Post # 1
Just needing some advice really. Currently im in a (UK) graduate job as a environmental engineer. I applied as part time admin girl and they offered me full time graduate engineer with admin duties due to my CV showing promise. My company is tinyyy (11 people!) and we work insanely hard. Moneys pretty tight as construction struggles with depressions. They gave me a tiny payrise (just me out of whole company) as a ‘show of how much we appreciate how hard you work and its not gone unnoticed’ but my pay is ‘trapped’ by being admin girl… so they offered to drop the admin and become a full engineer… and train up and even offered in the future to get me a Masters and pay for it! Brilliant! I thought….
I am extremely extremely grateful for all these opportunities, especially in this climate, and im really proud of the promise I have shown them. I really like my job, its blooming hard work but i like it, and its in my chosen sector and I have a lot of prospects with thier support.
Now im 23, this is my second ever ‘grown up’ job after a short contract with the last one. So I have fallen on my feet. Unfortunately I am finding that I spend my life at work, or thinking about work, or worrying… and I never wanted to do a masters – I have the grades but i really dont want to do one. Im done. I worked hard for my education but im done now. I thought. I slightly feel like im being pushed down a path that whilst is great prospect/pay wise… i havent had a chance to experience life/jobs. Its a male orientated industry – only girl in office, and youngest person. I feel like i have no real friend prospects. My career will be dependant on the masters degree so thats a tonne of pressue. I will be onsite alot – and i like being office based. We are supposed to work 9-5:30 with a break but i have always worked through lunch hour and to 6:30 (with no over time). Thats typical.. and slightly expected – we all do it. I get that small company syndrome but i want to work to life, not live to work.
I just feel forced down a path I havent had the chance to explore and because the opportunities are there on a plate I have no choice but to follow it. I plan on having a family soon’ish and have no desire to work beyong 9-5. I would like to have office mates, and no ridiculous work pressures, and no masters. I want to be able to plan my workwear around heels not rigger boots! And I want to have a job I can leave at work…
I am being stupid to even think anything but YAY about this offer and I of course accepted it but I am so worried for my future. They are only offering the masters if a commit to several years at the company after… and thats AFTER i have trained enough to get the MA, and do then spend a year doing it.
Grass is greener eh?
Post # 4
If you never wanted to do a masters this probably isn’t the job for you. I would keep the job you have, not start a masters program yet, and start looking for another job (it’s always easier to get a new job when you’re already employed). You’re young enough that you can still basically start over if you absolutely had to, without taking a hit to your career. Embrace that!
Post # 5
If this is not what you want to do, then you will not be happy doing it. You might eventually burn out because you will not be able to keep up the illusion. There many different type of Engineering jobs out there that could very well keep you in the office but may be not off the road, though. Sales, project management, support, government.. possibilities are endless and you could shape your career according to where you would like to go.
I would be honest with yourself and if you don’t want to do the Masters delay it. You don’t have to tell them anything about your plans. Get as much experience as you can and keep looking for jobs in the meantime. It’s tough for young Engineers and you might have to bounce around a bit in the beginning until you find the right fit. Some people just stick around with one place so they can get their 5 years experience to be in the intermediate bracket instead of junior. I personally don’t think it is the best way because you could be locking yourself down on the wrong path. It is better to change jobs a lot in the beginning until you find the right one where you can grow.
Post # 6
I think your best course of action right now is to try to talk to as many people in different lines of work as you can. Your alumni network might be able to set you up with contacts who will be happy to tell you what it’s like, how they got there, pros and cons of their professions. That way you can get a more realistic sense of what opportunities are out there and how well you would like them.
It also sounds like part of hte problem is that you’re a little lonely. Maybe you can try doing things on weekends? Volunteering, finding clubs, sports, or other activities that would let you meet other people?
Post # 7
I just hate thinking about my job 24/7 (I discussed work I should of been doing ON HONEYMOON!!). I often take work home (no O/T pay) to catch up because workloads too much for one person and all the ‘favours’ I have to do during the day, and the phone calls. Just drowning but we’re such a small company that there’s no one to take the slack.
I worry I’d be throwing away brilliant opportunities and the faith they have in me is great (tad unfounded I feel!). I have a Geography degree rather than geology or geotechnics so I am already slightly ‘out the employment pool’, and im so lucky for these opportunities.
On the other hand, the pay is appalling for the work I do, its forcing me down a path before I have my bearings, I very much doubt it will be viable when I have a family. I would like to go P/T or do some work from home once I have kids and this wont work for here as reports are due on deadlines and I would lose days by being home.
I think i’d be seen ‘wasted opportunity’ if I gave up great opportunities (poor pay) to do a retail normal job where I would earn more, fit with family lifestyle, I could leave AT WORK, and would give me friends…. but no real career prospects.
I’m really struggling with this workload. Its truely killing me. I am not the person they want me to be and im struggling to live up to everyones expectations without spending my waking life working or thinking about my job.