Wish more of the legacy outie crowd was still around to offer insight on this one.
I've been in the engineering industry and recently switched to web development and have been doing it for a year or so now. Don't get me wrong, I love it, and the technology I get to work with is fascinating to me. But the shear amount of long hours, stress, and non-deterministic results and expectations is what's been hitting me hard lately.
What I really enjoy doing at work is person to person interaction. I also really like writing. I'm currently looking for alternative career to do less technical work but still bridge off of my technical experience. So far, I've looked up possible careers in technical writing, business analyst and operations management, but none really pay that well (unless you're a contractor) and the learning curve for Operations management seems pretty steep.
Maybe project management might be ideal, and I have some experience in leadership roles and have been with a lot of companies to know what works and what doesn't.
Pk, i hear you...i have similar experience, started off working the IT Helpdesk, and moving up to more technical roles, and now a System Engineer. I
miss the people to people interaction as well. seems like talking to people less money, but more enjoyable....more money, more technical, less people
to talk to. My daily routine is coming in checking in on servers, nas, telephone lines, and anything that stopped working over the evening while I
was off...looking after the entire infrastructure basically.
To me Project Management is probably the best of both worlds. Lots of talking in the beginning to scope out the project objectives, and than using your mad tech skills, and giving them something that meets their needs.
For me, I don't really care anymore, just give me the money, and give me a life to spend it....I mean whats the purpose of making mad cash, and doing long hours....if you dont have the time to spend it.
Tough break man. I started off doing dev for Ryerson as a student (so yea..nothing hardcore there), then got a job developing web stuff with a market
research company, so I was pissed as hell with the effort : pay ratio.
I'm now a contractor working with a bank (granted, I'm the cheapest contractor there because I lack any real banking knowledge) doing deployments now. I can't say I'm uber happy now, because I really miss coding.
Don't get me wrong, my pay almost doubled now, and because benefits aren't as big a deal at our age now (I'm assuming you're between 25-35), but let's be honest...spending my days doing deployment work and integration testing for a new software from a vendor that is more snarky than helpful isn't great. Also, working with a team of people whose brilliance is proportional to their arrogance, and sometimes even proportional to their poor luck in gambling, I can't help but say it hasn't gotten better. Of course their "gambling" is limited to gambling on the fact that the next software release from the vendor is going to solve problems.
Maybe you'll have better luck, maybe a better project to work on? Who knows? I'm just a guy on the internet who posts on a dead forum. Let's hope you'll fare better.
Which area are you in?
I was similar to you, started as mechanical engineer working for a software company, but I'm getting tire of the corporate world... There's no real joy in working for the numbers...
I've started a part time business in the in the finance industry educating families about basic finance and help them plan, there's a lot of work to do and we are looking to expand the distribution. If you are interested msg me.
I think all engineers go through the same thing. Technical work is so difficult. There's a glut of 20-somethings who are willing to be paid less
for the same work. When you get a mortgage and everything else, no amount of money is really enough. The work gets really dry and dull.
I would suggest a career trajectory that involves moving out technical work and into software/engineering project management. While working, save, invest, get married, pop out a few kids, and take long vacations so that the monotony of engineering is broken once in a while.
I saw such dilemma coming when I was studying physics and computer science as my undergraduate degree and began transitioning out of it immediately
after. It took me 8 years with much more schooling before I settled down with a career in law. During that time I explored some interesting
alternatives with decent pay that value people with technical backgrounds.
Hopefully the following can help you get the ball rolling:
Management consulting - Accenture (very IT driven), BCG, Bain etc...
Investment banks (trading / IT support) - JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs etc.
If you like the idea of relocating every 2-5 years and doing new roles for the rest is your career, HSBC International Management. This is their prized elite global programme which their CEO for each country comes from.
If you have the cash and 2 years of time in your stage in life.... Do a MBA at a proper well known university with a great alumni network. That would open up even much more opportunities.
I agree with ShogunGT. Do the cert. It will only open up more doors.
Regarding about getting in management consulting, start off with looking up the companies I mentioned above and apply. They give you all the technical training necessary once you're in. I even know someone with a history degree that got in Accenture. The interview process is more about seeing your critical thinking and problem solving (e.g. How many tennis balls can you fit in a Boeing 777? What is the angle in degrees between the clock hands at 3:15? How many pay phones are there in London?).