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Growing Tired of Engineering

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Hi all,



I'm not sure if I'm in a slump, if I'm tired of my company, tired of the specific work I'm doing, or tired of the engineering field in general.



I apologize in advance for the long post..



A little backstory: I have a bachelors and a masters in engineering. I originally worked for a government agency. While I liked the work, I found it a bit repetitive, not to mention the work was really not engineering related. It technically qualified as engineering, but it really wasn't engineering. After working there for a few years, I started working for a consulting firm. I've been with the consulting firm longer than I have been at the gov't agency. I do have my PE (recently acquired).



In the past few years, I've been increasingly complaining (to my wife, haha) about the work that I do--both about the specific work I'm doing on a day-to-day basis, but also about the field in general. I'm quite good at regulations, so I've been stuck doing regulatory work. While I don't necessarily mind doing this type of work, it's, again, very repetitive. I don't know how many more forms I can fill out before I up and quit (which I don't want to do). I've actually voiced my concerns to both my indirect and direct supervisors, but it fell on deaf ears. (While they are both very nice, long story short, I'm not particularly fond of either.) I've asked for a mentor, but that's not going to happen. I used to have one until that person moved to another firm. In fact, all of my coworkers that were in my group moved to other firms.



I find myself daydreaming way too often (for a good portion of the day), and I don't feel like I can put my all into the job at hand. I do my job, but I don't go above and beyond, which I used to do. I honestly don't know what kind of work would make me happy, but I feel like I haven't been given the chance to experience different types of work to give me a feel for what I want. The work I do like seems to be related to research, modeling, or anything that really challenges me... NOT filling out forms or rewriting reports on a daily basis.



Another issue I have is that with the amount of experience I have, and the salary requirements I would demand at a new job, I'm afraid I'm a bit too 'specialized' to get a new job, most of which require a broad range of experience and knowledge (at least that's what the job postings say). I fear that being restricted to regulatory work has really put me in a tough spot career wise, which my superiors don't really care about. I'm a bit more expensive than some of the other engineers, so I don't get picked for fieldwork. I've heard often that I'm "too valuable" or my "experience is needed elsewhere". I do think my superiors are afraid of me leaving, as they do want to keep me--there's no one else that does the work that I do (without a considerable learning curve).



I'm feeling really stuck, and I don't know what to do. I don't have anyone that I really trust to talk about these issues with, aside from a few friends that feel the same way with their jobs. I have a good amount of work, and people (internal and clients) continue to come to me asking for work to be completed. Despite not 'giving my all', I do still think I provide a good work product.



I don't necessarily want to change careers, especially this late in my career and with a PE under my belt, but I'm just tired. I see family and friends around me that literally get paid a fourth of what I do, so I hate complaining about stuff like this considering what I get paid. But at the same time, I would like to at least not dread coming to work.



Do others feel the same way? Is this something that's related to the field in general or just my job/company?


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I felt the same way 9 yrs ago. I changed to another group in the company that does very different work. Things are much better. Sounds like that is what you need. Get the resume out there.

Edited by power-engineer
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In addition to the resume, it wouldn't hurt to create/polish up a LinkedIn profile. I probably get contacted on a weekly basis by job recruiters on LinkedIn alone.


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I'm in a similar boat in that I'm bored out of my mind at work. Just don't want to do it anymore. To the point that I am thinking of a whole career change (I think being a carpenter would be fun). I'm in the process of polishing up the resume and calling a few contacts to see what's available out there.


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I'm in a similar boat in that I'm bored out of my mind at work. Just don't want to do it anymore. To the point that I am thinking of a whole career change (I think being a carpenter would be fun). I'm in the process of polishing up the resume and calling a few contacts to see what's available out there.

Dex, have you considered seeing what's out there in the way of manufacturing/product development? The group I'm with now (both elect. & mech.) is great. We have our own work room and test labs where we get to configure and test our own component ideas on a daily basis. It's a nice change of pace from sitting at a desk all day. And I don't miss working for the city/govt.

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This is why it's called "work" and not "fun". For me, it's the people that make work enjoyable. If you don't like who you work with or work for, then it's probably time to move on.


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I have a few contacts at a couple different construction firms that have good reputations with the local municipalities. I'm planning on reaching out to them. The only concern that I have is that they are regional firms which require a fair amount of travel and Mrs Dex would be pissed if I wasn't home for dinner every night.


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This is why it's called "work" and not "fun". For me, it's the people that make work enjoyable. If you don't like who you work with or work for, then it's probably time to move on.

This is very true. I do enjoy what I do, but the people that I'm surrounded with annoy the shit out of me. Its to the point that I have debates with myself on how best to tell them off.

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"F@ck you in the f@cking face, you f@cking f@ckers."


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"F@ck you in the f@cking face, you f@cking f@ckers."

Just found out the buccaneers lost?

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I felt the same way 9 yrs ago. I changed to another group in the company that does very different work. Things are much better. Sounds like that is what you need. Get the resume out there.

Thanks! It's good to know that others have experienced the same. I guess I need to update the resume and get it out there. I do find that it's particular people that annoy me the most, and unfortunately it's those people that I work with daily.

In addition to the resume, it wouldn't hurt to create/polish up a LinkedIn profile. I probably get contacted on a weekly basis by job recruiters on LinkedIn alone.

Good advice! I have a profile, but I'm pretty bad at updating it. I'll have to do that.

I'm in a similar boat in that I'm bored out of my mind at work. Just don't want to do it anymore. To the point that I am thinking of a whole career change (I think being a carpenter would be fun). I'm in the process of polishing up the resume and calling a few contacts to see what's available out there.

Thanks! Ok, yeah, that's how I am. I'm so unbelievably bored at work. I'll have to start getting in touch with old friends/supervisors.

This is why it's called "work" and not "fun". For me, it's the people that make work enjoyable. If you don't like who you work with or work for, then it's probably time to move on.

Understood. I find there to be a difference between 'going to work' and 'dreading going to work'. The 'dreading' has been added recently, as my entire group has essentially dissolved, and our company has undergone some rather big changes. Agreed, it's time to move on.

This is why it's called "work" and not "fun". For me, it's the people that make work enjoyable. If you don't like who you work with or work for, then it's probably time to move on.

This is very true. I do enjoy what I do, but the people that I'm surrounded with annoy the shit out of me. Its to the point that I have debates with myself on how best to tell them off.

Oh man, I'm the same way, haha.

"F@ck you in the f@cking face, you f@cking f@ckers."

My thoughts on a daily basis, haha.

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7 years into my engineering career i was really hating it. Made a job change that i also didn't like, got lucky 2 years later and went to the public sector for a leadership position and for the only time in my career actually really liked what i did. That ended after 7 years, moved across the country to try and enjoy things outside of work more, still trying to do that but all the same just not thrilled with what i do day in day out, but kids like to eat so off to work we go...

So lots of us feel the same way...

If i could get some 20% gains in the market for 5 years, i would move to Idaho or Montana and buy a small house and work at home depot to pay the utilities and eat lots of elk and trout...

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It sounds like a lot of people in the 5 to 8 year range had similar issues. I guess it is tyipcal? Does it have anything to do with having more experience but still being in the same position that you were in years earlier? I often think that I'm doing similar work that I did a few years ago without a significant change in workload or responsibility.


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I have worked at decent jobs where I didn't like the coworkers as much. It can make life miserable.

And remember: if you like your job, it's called a hobby.

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When you do the same kinds of repetitive engineering tasks, it gets boring rather quickly. Every project has it's own wrinkles but that's not necessarily enough to make them interesting. I've been doing essentially the same types of projects for the last 15+ years. The work load and the people make all of the difference.


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I have worked at decent jobs where I didn't like the coworkers as much. It can make life miserable.

And remember: if you like your job, it's called a hobby.

I'm there right now with my coworkers..

Sometimes I wish I could make money from my hobbies, but I don't want to hate my hobbies.

When you do the same kinds of repetitive engineering tasks, it gets boring rather quickly. Every project has it's own wrinkles but that's not necessarily enough to make them interesting. I've been doing essentially the same types of projects for the last 15+ years. The work load and the people make all of the difference.

It definitely does get boring quickly! I didn't mind the repetitive nature before my entire group dissolved. But now, I can't stand it.

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Someone once told me the first 15 years are the hardest and I thought that was ridiculous, because I was 4 years in and hated my job. Now I'm at 13 years in and I like my job. For me, some of the problems I had were typical 20-something ego, thinking I was too good for my job. Now that I'm on this side of it, I learned from each step along the way, no matter how much it sucked at the time. For the record, I've switched work groups within my agency every three years or so. Keeps things fresh and, now that I've been around for some time, gives me a perspective on the big picture that gives me an edge.

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Sometimes I wish I could make money from my hobbies, but I don't want to hate my hobbies.

Ha! So true!

Agree with what others have posted. People make all the difference. It's an awful feeling, working for managers who don't seem to care about your future, and your managers definitely don't sound like they care.

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I was doing HVAC consulting work for about 8-9 years before I grew tired of it. My company was also undergoing some changes and was losing that small company feel. I sent out a few resumes and landed where I am now, doing refrigeration work. There was a very steep learning curve but that's what makes it interesting. It was just what I needed to get me out of the rut.


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Sending in a resume for a Deputy PM position that just got posted in my current company. It's a bit of a stretch, but I do meet the requirements and have my current manager's support.


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If i could get some 20% gains in the market for 5 years, i would move to Idaho or Montana and buy a small house and work at home depot to pay the utilities and eat lots of elk and trout...

This...but I'm just thinking about cashing out the house.

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