Where do I go from my current job?
Where do I go from my current job?
I was the first hire into a new department after my boss. We are meant to standardise electrical engineering maintenance across the company, then centralise it. I work for a big company with 15,000 employees but everything is on one site where each building does everything its own way, with its own designers, maintainers, and engineers.
I think I am ready for a new job but I am not sure I have done a lot of "proper" engineering and have really spent the last 3 years doing pretty much everything else. My boss got my promotion in post approved recently but mention the rest of the committee thought "I hadn't delivered anything".
I am anxious that I lack the "experience" to move into a more senior engineering role, but if that is the case then I am not sure what else I should be doing.
Examples of stuff I have done includes:
- Develop a standardised maintenance regime for common bits of kit, then started to persuade plants to adopt it. About 1/3 currently do.
- Built a companywide picture of the condition of safety and process critical electrical assets, then used it to shame people into fixing things. One example is 48% of backup power supplies would not work. Nobody knew this before. 3 years later only 20% will not work!
- I built a big Excel database of our backup power supplies which I update by interviewing plant engineers every 3 months, I then produce a "dashboard" with pie charts of shame
- I spot patterns and trends nobody else does by getting plant engineers to talk to me and keeping a companywide perspective. For instance, I found out our designers keep forgetting to adjust protection to suit more efficient motors, and basically none of our fitters know how to align a transmission belt. I found people were quietly turning up motor protection settings without making a record of it when motors became faulty instead of reporting it.
- I write PowerShell scripts to analyse data from our CMMS because the data quality on there is rubbish. I just download it as a spreadsheet and write my own queries.
- I do whole lifecycle costing which nobody else does. I used this to build business cases for stuff like regenerative load banks and replacing 1000+ motor transmission belts with VSDs.
- I help my boss set our annual and long-term strategy. I usually write the strategy for the year and he stamps his name on it.
- Designed the site power factor correction when we shut our power plant off and start importing from the grid next year.
- Argue with and persuade people a lot. Nobody *has* to tell me anything or follow my advice; a lot of engineers try to hide things so I either have to work to gain their trust, or sometimes when I'm annoyed I just call bullshit and wait for them to break or prove me wrong.
- Found a 20-year-old UPS running at 100C with leaking capacitors, argued with the plant engineer that it was unsafe, eventually gave up and mailed the safety people who agreed with me.
- Noticed that a big company refused to visit, which kept stalling various projects that did not talk to each other. Got in touch with an important person in the projects department who changed future to not involve that company.
I have done more, but how much of it is worth mentioning idk. I am not even sure if what I have mentioned is worth mentioning!
I usually think about technical problems but to get anything done I have to go through a lot of people. My boss is good because he coaches me through the internal politics. I could probably learn a lot more in my current role, although I am afraid it is mostly just company knowledge.
I complained to my boss about not doing much "real" engineering a year ago. He sent me on switching courses for UPSes, LV and HV switchgear, but because we are not responsible for any plants, I am just sitting on the qualifications with no real route to becoming an "Appointed Person" in charge of switching.