Monday, March 28, 2011

Having Doubts

I'm having doubts about whether or not Engineering is actually a good fit for me personally.

I suppose you could say that since the layoff scare back in January that my confidence has been severely shaken. I feel really lost right now. I can tell you with utmost certainty that I have not been enjoying the last couple months; I go into work with the fear of losing my job. I used to enjoy my work. Now... I kind of dread it.

Add this to some of the experiences I've been having lately at work, and I just feel deflated. I've been getting a lot of "slow down and take more time on your work, but hurry up because you're taking too long"; and "I want to be able to send your reports out the door without looking at them". I'm an EIT. I'm still learning, and I need people to look at my reports so I can find my mistakes and learn from them. I feel like a sledge hammer has come down on my head over the last couple months.

I know I'm not the only person going through this right now, I was talking to a friend this weekend who apparently has been experiencing the EXACT SAME THING at work, minus the layoff scare. I do wonder if it's a case of Engineering being a bad fit for me, or a case of all EITs go through this before getting their P.Eng.

Right now I don't know if I'd actually have the confidence to stamp anything, its feeling pretty shot.

I know the company is restructuring, we have a new President, people are getting shuffled and the managers are stressed, but I could really use some positive feedback right now. It's hard to believe the people saying my job is safe when I haven't heard anything positive out of anyone in weeks.


Even if my job is safe, is this what I want my career to be like? I'm not so sure anymore that this is what I want. The problem is that I've been focussed on Engineering for so long now that I don't know what else I would even be interested in. My friend that I talked to on the weekend started a custom cake business on the side of her Engineering job. She's thinking that when her and her husband have kids that she would like to transition to full time cake baking. Given that she's an awesome baker, I can see this working out great for her. I on the other hand have no idea what I would do.

I did get a comment from a coworker on Friday that surprised me a little, though I suppose in retrospect it shouldn't have. I had just gotten back from working on site and I was walking around in my jeans, a hoodie and my steel toed boots. He said I look so much happier when I'm working onsite. He's right. I may be exhausted and frozen into a little Cass-icle, but I'm happier doing that than I am hunched over a computer at a desk.

I hate job jumping, but I feel like I'm trying to force a square peg into a round hole right now. I'm not sure how long I should actually give it before deciding if this is a hard learning experience or just a bad fit? If it wasn't for the fact that I need the money, would I actually stick around for this? I don't know.

I just want to find my square hole.


Daisy said...

Wow that's frustrating, hey?
Could you try getting another job somewhere else, doing the same thing? Maybe it's just the environment. A negative working environment is exhausting.

target10mil said...

Don't give up Engineering. You've invested a lot of $$ at school for the field. Also Engineering is the best field / pay for just having a regular undergrad degree.

If you quit, chances are that any new job you found would pay significantly less.

Good pay, career, etc... is about perseverance. You've got to make it through your time as an EIT. Once you get your PE then your marketability will increase significantly as well as your pay.

You just have to hold out and stick to the path you are on.

Although it sounds like the place you are at is not so great. I'd recommend looking for another EIT. Finding EIT positions are rough though as most companies want you to have a PE before they will look at you.

So I'm going to agree with the prior poster. Sounds more like the company than the field.

Stay the course!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like your working environment is the problem here. Just starting in a career myself, I really understand how important a good mentor is and how difficult any job can be without one. I agree with target10mil - I would start investigating other EIT positions. In the meantime, I hope you get lot of field work and things calm down in your workplace.

Cassie said...

Thanks guys, I appreciate the feedback.

I'm doing a bit of reflection right now on what it is I actually want in terms of career. Hopefully I'll gain some clarity in the upcoming weeks.

Kim said...

1. You're a woman in a male dominated field! It takes extra b*lls. You're the role model! You're the one needed to lead the Women in Engineering professional orgs! And school competitions! And scholarship committees! Oooh, maybe that could be your career change - work for a nonprofit that promotes women in engineering? math teacher? physics teacher?
2. Sh*t runs downhill, and you're partway down. Everyone seems stressed. It's not you.
3. Everyone has their confidence shaken every so often - it's actually good for the soul. I gave a presentation last week, where all but 1 slide went well. I got my point across but it was far from succint or organized. Sometimes we need it to get out of autopilot.

Cassie said...

I was actually involved somewhat in WISEST and APEGGA while I was in university, along with a couple other organizations. I need life to slow down a little (does it ever?), but I would like to put in more volunteer time again.

If all else fails, this will eventually be just another thing I can look back on and say "Hey look, I lived through that!"