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Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for
18

Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

(OP)
HI guys, Its been a struggle since I graduated in May'16 to get an Entry Level ME job. Just last week I finally got hired by a startup company with a nice decent starting pay. They initially just want me to do solid works modeling for them and then later jump into more engineering type roles as they mentioned. Without any technical questions they ended up really liking me since my reference called me and mentioned the same.

I was honest and upfront and said I am familiar with solid works just not at a senior level and the CEO mentioned thats fine we will train you. So I guess I'm nervous I want to prove to them that they made a great choice in hiring me and will work my butt off no question. The thing is the overall goal is they want me to design a more sophisticated aeration system from the one they already have so its not easily reproducible by others. I am worried because how can an entry level engineer be expected to innovate? there is just so much you would have to know. They mentioned they will train me so it should be fine. My biggest thing now is I got the job but can I keep it? even if i work my ass off day and night. Please any advice would be much appreciated if you were in my shoes how would you go about this? Thank you!

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

I suspect they have some idea of what they actually want, with any luck they just need you to put their word pictures into CAD. If that's not the case, then you need to form a design team, and (ugh) start brainstorming.

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

3
Since you were open about your experience level when interviewed, they shouldn't have unreasonable expectations of you. I think there are two reasonable expectations they will have from the outset - one only slightly more obvious than the other:

1. That you will give of your best, within the constraints of your limited experience

2. That you will learn while on the job so that, in a year or two's time, they can expect much, much more of you.

Free advice:

Work hard.

Learn as much as you can: Ask sensible questions; learn from your inevitable mistakes; learn from others' mistakes.

Strike a sensible balance between under- and over-confidence. Remember that, as you learn, what you will be able to promise to deliver will (must) change.

Enjoy the experience. It sounds like a good opportunity and there is a real buzz to be had from becoming competent in some specialist field.

A.

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

If I've learned anything in my years its this: don't be too intimidated when you're looking a seemingly massive job head-on with no idea how to do it. Engineering school has already taught you to break all your problems down into small pieces. Do the same thing with the aeration system. Initially all they really want is for you to document their ideas. As you do that you will develop thoughts and ideas of your own. Some worthwhile, some not. Relax. Focus on doing what you're told. Always try to go above and beyond.

And NEVER forget that much of what other people think about your work will be decided within the first few seconds of seeing it, before they have even absorbed any of its meaning. So take the extra effort to make sure your work is clean, clear, well organized, concise, and has a professional appearance. Study the work (drawings) of others in the past, especially from pre-CAD days. Notice the small details of how they made their ideas easy to understand.

You'll do fine.

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

Not a specialist in the field, so just a general idea here..

Try to look in the archive system (if there is one) for a design or specification that is relatively close to what you have now (analyze drawing, sketch). Then try to stick to the old design as much as you could (i.e. limit innovation at this point).
Just adapt that design by making the necessary variations to it so it would fit the new purpose.

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

(OP)
thank you guys. I can honestly say I am not no expert or even advanced at solid works but basic parts that do not have complex geometry is definitely something in my grasp even though I have been out of school for 2 years. Solid works was one of those user friendly programs that was easy to work through compared to the ever so confusing Auto CAD. I enjoyed Solid Works during my undergrad. I can Assure that I will work my butt off and keep a humble attitude. Just a bit nervous since Its my first actual engineering job.

How was your entry level job experience ? did you just get thrown into the fire or was it steady training and growth?

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

I was on a structured program for my first two years, which was going to lead to a job in a R&D division. BUT they had funding problems, so instead I was given the job of learning modal analysis and running the modal analysis lab, from the manuals, as the previous SME had just walked out the door. So yes, I was dropped in it. My boss knew some of the ideas, and was pretty good at the instrumentation side, but didn't know anything much about the analysis side. Good fun in retrospect.

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

Into the fire. In hindsight it's probably the best way.

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

Solicit input, identify pros/cons/risks, document decisions

Don't take things personally when you find yourself having to put together multiple proposals, redo designs that you thought were fine, etc. It is all part of the process and isn't a criticism of you specifically. You peers and supervisors do not expect you to get it right the first time

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

Worst case scenario: it doesn't work out and you look for another job. This seemingly critical situation today will feel unimportant in the not too distant future.

It's simple - you try your best, put in an honest effort and it will either be good enough or it won't. Simple...not easy.

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

IME most every new role in engineering is a trial by fire. You either bust your butt to learn the material, ask intelligent and appropriate questions of colleagues after trying your damnedest to solve them yourself, or you go into project management, teaching, or something unrelated. You're not going to be "trained" in the sense of most blue collar jobs. Nobody's going to hold your hand, they're going to expect you to teach yourself the engineering with maybe an odd question or two a day to a mentor. Always keep in mind that mentors have their own workload and are likely judging you/reporting back to the boss so dont embarrass yourself too much with basic issues. Every few years at least, your employer should send you out for some formal non-engineering education (a class in advanced solid modeling, lean or agile manufacturing, etc), but with every job change expect to pick up and read another few texts on that specific niche and also expect to study legacy and competitive products.

To start off with I'd recommend learning Solidworks dam good, dam quick. Personally I've found (five modeling packages later) that there's no replacement for seat time. Sit and model something before or after work 5-10 hours/week and in a few months you'll be decently capable. Also, careful study of others' models can be a good way to learn assembly structure and surfacing tricks.

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

Isn't the university degree as much about having the basic skills that will help you acquire the specialist skills that you will learn on the job , by experience or otherwise.
Your degree teaches you relatively little but gets you to the place where you should learn alot.

Sounds like you are in the right place with the right frame of mind to start that journey. Work hard, ask lots of questions , read and research and do your best.

Regards
Ashtree
"Any water can be made potable if you filter it through enough money"

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

As far as "can you keep your job" the answer is yes, absolute minimum of 1-2 years if you are competent, have a good attitude, and are eager to learn. They're not going to put in the time to train you and then quickly get rid of you if things aren't perfect. They'd just have to either try again with another new grad, or hire someone with experience at a higher wage.

You do need to quickly get a feel for how long to struggle with something before having a rough draft checked by whoever did the work before you were hired. A 10 minute chat might save you a few hours of scratching your head.

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

(OP)
So the offer is contingent upon one condition. They want to test my solid works skills this friday before they actually bring me on board starting next monday. I have been using the student version of Solid Works and drawing up certain parts i find difficult to approach just to refresh myself. I hope I can meet the standard of skill they require to start. I already mentioned I am not at a senior level but i am familiar with the program. I don't know how else I can improve my skills other than just drafting more parts from YouTube.

Hopefully it works out.

Thanks again for the replies.

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

They probably want to make sure that you can actually use it , not just say you can. You are probably going to pass that trial if you are already fairly competent on it, even if not an expert user.

Regards
Ashtree
"Any water can be made potable if you filter it through enough money"

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

I started out the same way with Solidworks in 2001. I watched a guy using it, and doing things the Cadkey program I was using at the time could not do. Then the company bought 2 seats and I did a three week course to master Solidworks . Since then the program has evolved so much that if I tried to use it today with the knowledge I had in 2001 , I doubt if I could even turn the program on.
B.E.

You are judged not by what you know, but by what you can do.

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

A job that you fully master from day 1 cannot be much fun, at least not for long. It's perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed.

Entry level engineers can definitely innovate. You have not been pre-formatted in "the way we always used to do it". Enjoy that time, in a few years it will be over :) Use your rookie status to ask many questions. Identify things that look funny. When your guts tell you "I think this can be done more easily / more efficiently / more cheaply / better..." then that could be a golden idea that you should investigate further and see if it holds.

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

Even my current job requires learning new things at this very moment, almost 40 yrs after I graduated from college. But, that's what keeps things interesting, new, and what gets me out of bed in the morning.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

(OP)
I won't be worried about learning new things st all. I can work my butt off and even take work home to do my homework on things I'm weak at so I don't need to waste anybodies time at work. I'm just worried about how they will go about testing my Solidworks skill because the offer is all ready to go it just contingent on my solid works skills as the CEO said.

I'd hate to have the offer taken away. So ive been studying and re drawing stuff on solid works all week to get better at it. I'm familiar with majority of the features. My only weakness is approaching and completing the complex geometry figures. The company already told me don't worry about being a senior at SD. So im anxious about what they will test me on in regards to SD.

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

Don't be anxious (fearful). Be exited and as confident in the abilities that you currently possess and will increase upon!

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

(OP)
I'm super excited to help them create a really useful product. I have honest desires to help them grow as a company and grow myself as an engineer. I am feeling good now with all the practicing I've been doing. Let's see tomorrow.

Thanks again to everybodies feedback.I will post back and let everyone know how it went.

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

I predict that you will pass their test smile

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

As long as you can open a file , create and edit a model then save it, you will have no problem . They will teach you the finer points of what they want once you are in.
B.E.

You are judged not by what you know, but by what you can do.

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

(OP)
Really? Id imagine they would make it a bit harder because he wanted to test my Solid works skill. But if that's the case I should do just fine 😁

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

Space 213,
Remember THEY are going to tell you what kind of model to create, do not relax, too much.
B.E.

You are judged not by what you know, but by what you can do.

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

(OP)
Berkshire,

As you can see from my other replies, I'm not relaxed at all. I've just been on YouTube trying to work on my solid works skill all day for the past week. hopefully it works out.

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

Space213,
Run through the tutorials one more time. You are already familiar with them , you will pick up little things you missed the first time around.

I do not use Solidworks so much any more, I use a program called Alibre instead, but every once in a while I have to use Solidworks and upon firing it up it takes me about a day to get into the swing of things with it. That's when I find out the changes they have made and I too have to go back to the tutorials .
This is also something you need to watch for, if you have been using a student version , they are generally one year behind the latest version. As a general rule the differences are not that great from year to year, but you do have to be aware of it. There is also a Solidworks Forum 559 on this site where you can get specific answers to questions you may have after you get the job.
B.E

You are judged not by what you know, but by what you can do.

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

Tests like that are meant to show if you know where the major buttons are, so to speak. Do you understand how to edit a face's dimensions, how to use boolean operations on components, properly label items of interest, create manufacturing drawings, etc. They won't expect you to know the finer details or "hidden" commands, just show an understanding of how to use the program to create a widget that can be manufactured from drawings created by it.

Dan - Owner
http://www.Hi-TecDesigns.com

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

The heaviest thing in the world for some people to pick up is the phone. One call to a vendor or whoever can save you a lot of time and rework.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

(OP)
Hi everyone, so I locked down the job! I'm very thankful for the opportunity and the test was really just my first day at work. It was really difficult to grasp their idess. I felt dumb at times then felt smart at times. it was just up and down all day but I really enjoyed it.

All they are saying is you don't have to be amazing right now. Just have the will to learn and work hard. Which I am, I hope I can pass the 90days which will be the next challenge.


Thanks again to everybodies help

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

Excellent news. Congratulations.

Just remember to keep all those promises you made yourself (and don't forget to enjoy the challenge).

A.

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

Space 213,
Congratulations on landing the job .
Now sit there like a sponge and soak up everything that you can. You do not get smarter by saying "Yes I already know that" when something is being explained to you . Let the guy/gal finish , then say "I think I got it." They will think a lot more of you if you do not come off as a smart ass. Good luck.

B.E.

You are judged not by what you know, but by what you can do.

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

(OP)
Berkshire,
Thankyou for your advice. I'm by no means really happy because i see the work that lies ahead of me. I'm excited for it and hope I can grow quickly. My next challenge is the 90days probation and proving to be a good choice. I got a much better idea on what to practice on in Solid works that relates to their concepts.

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

4

Quote (Space213)

I can work my butt off and even take work home to do my homework on things I'm weak at so I don't need to waste anybodies time at work.

No, man. The other people are paid to help you get up to speed as fast as possible. You're not wasting anyone's time at work by being trained - formally or informally. You'd be wasting your own private time if you took work home and learn in a less effective/efficient manner than if you "dared to waste anyone's time" at work.

Feeling dumb, feeling smart are recurring patterns even after 20 years in the business ;)

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

I agree with Epoisses and I will say as someone who isn't that much further along than you, the business may not have time to wait for you to take it home and finish things. Ask for help when you need it and try to anticipate what areas you are weaker in than others. If there are parts of your SW knowledge that you think needed "remedial" review, you could catch up at home but things that come up at work that you can't figure out yourself or with Google, get help so that the work gets done. I also recommend plying your elders with lunches now and then to get more in depth details and such wink

Also, congratulations!

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

Congrats! Love the attitude here. Stay coachable and keep striving to grow.

I used to count sand. Now I don't count at all.

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

(OP)
Right now I'm a bit slow to the style of engineering drawings they want but I've been sort of thrown into the fire with new tasks given to me quickly without fully understanding the previous job. i work with a joking and sarcastic team which is nice but I feel i am not as smart the people who are mentoring me. I am learning a lot day by day. Start ups don't really have the best formal training program so i have to pick up quickly.

Hopefully I can get past the 90days. amy advice on what i can do to get better?

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

Quote (Space213)

amy advice on what i can do to get better?

Don't stress out during or after work (leave work at work), get plenty of sleep each night, set short term goals that help break up larger projects or tasks into smaller ones, setup a to-do list with deadlines and stick to them, be prepared to do overtime but don't make it a habit, watch solidworks training videos and follow along within solidworks, learn how solidworks parametric features work (they're very powerful), review other team members work and ask questions on why they did what they did, buy the office donuts every once in a while.

Down the road, become the office expert at something. If at 90 days you're they guy they go to for [X], you've made it.

Ian Riley, PE, SE
Professional Engineer (ME, NH, MA) Structural Engineer (IL)
American Concrete Industries https://www.facebook.com/AmericanConcrete/

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

(OP)
So far the job seems stressful..but its also because they are barely training me. Im sort of being thrown into the fire but I want to keep progressing and working through these road blocks hoping the job won't be as stressful later. Im stuck trying to figure how to do certain things where everybody else is just just but doing things they know how to do not stuck staring at the cpu screen because the engineers have different views on how to design things and have you doing solid works designs in circles lol the people are nice and they tell me I'll get the hang of it so I'll keep pressing through

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

Space 213,
You have had 2 days on the job, you have not even had time to find out where the toilet is yet. Your comment here: " i work with a joking and sarcastic team which is nice but I feel i am not as smart the people who are mentoring me. I am learning a lot day by day." indicates to me that your co workers are feeling you out. See how you are doing at the end of the week. Remember at this moment you ARE at the bottom of the totem pole, soak up information and you will work up.
B.E.

You are judged not by what you know, but by what you can do.

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

(OP)
Berkshire,

You're totally right. Im expecting too much too soon. My biggest worry right now is not figuring out what my boss basically wants me to do within a short amount of time but the biggest thing is not the drawings but the drawings that are "machinable" and still pulling off the drawings that way. Its like i have to throw away everything I've learned and approach it differently.

With the Co - Workers feeling me out what do you think I should do? I'm establishing a relationship with all of them right now. I'm just being myself but still focusing on what I need to do.

I'm learning so much each day though where its becoming more and more familiar.

Do you suggest since im new I stay past the 8 hrs each day to show my work ethic so I can make it past the 90days?

Thank you

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

Quote (Space213)

Do you suggest since im new I stay past the 8 hrs each day to show my work ethic so I can make it past the 90days?

What I would do is, show up a little early, don't look at the clock during the day, have lunch when the others have lunch, leave when the others leave. If you want to make it past the 90 days, it's essential to become a member of the team.

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

Quote (Space213)

Do you suggest since im new I stay past the 8 hrs each day to show my work ethic so I can make it past the 90days?

Agreed with epoisses. Do what the others team members do. With the caveat that you are new and you do need to spend a bit more time on things to get tasks done at times.

I'd do this, try to be efficient and seen as someone who works hard. If people take a long lunch, just take a regular 30 minute one. Work efficiently and be energetic and enthusiastic. If you're in a good groove or you got a deadline coming up then stay a little late to finish it up, but these should be exceptions to the norm. Do not make this a habit.

As epoisses said; arrive a little early and don't regularly stay late. You'll either burn out or go too far above and beyond and make everyone else look bad. If your boss needed you to stay late every day your work hours would be those hours. Your boss needs you to also have time to keep your personal life in order. A well rested, enthusiastic worker is far better than someone who is pushing a 60 hour work week and can't wait for that day off.

Ian Riley, PE, SE
Professional Engineer (ME, NH, MA) Structural Engineer (IL)
American Concrete Industries https://www.facebook.com/AmericanConcrete/

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

As for establishing relationships with co-workers this is very important, banter with friends can get you through the worst days and disagreements with adversaries can ruin the best days. Every engineering office has people that fall into different characters - there will be the friendly guy who will be happy to help you with anything (usually the next one up the ladder), there will be an expert who can answer any question but who only has a tolerance for so many questions a day, there will be the natural office ring leader (not necessarily the team leader) they are usually the loudest and a joker - win them over and you will be accepted by all, and in my experience there is usually a quiet grump who you shouldn't be offended by, they just take a little longer to get to know. Try and figure out these (and other) dynamics and that should help you to build relationships.

Also I see a lot of graduates mistake CAD work for design work. There are lots of 'CAD jockeys' out there who are cheaply and easily accessible. You were hired because you are an engineer - you know stuff, you solve problems, you have good ideas - don't panic, those things are all there inside you and will present themselves if you give them the opportunity (the fact you are on here having this conversation is evidence of that). Don't spend the next 90 days only focused on perfecting CAD skills. In my experience most CAD models never make it past 80% complete - in a busy engineering environment most often "just good enough" is good enough. Be careful not to waste time on that 20% that achieves perfection (ok you still need to impress so shoot for 85-90%). I'm a perfectionist and have lost count of the time I have wasted taking a CAD model to perfection (meaning no errors, everything perfectly defined and colour coordinated etc etc) only to have to change it all 2 days later.

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

(OP)
D Scullion,

Thanks for your insight.I slowly feel myself wanting to give more ideas to the team the better I get at understanding the whole thing were doing. Its been rough at times because I feel my imagination/creativity isn't aligned yet with theirs but I feel myself slowly piecing the puzzle together right now. They tell me to stretch my imagination but to me 2 types of creativity are not the same immediately.

So far the only good feedback I've gotten from the senior engineer is that I learn fast and I ask good questions.(there is no formal training with the startup so i have to be proactive as much as I can) I cant screw up this opportunity because its been 2 yrs since I graduated and this is my first job.

I don't have a deep knowledge of practical engineering as they do but hopefully before the 90days I can prove my worth to them.

The great thing about the company despite the proper explanation of projects that are given to me is that they are all great people and being a small team you get to feel them out rather quickly and we get along great.

The only issue I have is, the senior engineer will give a project for me to work on and then later into it I get more details and variables to it and im like wtf dude? Its like new obstacles and learning experiences present themselves lol. I know I'm at the bottom of the totem pole and I know the guys that hired me are extremely smart but it seems they are skipping steps in explaing things thoroughly. Their explanations click conceptually but after some time. I need to have em click immediately is my goal to survive and stick with them for the long run if I can.

I'm gonna keep working hard though and grind through this.

Thanks again

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

A few things you will realise in the future when you look back at this experience:
- recruitment is a headache, and a hassle for employers (especially small businesses), far from trying to find a way to trip you up, your boss and senior engineer really want you to succeed so they don't have to waste more time interviewing.
- learning fast and asking good questions are the only things employers can really hope for in a graduate engineer, you are doing well
- While they want you to succeed, you are still a distraction to their day to day work also engineers quickly forget what it was like to be a graduate - your senior engineer probably spent all of 30 seconds thinking about what you needed for that project and based the info he gave on what he thought he would need.

Also on imagination, you'll have heard the phrase think outside the box, don't be afraid to throw in some real 'stupid', out there, sci-fi level ideas. If nothing else, you will get a laugh but you would be surprised how many times the wild idea inspires a practical solution. I always think of it like bending steel - you have to bend it past the position you want it in to allow it to spring back.

All sounds very similar to the company I started out in - you have good times ahead of you

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

(OP)
D Sculliion,

What you said about explaining it in 30 seconds based on what he thinks he would need is exactly what im dealing with. I keep a positive attitude and just try to figure him out asap so on the next project I can just deliver it now he wants.

I'm sure training movices like me is annoying. There is another engineer who is much more experienced than me who helps me as much as he can.

Everything we do is fluids based through pipe. So I'm thinking if I do enough projects within a short amount of time I'll be able to tackle new projects with less guidance because they variables I need to look for when designing will be in the back of my head?

One thing I don't like is he expects me to get stuff done but not give me the actual parameters I need. Its up and down in that respect but otherwise great boss and great people.

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

(OP)
Greg Locock

I can't quite look at a new job yet since this is my first gig and I've been told I need to stick with it for at least 2 years.

From doing the technical work right now I can already tell that id much rather be in management then on the technical side of engineering.

Any advice on how I can move into a management position asap or does it require many years of experience in the technical positions first?

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

Dude, this is you over the course of your first three weeks at a job which it sounds like you were lucky to land:

July 28: Just got hired.
July 30: Gonna be humble and work my butt off.
August 4: I locked down the job! (what? I thought they hired you on July 28?)
August 7: I'm slow at the job I just barely started.
August 8: This job is stressful and my coworkers are better/more experienced at it. Should I put more than the bare minimum 8 hours per day in?
August 15: I still don't really know what I'm doing but am ready to give the team ideas on how do to stuff better.
August 16: I'm frustrated that this is not like doing a homework problem for class.
August 16 later in the day: I'm tired of this technical stuff. How do I get into management ASAP?

Wow.

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

(OP)
Terratek,

Its just ups and downs honestly not being sure of what im doing. Yesterday my boss said you fit in well and you show up everyday with a great attitude. On my 4th week now. successful designed one small project that worked they say they imagined it too. I was happy about that.

I hope to keep improving and getting sharper. I never did any practical hands on engineering during school so I'm learning all that now on the job and visualizing those little things when im designing.

management is my ultimate goal after a few years.

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

Terratek made a great summary of probably how most people feel during their first engineering job. It's work, it's hard, it's stressful. Manage your work time and your free time well and you'll succeed. It sounds like you're well on your way.

Don't worry about management; a manager must have spent time in the trenches and must know the work of those they're managing. Don't jump ahead too fast.

Ian Riley, PE, SE
Professional Engineer (ME, NH, MA) Structural Engineer (IL)
American Concrete Industries https://www.facebook.com/AmericanConcrete/

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

(OP)
Could you give a few suggestions on how to manage free and work time properly? Its my first full time job so just wondering how you go about it

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

2
Lots of talk on these forums about managers that are not good engineers...Managers are either rainmakers or experts in their field, but usually a bit of both. The typical manager needs to run his/her team and final review the work. If you want big bonuses, you also need to bring money into the firm, or at least maintain the money streams your firm has already captured. I'd say that unless you're a great salesman, you should definitely hone your technical skills. I became a manager of my department after four years. My department consisted of me. Five years later, I have a team of four engineers, many lab and admin support staff and dotted line responsibility for our QA/QC department. I would not be in my chair if I was not A) extremely lucky to be where I was during rapid economic and company expansion, B) a damn good engineer in many (not all) respects, and C) willing to put in more work than others and be responsible for things that others would care not to be burdened with.

I also never started with anything more than some vague feeling that I would like to advance my career and being somebody's boss seemed like a nice idea. What got me to management was being of service and being bullet proof (as reality allows) reliable for my bosses. It helps that I got/get along with them. Had I been aiming for management rather than being of maximum service in the beginning, I'd have never made it to management.

You barely started your first job. If you don't like the work after some time (only you know how long that will be) you need to focus on finding some other work you like, not being a manager of stuff you don't like.

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

Space213, use your free time (assuming this is down time at work) to build tools to make your work time more efficient: spreadsheets, macros, file structure, short cuts, cheat sheets, etc. When completely slammed with tasks focus your time the most effective work. Effective work can be evaluated by 1. What is making the company the most money, and 2. what makes your boss look good to his boss.

I used to count sand. Now I don't count at all.

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

Most people go through the list that Terratek put together. When you start out, most of the stuff is overwhelming, very detailed oriented, stressful, and you won't be involved in the fun stuff for awhile. You might be a match for this and just don't know it, yet. If you aren't overwhelmed and it is not do to bad training or resources, you are in a job that offers very opportunity for growth.

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If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

Terratek's list is actually a list of quotes from the OP's various posts in this thread. I don't know if most people go through this. It sounds like an emotional roller coaster.

@Space213, try not to judge too quickly. You've been there less than a month. You've started to discover that:
- Work can be boring, detailed and stressful (and much more even) - that's why you get paid for it.
- There's usually no formal training programme and "people expect you to get stuff done without giving you the actual parameters you need" as you wrote.

You're in an organisation that is there to generate money. Training the newbies is not its primary objective unlike engineering school, although obviously it SHOULD be training the newbies. But take responsibility for your own training. Isn't that HR's role? Sure it is but in practice don't depend on HR to babysit you. As an engineer it's largely up to you to get organised.

This is it, this is working in a company. You're not in a hotel. It's much more like a camping site.

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

(OP)
Tomorrow will be my 4th week completed working with the company and today I felt like I was as good as fired. Its been days where i got praise for having designs work but this stuff im working on now lead my boss to chewing me out saying my ideas suck..its hard designing something you have never had experience or even know of so ive been making shit decisions. Ive learned a shit ton but i honestly wouldnt be surprised if they fired me without notice. I dont have the quick witty talent like some engineers do t nor do i ever build things on my spare time like they do so im unaware of a lot when it comes to designing something that can be built. Just a few days ago he said i was a good fit and i keep a great attitude which i do but maybe in a month i can really be upto speed and change things around or ill probably just be replaced who knows..

I am really thankful for the job but being good at the job is tough when they expect you to know things you have no clue on like they do.

I'll keep pressing through and try to crack it to where i am working fast and giving them the creative ideas they want

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

(OP)
Thanks Greg,

Not every day will be a high point so I just embrace the struggle. But that's where I am now currently.

Any suggestions on what I should do or be aware of to keep improving and satisfying my superiors?

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

Personally, feeling like you are about to get fired at this stage in your career is probably a good thing.

It means they are challenging you and giving you real responsibility / projects that actually matter (otherwise they wouldn't care how you performed), and you are rising to the challenge.

Sure, you wont get it right everytime. But they have to expect and accept that. Just don't get it wrong a second time.

Trial by fire doesn't feel good at the time, but I think it is worth it in the long run.

Remember, if they did fire you they would just have to start again with someone fresh and go through the past 4 weeks all over again. It's in their interest to keep it going. Better the devil you know.

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

Quote (Space213)

chewing me out saying my ideas suck

Man I heard that a lot in the beginning of my career. You must be buddhist about that. Don't consider your idea as part of your identity. Don't get depressed. Just improve the thing.

Don't worry about quick witty talent or having to build robots in your spare time. That's not part of the job description. When people say you're a good fit and keep a great attitude, then consider that true and don't worry about what you think you might be reading between the lines.

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

I started a new job a while back with 10 years solid experience under my belt. First task was to design a jig for a large fabrication. The general manager (not even engineering manager - alarm bell 1) had a 'great' idea of how to create a jig, different from the way the company had done it for years - alarm bell 2! I was given the task of designing it with him looking over my shoulder - alarm bell 3. In fairness it wasn't the worst concept and done right was an improvement. The problem was it was very expensive to do right (x5 more than normal) and they stopped making the fabrication shortly after it was completed (was subcontract work).

I should have ran at the start but I did what I was asked, and did a good job, I just should never have been asked to do it. Anyway the general manager put the blame on me, gave me a hard time over it and any time I spoke up on unrelated topics at meetings, he would bring this up and cut me down in front of everyone.

Point of this story - some managers are assholes! and at the very least, every manager has bad days, days when so much s**t hits the fan that you don't have enough energy left to be patient or supportive. If you are sure a about wanting to get into management then working under a bad manager is the best thing to prepare you.

Space213, never take anything personally, dust yourself off and move on, if you screw up - show that you learned the lesson for the next time.

I have come across some pretty awful graduates but have never known a graduate engineer to be fired. you are already too much of an investment to throw away.

By the way the General Manager in my story was fired 5 months later, I worked on in that company for another 3 years after promotion to engineering manager

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

I concur with much of what's been said above. If you're uncomfortable then you're in the right position. Every new role should bring about a fairly steep learning curve requiring several years to really master, otherwise you're stagnating in a role that probably doesn't need an engineer. Take any/all available training relevant to the role, keep an eye on others' bookshelves for interesting related reading, and always ask why things work the way they do. Don't be afraid to ask "dumb" questions or "think" out-loud to colleagues to check logic. Many times when given a challenge I review basic part or system function out-loud to a colleague to help prioritize various details, and often it leads to new ideas and improvements. Regarding work/life balance, set some basic goals to be THE guy on XYZ but also set some basic ground rules. Personally I'll work 50+/week to fit in extra training and self-improvement but unless the boss asks for weekends that's my home-boss' (wife's) time for me and the weekly schedule is adjusted accordingly.

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

(OP)
D Scullion,

I appreciate you sharing your past that sounds even more harsh than what im going through. We have great culture here and I honestly am very lucky to work with the people I do, its just I wish things were explained a bit more from a basic standpoint then id really have direction as opposed to trying to figure it out myself and stressing. but either way things wont be done my way and the engineers have much to worry about on their plate. My manager is awesome in the sense he doesen't hold a grudge. just lets out what he says at the moment and moves on.

I had a side question I started my MBA and my boss was going to the CEO and telling him all about it. I am not sure what they are thinking of me getting my MBA as well as working for them. It sounds like they are impressed but at the same time not sure? Could you suggest what their thoughts may be?

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

Space213 I think it is telling that this conversation thread which flowed well for over a month came to a grinding halt on the mention of MBA.

I have feeling you may not fully appreciate what I am about to say but here goes: On a management focused career pathway, you can either get into 'management' (the theory) or you can become a manager (skill set), rarely both (In my experience). In your scenario, an MBA is the route to get into 'management', hard earned experience in a small business is the route to becoming a manager.

If I was your boss in that small company I would see your interest in an MBA as a sign that this company is just a stepping stone for you and I would lose interest in you. Small businesses want to grow reliable long term employees. From what you have said so far, I suspect this is the case.

It is important to have career goals and work towards them but it is also important to be flexible, take each day as it comes and weigh up each opportunity on its own merits. My career today is not even close to what my career goals were when I started out and I am very happy about that.

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

(OP)
My company so has been praising and respecting the fact that I am going for my MBA and is constantly asking me to share ideas that I learn in class to them. I have ran my family owned business as well.

When I got hired they even said We can give you experience here for a few yeas then you can go off onto your own endeavors. We all support each others side ventures here. Its really a great place to work. I just think more like a CEO than I do technically. I still enjoy what I do, I like to coordinate and work with vendors more.

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

Quote:

Could you suggest what their thoughts may be?

You asked the question . . it sounds like you already have your answer.

The company sounds like a good fit for you, I hope it all goes well.

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

Doesn't anybody want to spend time in the trenches and actually do the hard work, put in the time to really learn the ropes and develop expertise. Everybody wants to be in management.
A little over a month ago we were encouraging the under confident OP to take the chance on his first real job as an ME and talking about issues on CAD.
Now the OP is working on getting into management ' thinking like a CEO, and is willing to give the company advice because he is doing an MBA.
Its all well an good to have career plans but you have to be realistic here. You really need to learn the business you are currently in. MBAs are all well and good but it will all make a lot more sense if you have some serious experience under your belt.

Regards
Ashtree
"Any water can be made potable if you filter it through enough money"

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

2
“At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since.”
― Salvador Dali

I don't see how anyone would prefer sorting out conflicting vacation requests and other "management activities" over using their engineering brains on something nice and technical, but that's just me :)

I'm no longer counting all the engineers I saw being promoted to management level, and after a few months turn into micromanagers because their team members' jobs are much more interesting and rewarding than their own. Which leaves the vacation request procedure totally out of control.

RE: Anxious about my Entry Level job I just got hired for

It is no accident that Management is called the " Dark Side.". As someone who has done both , you have to choose , Do you want to problem solve and make nice things, or do you want to be a referee ?
B.E.

You are judged not by what you know, but by what you can do.

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