Tag Archives: jobs

I started work straight from school with only a handful of good grades and no idea how my life would pan out. Twenty-three years later, I’ve gone though 13 jobs and been made redundant 6 times. The electronics industry in the UK has not been good to me. So in this blog, I want to tell you about the ups and downs I have been through and talk about whether I would recommend the industry to others. I started my career as little more than a spark in a bottling hall. This was a great opportunity for me as I had an apprenticeship that got me though two years of college and on my way to being an EE. Apprenticeships are in short supply now, and its a real shame as these are a vital stepping stone for many leaving school who, like me, cannot pay their way though university.…

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The theme this week at Engineer Blogs has been networking and if you haven’t had a bunch of engineers give you advice on communication and socializing than you just haven’t lived. I thought I’d chime in with my own, as usual cynical opinion. My first job (beyond paper delivery) was a part time position while I was a full time student. I was looking for a nice easy office job and hoping to avoid having to go into retail or the fast food industry. My sister had worked a data entry position several years before and she offered to email her old boss (who had liked her very much) and see if she was looking for anyone. Turns out she wasn’t, but she knew someone in another department who was. And so became my first job. Every time they hired someone there they asked us if we knew anyone first…

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Getting laid off. This was what happened to me more than a half dozen years ago now. I was the first one to be let go from a start-up that was starting to show cracks in its hull. It wasn’t a surprise. I didn’t get along with most of my colleagues. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to get along with the rest of the team; rather, a clique had formed before I arrived and they had apparently decided that I wasn’t to be part of it. In the two years that I was there, the only person that I got along with was with the wife of a colleague from a previous job and another outcast that wasn’t part of the clique. Unfortunately for me, the outcast left voluntarily a year before I was let go. When the kraft envelope was gently pushed across the cafeteria table by my…

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Back when Engineer Blogs was still just a young and innocent babe, waiting for loving hands to write upon its empty pages of life that still lay before it, I put down a few words regarding Transistor Interview Questions. A gracious reader named Phil was kind enough to pen his thoughts in the comment section, even going so far, and humbled am I that he did, to ask for advice not only regarding interviewing tips, but also, I presume, an open-ended general appeal of counsel for, as he describes himself, “an aspiring analog designer”. I promised Phil that I shall in a future time write another post responding to his entreaties; that time has come. Let me tackle the first of the two inquiries — interviewing tips — not because it is easy, but because it is hard, thus necessarily bounding the size of this post with my limited wisdom.…

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…or is it? Back when I was in university, when I was naive and skinny, when fresh hopes and dreams still sprouted from my fountain of cluelessness, when nubile bodies walked the same halls, I was unfortunate enough to have signed on to electrical engineering where the ratio of nubile bodies to geeky guys was 0.017 (not a made up number). It was also a time when the high tech industry was riding a humongous crest upwards. The first web browser was just released. Everyone was talking about media convergence and the new brave digital world. Upon graduation, my classmates went left and right into digital design. For me, I enrolled in a masters program researching … analog design. My sanity was questioned by family. My friends wondered if I will be one of those taxi-driving master degree engineers not unlike the fate of so many new immigrants. Many moons…

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Time to look at the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook for engineers in 2010. The Occupational Outlook Handbook usually does a decent job at giving a very brief overview of a position, the number of people employed in the field, and an extremely rough estimate for median wages. They do statistics by metropolitan area as well which made it really unique and useful before salary websites started cropping up everywhere. One thing I don’t like is how the BLS decides to split up different engineering occupations. For instance, there’s aerospace engineer but no automotive engineer. Would someone who changed fields into aerospace consider themselves still a mechanical engineer? How about someone whose field was chemical engineering but got a job in the oil industry as a petroleum engineer? I just think there’s too much overlap in their categories which could make these numbers a little unreliable. But what’s…

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