJ according to the myers-briggs type indicator. I think the most prominent off all types in the engineering field is ISTP(just a hypothesis) and they learn in a different way.
ISTP's are faster in fixing a completely new problem, but INTJ's draw deeper insight from each situation.
But I can imagine most employers do not make this distinction and completely neglect personality types. Do you think some employers would be open for this if you would consicely describe your most efficient working style and complete persona?
It took years to develop this personality typology. Even though it has a debatable basis, an employer claiming to know better how you work most efficient is basically saying his insight about personalities and their learning abilities is more insightful then a complete typology.
It should be possible to show this to them, gently, without implying any incompetence on their part. Depends on which MBTI type your boss has how easily they will understand.
What do you think?
Quote Quote by bentley4 View Post
Thank you, that's some really useful stuff you wrote. I'm happy to hear that you get the feeling that things are slowly changing. If I would graduate, it would still be at least 5 years from now and hopefully the job market has matured a little by then. I can imagine the economical climate would be more relaxed as well(kondratieff cycle).
It seems to me you've gotten superficially acquainted with a lot of "big" terms and concepts and are now misapplying them in the situation that is way more complex than they can ever be used for. My advice is to stop concerning yourself with what type you are according to whatever scale, because you're not doing youself a favour by doing so. You're actually making things worse (ie. a little knowledge is a dangerous thing and all that), but luckily other people have already offered great advice. So just try and focus on what actally interests you and go from there. I think there will always be ways to work a flexible schedule, not just in engineering, so you shouldn't really make this the centerpiece of your decision on what to study.
bentley4
#25
May13-11, 03:08 PM
P: 66
K, thnx for your input Ryker. I never quantified in how much they contribute in my decision what to study. These were just some extra insights I presented. The length of my phrases was not proportional to its importance in this case and I didn't give the full range of my motivations. I agree that I should be careful in how much they weigh in my decision.
jasonRF
#26
May16-11, 07:48 PM
P: 691
I just want to add another perspective. It may depend upon where you live; I live in the US. My wife is an engineer and works 60%. We recently hired an engineer at my workplace that works something like 60%, joining at least 3 others in our group. I used to work with an engineer that worked 50% so she could pay her bills; the rest of her week was spent working as a musician for little money. A couple weeks ago I recevied a "headhunter" call from a competitor that mentioned "standard" 28-hour (and other) work-week options. Sure, the vast majority of us engineers work full-time. But it is possible to find part-time work. The better you are, the easier it will be.

good luck,

jason
bentley4
#27
May18-11, 07:02 AM
P: 66
Thanks Jason!

Quote Quote by jasonRF View Post
I just want to add another perspective. It may depend upon where you live; I live in the US. My wife is an engineer and works 60%. We recently hired an engineer at my workplace that works something like 60%, joining at least 3 others in our group. I used to work with an engineer that worked 50% so she could pay her bills; the rest of her week was spent working as a musician for little money. A couple weeks ago I recevied a "headhunter" call from a competitor that mentioned "standard" 28-hour (and other) work-week options. Sure, the vast majority of us engineers work full-time. But it is possible to find part-time work. The better you are, the easier it will be.

good luck,

jason


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