It’s okay if you read this blog post, you’re not crazy. One of the most difficult revelations you can admit as an engineer is that you are in doubt. You doubt your engineering career. And it is agonizing. Given the student loans, diligent studying, and wishful thinking, your engineering path leaves much to be desired.
You had myriad expectations as an engineering student. Perhaps you experienced phenomenal internships with spectacular mentors. And it’s possible you landed what you thought was going to be your dream job. Or, maybe you didn’t land a dream job. Maybe your credentials allowed for an opening into your dream company.
Somehow, the honeymoon phase faded away and now you doubt your engineering career. Your day-to-day is mundane without a clear future among too many supercilious people. The little secret you carry around is that your disappointment has led to job hunting.
Heaven forbid certain individuals find out, i.e. your colleagues or your boss!
This scenario is not what you envisioned years ago. You always believed your engineering career was going to be fulfilling and exciting, with much opportunity for growth and advancement (see Post #25). Now, you painfully doubt your career choice and contemplate moving on to greener pastures, if only you knew where to find them.
A Painful Way to Live
Believing you worked so hard only to question your choices can lead to a bitterly exhausting life. However, the first thing you ought to know is that this is a common dilemma among many engineers. You are not weird. There is nothing wrong with you. Many engineers question their purpose and their future. At times, they blindly throw darts and hope to hit something of value.
Secondly, it sure is tempting to switch jobs, careers or even industries. There are many opportunities out there and you may feel like you are missing out. The logical urge is to leave your current situation behind in search of a better life.
You don’t know if the grass is greener until you get there. Then, what will you do if the grass is brown? How many times will you start over in search of a better outcome?
Third, and most importantly, is that career doubt is a derivative of self-doubt. When you doubt your engineering career, you are placing blame. Regardless of who or what you blame, this career doubt correlates to your being out of touch with yourself. The question is, how much?
If you can better understand the reasons why you do the things you do, the reasons why you think the way you think, pieces of the puzzle will fall into place. Career doubt is simply the symptom of a bigger issue.
Maybe engineering isn’t where you belong, maybe it is. My function is to help you figure this out. Do not delay any longer. Send me a note about your contemplation, and we can work to figure out how engineering should fit into your life: firstname.lastname@example.org.