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Having a back-up plan

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What would you do if your engineering career flamed out whether at age 25, 40 or 55?  Do you have a back-up plan on how you would make a living if you could not continue as an engineer?   

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We had a Interior Designer in our group that later moved into a marketing Position.  She left to become a Physical Therapist and last I heard she became a nurse.  Another person in our sustainability group is leaving to become an equine veterinarian.  They made/are making the move in their twenties, so, IMHO, it easier early in your career than later, but it is never too late.  It may be difficult later in life if you want to a be professional athlete, but some people have played golf on the "Seniors" Tour that were not professional golfers in their 20's, 30's, or 40's.

It is never too late if you have the ambition and drive, but you need to be reasonable.  

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Probably start a small metal fab/mobile shop.  There's enough work in this area for fab and repairs on signs, entry gates, stair rails, boats, etc. to at least keep busy.  

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hang out on engineering message boards and spread my conspiracy theories

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6 minutes ago, NJmike PE said:

hang out on engineering message boards and spread my conspiracy theories

That's your everyday plan.  He wants backup plans.

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6 minutes ago, Supe said:

That's your everyday plan.  He wants backup plans.

well, then maybe I've already aborted the engineering plan

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4 hours ago, Supe said:

Probably start a small metal fab/mobile shop.  There's enough work in this area for fab and repairs on signs, entry gates, stair rails, boats, etc. to at least keep busy.  

You and Mr. Tex REALLY should be BFFs...add a paint booth and he's there.

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1 minute ago, envirotex said:

You and Mr. Tex REALLY should be BFFs...add a paint booth and he's there.

Totally there, with a powdercoat oven for good measure!

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On ‎7‎/‎28‎/‎2018 at 11:45 AM, Exengineer said:

What would you do if your engineering career flamed out whether at age 25, 40 or 55?  Do you have a back-up plan on how you would make a living if you could not continue as an engineer?   

Wouldn't you have to FU__ something up royally for your career to completely flame out? Plenty of jobs out there for most Engineering fields. I know many people who have been fired and moved on to the next place down the road.

 

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I would start an Etsy store, attempt to sell my shitty crafts, and make no money in the process.

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4 minutes ago, Violator said:

Wouldn't you have to FU__ something up royally for your career to completely flame out? Plenty of jobs out there for most Engineering fields. I know many people who have been fired and moved on to the next place down the road.

 

Yeah I've (unfortunately) seen some good, competent people let go, and they've always been able to find another job with a competitor. I can only think of two people who were laid off and trouble finding jobs.  One person ended up pursuing their dream career, so that worked out for them.  Have no idea what happened to the other person.

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I already own a small side business doing laser engraving (currently making nameplates for the new office my company is building).  It doesn't make a profit, but it pays for laserable materials for my other projects.

I've made a little money on the side selling BBQ.  I have an absurdly large pellet smoker (I've smoked 120 lbs of pork shoulder at once, and the smoker wasn't completely full).    That's a hard way to make an easy living because pulling pork is annoying...plus, I'd need a health department license to do it legally.

I could do what I currently do (forensic engineering) part-time either independently or with a competitor to my current company.  I know a few guys that have left my current company and now come back for joint inspections with other companies.  They say that they make almost as much doing it part time with other firms as they did with my current firm. 

I'd like to work at a golf course in some capacity.  I don't like people enough to be a club pro (they have to teach...or at least learn how to teach as part of the curriculum).  But I could be a ranger, cart guy, shop help, etc.

My back up plan (and probable future career path) is some combination of these options.

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14 minutes ago, wilheldp_PE said:

I already own a small side business doing laser engraving (currently making nameplates for the new office my company is building).  It doesn't make a profit, but it pays for laserable materials for my other projects.

I've made a little money on the side selling BBQ.  I have an absurdly large pellet smoker (I've smoked 120 lbs of pork shoulder at once, and the smoker wasn't completely full).    That's a hard way to make an easy living because pulling pork is annoying...plus, I'd need a health department license to do it legally.

I could do what I currently do (forensic engineering) part-time either independently or with a competitor to my current company.  I know a few guys that have left my current company and now come back for joint inspections with other companies.  They say that they make almost as much doing it part time with other firms as they did with my current firm. 

I'd like to work at a golf course in some capacity.  I don't like people enough to be a club pro (they have to teach...or at least learn how to teach as part of the curriculum).  But I could be a ranger, cart guy, shop help, etc.

My back up plan (and probable future career path) is some combination of these options.

bill-murray-caddyshack-gif-10.gif

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2 hours ago, txjennah said:

One person ended up pursuing their dream career, so that worked out for them.

Engineering forum?

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In a way I'll be starting my backup plan the end of the month.  I'll be leaving my current job with an engineering consulting firm to go work with a project management company. I'll still need a little technical engineering, but most of it will be management of design consultants and contractors while they figure out the details.

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15 hours ago, Violator said:

Wouldn't you have to FU__ something up royally for your career to completely flame out? Plenty of jobs out there for most Engineering fields. I know many people who have been fired and moved on to the next place down the road.

Generally yes, but not always. If people spend too much time in one specialty it can be difficult to find a job elsewhere. Or finding a new engineering job could mean physically moving to a new region - something that people aren't always willing to do. Careers in some engineering fields that require a security clearance can get derailed quite easily for relatively mundane reasons.

 

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I believe if a person sticks to the mainstream engineering majors of Civil, Electrical, Mechanical then they should always have prospects.  All other engineering majors are risky and some even rubbish.  Some engineering majors are at risk of being discontinued at many universities.  

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On 8/12/2018 at 12:00 PM, Exengineer said:

I believe if a person sticks to the mainstream engineering majors of Civil, Electrical, Mechanical then they should always have prospects.  All other engineering majors are risky and some even rubbish.  Some engineering majors are at risk of being discontinued at many universities.  

Hmm can't say I agree with that.  What majors are at risk of being discontinued?  Source?

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On 7/30/2018 at 7:29 AM, Supe said:

Probably start a small metal fab/mobile shop.  There's enough work in this area for fab and repairs on signs, entry gates, stair rails, boats, etc. to at least keep busy.  

One of my classmates actually did that.  He had the fab shop before he went to school, but in recent years it has gotten busy enough he quit his engineering job to work in his fab shop full time.

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I would think textile engineering would be one that might be on the way out?

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7 minutes ago, Road Guy said:

I would think textile engineering would be one that might be on the way out?

Interesting. I didn't even know that was a thing.

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Even that would be debatable if there's a bunch of overlap into composite fabrics/materials.

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1 hour ago, txjennah said:

Hmm can't say I agree with that.  What majors are at risk of being discontinued?  Source?

Mining is really on a downslide right now. It wont fizzle out completely but the demand for mining engineers is a fraction of what it once was. 

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