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Job Skills Young Engineer Career Advice

  1. Mar 28, 2017 #1
    Hey forum, I'm looking for some career advice for myself and I'll try to keep this short and sweet. To give you some background I graduated with my BS in mech. engineering in May 2015. I was hired into a company's rotational program and started out as a LEAN engineer for about 16 months, then was transferred (from Philadelphia) to be a project engineer at a rural plant site. The job is good, but I realize that I do not like the area that I was moved too. My social life is non-existent anymore, mainly due to the fact that I now live in a very rural area. And honestly, I just miss my friends and family. My question to you is, wold I be making a career mistake by quitting my job here and trying to find something back home?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 28, 2017 #2


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    I don't think there is anything wrong with finding a new job, but I think you have the order wrong. You should find a new job back home before you quit your current job.
  4. Mar 28, 2017 #3
    Thanks for your reply. And yes, that would probably be better order to take. Do you think I am putting myself in a bad position since I have about 2 years work experience? A lot of jobs I see posted (that are not entry level) require 3-5 years. I'd rather not put myself through another whole year here.
  5. Mar 28, 2017 #4


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    It's hard to know without applying. Most jobs that say 3-5 years will at least consider you if you have 2 years. Start applying for the postings you see and see what happens. You should be able to find a new job without jeopardizing your current job.
  6. Mar 28, 2017 #5
    I don't know what line of work you're in, but in many, "plant site" experience is one of the most valuable things you can get as a younger engineer. If I were you, I would seriously consider staying on longer. I know it is hard, but try to make some new friends in the area where you are working. I did this alot during my career -- show up for work at a new (to me) site not knowing anyone. After awhile you get better at meeting new people; I actually enjoyed it. Later on in your career you can be the guy who really understands the plants and the customers. Also, while you're out in the field, you avoid a lot of the "home office politics" which may be a plus or minus depending on how you view it.

    That's my two cents.
  7. Mar 28, 2017 #6
    Thanks for you input. Like I said, its not the job or (most of) the people here that I dislike. I would try to find something similar back home if I could. But its the area that surrounds the plant/where I live. And this may sound immature, but how long would be acceptable? A year, 3 years, 5 years?
  8. Mar 28, 2017 #7
    So, you have been at the plant site for what, 4 or 5 months? If you really really hate living there you can move on, but (my suggestion) don't move on if you just had a bad week or two. Try to stick it out for a year, that's a nice round number on your resume (looks better than "5 months").

    Did you get relocated from the home office? Does the field assignment have a specified duration or is it just "your job is at this site now." Are you on some kind of expenses or perdiem deal? Can you go back to work in the Philly office? Have you talked to your manager (the one who sent you off) about your wanting to move back home?

    Remember, I don't really know you or your situation, so ...
  9. Mar 28, 2017 #8


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    I'm an engineer. When I was 24/25 I spent 2 years in the Navy in Pascagoula, Mississippi, which was exactly as you would expect. I think sucking it up for a full year would be better for your long term prospects and is not as long as you think.

    Also, there isn't anywhere in PA far enough from Philly that you can't still hang out with your friends there on Saturday night, if they give you a couch to crash on.
  10. Mar 28, 2017 #9
    You can start making some efforts sending out a couple resumes each week to test the waters.

    But take care not to short your current employer on effort or focus. You might need to hang on longer than you think if the doors for other options don't swing open wide.

    At the same time, you might try a bit harder to embrace the rural life: hunting, fishing, shooting, county fair, etc. I find rural life to be a lot more fun, especially if within road tripping distance to a big city to scratch that itch when it comes.
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