Author Topic: Different Career Path  (Read 1921 times)

cbr shadow

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Different Career Path
« on: October 08, 2012, 01:41:37 PM »
I'm 28 yrs old and graduated college about 2.5 years ago with an Industrial Technology degree.  That's a branch of the engineering dept at the University that I went to, but easier classes than a straight engineering degree. This isn't something I was passionate about starting, but I had heard you could make decent money in this area and I was a bit lost on what to major in at the time. Anyways, I had a good internship while I was in school and started my current job about a month after graduating.  I make about $47,000/yr before any deductions.  My job title now is "Project Engineer" and I work in Autocad, Solidworks, and Revit designing radio frequency chambers for industrial use. 

I've found in the last 2 years of working here that I'm not passionate about the work I do here, and I'm becoming less motivated to be the super-productive employee that I normally am.  I think part of that is because I dont see a good path for me to move up in the company except in a direction I know I wouldn't like (project management).  Also despite VERY good reviews, I only received 2.75% and 3% raises both years I've been here.  I also dont think I'm taking advantage of my true talents.  I'm a people person, I've always been good at sales, I'm competitive, I'm active and physical, etc.  I'm ok at what I do but I just feel like I'm "getting by".

I've always wanted a job where I could help the community and feel like I was making a difference.  At my current job I dont get that.  I looked for a long time into becoming a police officer and was passionate about doing so (applying, testing, etc) but in the suburbs of Chicago where I live it is VERY competitive and people with military experience get priority (which I dont have).  Police officers here start around $45-50k, and within 5 years you get max pay for your position, which varies between towns but is usually around $75-85k.  Overtime and promotions get you more.  This switch wouldn't be for the money necessarily though, it'd be more for overall happiness. 

A friend of mine from college ended up applying around here for about 6 months without any luck, then applying to NYPD and getting the job, which required him to relocate.  Now he makes good money, has a very generous pension and an extra retirement fund that is matched.

I have a wife, a mortgage on a house, and 2 dogs, so the move would be fairly complicated if I did a switch like that.  What do you guys think?  It's hard to picture myself in the same place I am now for another 25 years..

I hope this doesn't come off as just a big sob story - I'm happy with my life otherwise.. My wife and I have a great relationship, she makes very good money and her job can be done remotely from almost anywhere, 2 great dogs, only a single mortgage for debt and no car loans or student loans, ,great family, etc..  I'm just thinking while I'm young it might be a good idea to make a switch to something I'd be passionate about.

Prof Penny Pincher

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Re: Different Career Path
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2012, 02:29:56 PM »
Well you only get one life, so you might as well make sure you enjoy it.

It sounds like the police force could be a good option, and would be similar money to your current job. (depending how fast you progress in either job. 2 years with no promotion can in many cases mean that its now "due" but you will know better than us if you can expect a big increase any time soon, and if its worth waiting for.)

Only point to make, is it should be hard to imagine doing anything for the next 25 years. You should be thinking about what to do for the next 10 years at which point you retire, and then what to do with the rest of your life, without needing to worry about a paycheck.