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NEW JOB ANALYSIS

NEW JOB ANALYSIS

NEW JOB ANALYSIS

(OP)
QUESTION:

Should I look for a new job

PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND:
-education: BSME
-current job: Systems Design Engineer
-previous jobs: test engineer (same company)

DESCRIPTION OF CURRENT COMPANY:
-Turnkey contract manufacturer that specializes in PCBA, cable, and box build products
-specializes in low volume high mix production
-fast pace work environment that is constantly changing

DESCRIPTION OF CURRENT POSITION:
-%50 of workload is contract design projects (mostly for fixtures, but for some product design as well)
-other %50 is test engineering(fixture maintenance and writing procedures)

PROFESSIONAL INTERESTS INCLUDE:
-mechatronics
-control systems
-FEA
-mechanics of materials
-heat transfer (specifically electronics cooling)
-analog and digital electronics design (know a little and hungry to keep learning more)
-board layout (novice level but want to know just enough to be dangerous)
-mechanical design
-embedded design (novice level, but want to learn enough to be dangerous)
-prototyping (3D printing in particular)

THEORETICAL IDEAL JOB:
-approachable boss that values continued learning and growth
-decent PTO and work life balance
-enjoyable and reliable coworkers
-opportunities for electrical and mechanical design
-R&D laboratory space
-Prototyping capabilities
-ability to specialize in a particular product or technology while still being able to do a variety of engineering disciplines (mechanical, electrical, some software)
-slower pace than contract manufacturing, but more intellectually challenging while working in multiple engineering disciplines

CURRENT JOB TRADE OFF ANALYSIS

Pros of current job:
-approachable boss that supports learning and continuous growth
-coworkers are (mostly) enjoyable and reliable
-boss is flexible with schedules
-get paid well and have had continuously good performance reviews
-have been slowing moving up
In seniority due to new engineers being hired on

Cons of current job:
-company constantly has design engineers put off their day job to do production work that can be done by any entry level technician or assembler in order to overcome shortage of floor workers and meet monthly sales goals
-no in house prototyping capabilities
-management does not care about engineering design projects unless they are relating to getting product out the door.
-test engineering work is mindless and can be done by a high level tech (does not require an engineering degree)
-engineer does not have a lab for engineering development work.
-commute is over an hour

RISK ANALYSIS:
-could end up with a bad boss.
-could end up in a bad work environment (been there before and it is definitely not pleasant)
-could end up in a position with little room for advancement
-could end up in a position with an OEM where I am locked down into doing only one thing all day every day with little variety.

QUESTIONS:
-are my expectations realistic for a new job?
-is the job I have right now bad enough to consider leaving?
-what type of company/position should I look for in order to pursue my interests

CONCLUSIONS:
TBD

Please provide opinions on analysis

Thank you

RE: NEW JOB ANALYSIS

You really can’t do a valid trade without a specific alternate option. Sounds like you should at least look around for opportunities.

RE: NEW JOB ANALYSIS

(OP)
Thank you for your input.

I will look for other opportunities.

RE: NEW JOB ANALYSIS

Quote:

could end up in a position with an OEM where I am locked down into doing only one thing all day every day with little variety

To each their own preference but there can be quite a few advantages to large companies. Large companies obviously have more staff, job diversity, process, and assets otherwise. You might become pigeonholed for 2-3 years at a time but then you could jump into a vastly different role at a different facility or location. In the meantime you'll have seemingly unlimited opportunities for personal development bc they tend to buy unlimited seats of software, training, and access to technical libraries. You'll also be learning your pigeonholed niche and others related to the deepest level, becoming a SME with real experience rather than a jack-of-all-trades who poorly designed something once years ago. Like it or not, but you'll also learn/follow the modern engineering and business processes that smaller companies usually lack, good to know if nothing else.

Unlike small companies that usually need to stay 100% product/sales-focused, large ones also tend to have dedicated research teams whose work-product isn't a salable widget but rather a research paper benchmarking the performance capabilities, cost, production challenges, etc of a wide variety of new technologies so product development teams can quickly/easily determine if they're worth pursuing. That's where the real challenge and fun lies in engineering IMHO. I'd go so far as to say that every engineer should spend a few years in research, and it should be a non-excusable prerequisite for licensing.

RE: NEW JOB ANALYSIS

(OP)
CWB1

Thank you again for your response (and again for your response to my question on the other thread.

My current company is not small, but since it is high mix and low volume contract work, the company seems to have the volatility that a smaller company would. I have had a great exposure to multiple technologies and industries, however like you said, I have become a jack of all trades and a master of none. I never really get to dive into the product research and development as it sounds like I would with an OEM.

I am currently in the beginning stages of interviewing a company called Aerotech. They specialize in precision positioning systems and motion control. They are a large manufacturing company, and engineering seems to play a central role in their company. I applied for a mechanical engineering R&D position, however they also have electrical, and software engineering departments as well. They do a lot with mechatronics and controls, which is a big plus for me and I feel like I could learn a lot there.

As you said, perhaps it is time for me to get pigeon holed for a little while and focus on becoming a SME.

The commute also is only 15 minutes rather than 1 hour, so that is another huge plus. :D

RE: NEW JOB ANALYSIS

Seems to me that much depends on what "constantly" really means; is that once a week, once a month, or longer?

Certainly, if the former, then the responses to your other thread already hold sway. If your company can't seem to maintain personnel levels from week to week, that would suggest massive problems in management, and employee motivation, both of which would seemingly be detrimenttal to your own job, and job performance

TTFN (ta ta for now)
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