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Career Guidance after 4 years

Career Guidance after 4 years

Career Guidance after 4 years

(OP)
Hello,

I have been working in industry for 4 years, 3 at my current job and I feel like I do not have any ability to move up from entry level even though I only ever got positive feedback about my work quality and pace of work. I studied in a solid mechanics track for my masters degree and I currently work in a design role. Maybe I am a bit impatient because I am older relative to others with my experience. I have been thinking about finding a new job but I get somewhat discouraged when I read job postings.

Things I like doing: Analysis (methods by hand or FEA), structural design, physical testing (although I have never seen any of my work make it this far). I have interest, but little experience, in working with material property testing and alternate constitutive models.

Where does someone with these interests end up? Thanks in advance for any input.

RE: Career Guidance after 4 years

You have to decide what "move up" means to you! Does it mean organizational responsibilities, project management, specialists role? Then you have to realize that in _most_ organizations your immediate manager wants you to stay where you are (unless he doesn't winky smile ). So once you know your direction you will have to look for your opportunity. My personal experience is that it will lie outside your current company - but that may also be because i'm not that confrontational...

Best of luck, Morten

--- Best regards, Morten Andersen

RE: Career Guidance after 4 years

The thing that separates "analysts" from "FEA users" is engineering knowledge, especially material properties and failure modes.

RE: Career Guidance after 4 years

(OP)
Thanks for the replies. I am certainly aware that engineering knowledge is a key driver to creating a model, thats part of the reason I studied solid mechanics in grad school. I suppose I am more interested in becoming a specialist and not really interested in becoming a project manager for example. I spoke to my supervisor who suggested that I make a 'lateral' move to another project, which ofcourse means that my salary remains unchanged... even though I do equal work to others at higher pay grades.

RE: Career Guidance after 4 years

How are you with composite materials? Your background and interests align with that field, particularly in aerospace. Perhaps try an R&D role working on new material systems, or in methods/allowables development.

RE: Career Guidance after 4 years

(OP)
I have taken some coursework and done some independent work in randomly oriented inclusions to lamina, so I am familiar with concepts and manipulations but composites are a topic that seem that they require lots of experience in. I would certainly consider aerospace or R&D but I have not seen many job postings that touch on that. I have been warned by a coworker who was a Lockheed employee that his work load was grueling. That worries me a bit.

RE: Career Guidance after 4 years

From your second reply, it appears that you have the opportunity within your company to find work that interest/challenges you via the lateral move you mentioned. This makes it sound like your frustration is more related to salary hence your comment about "equal work to other at higher pay grades". If this is correct, my experience is that the quickest way to move on the pay scale is to change companies. Often companies limit yearly raises and promotion related pay increases so changing companies may be the way to overcome this stagnation but obviously there are drawbacks to this.

RE: Career Guidance after 4 years

(OP)
Hi Greg, Yes I have presented a poster session at a conference once, I also volunteered as session chair. A small accomplishment in some respects, but I am attempting to participate in professional circles.

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