Discussion Thread

  • 1.  How has moving shaped your career path?

    Posted 03-25-2019 12:45 PM
    ​Even with today's ability to work remotely, the types of projects that engineers work on may be greatly influenced by physical location in my experience.  Location is something that graduating seniors should consider in search of their first engineering position.  How has moving to a different region of the United States (or moving internationally) shaped your career path?

    Jameelah Ingram, P.E., M.ASCE
    Washington, D.C.

  • 2.  RE: How has moving shaped your career path?

    Posted 03-26-2019 02:00 PM

    Moving locations can have great impacts on your career. My first relocation involved both a country and a career change  Moving from one country to another or even to another region within the same country will expose you to a new culture and environment. This automatically makes you change some of the things you and adapt to a new lifestyle. When you adapt, you grow, become more mature and socially diverse. On the other hand, a change in career can give you more exposure to the industry and opportunities to create new bonds with other professionals. Also, I think working remotely should not be abused,, as having in-person contact with your co-workers can have significant social and professional benefits.  

    For anyone starting a career or considering a relocation, I would definitely recommend embracing that change. After relocating 4 times, from my experience, only good things came out of relocating. A lot of new doors are open every time you move to a new location, and even if things don't turn out well, you still had the opportunity to experience something new. Before relocating though, make sure to do the proper research and choose the place that is best aligned with your long term career/personal goals. If you don't have such a goal yet, at least aim for a change that you know will be valuable in the future and for whatever next step you will take.


    Hope this is helpful for the community.


    Salvador Bentolila P.E.,ENV SP
    New York NY

  • 3.  RE: How has moving shaped your career path?

    Posted 03-27-2019 01:59 PM
    I relocated across the country (USA) for my first job.  I was reluctant to move (but graduated during a mini-recession when people were getting lots of interviews and callbacks that said "thanks for coming for the interview, we've decided not to hire anyone at this time"). In retrospect, relocating was the best career move I could have made. I would not have been able to get a job that gave me half as much experience as quickly if I had stayed local. I've had more exposure to more diverse types of people, projects, and systems because of that relocation, and I would definitely not be where I am today without it.

    The perspective of having lived and worked in various locations is invaluable. Some of the biggest innovations in places I've worked started with someone coming in from another firm or a different area of the country and bringing that new perspective.

    For a quick example,  I did a number of tilt-up concrete buildings when I worked in the south. That project type is uncommon in central PA (where I live now), but when we had a mid-western-based contractor come into our area who wanted to build that type of building in a design-build project, guess who was the only person in the office with experience in that project type and stepped into the role of project manager because of it?  In my area of the country, this building type is considered "innovative", while in the south it's old hat.

    I also think do you have to consider your career ambitions......if you want to become an expert in seismic design and already live in California, I wouldn't relocate to Texas to start your career. But, maybe you live in a small town in CA and can relocate to a larger (or even different) city.

    Stephanie Slocum P.E.
    Engineers Rising LLC

  • 4.  RE: How has moving shaped your career path?

    Posted 07-31-2019 09:26 PM
    I have changed jobs several times in my long career- mostly because companies change quicker than people. This may be because of losing a good boss, a change in management, a buyout or merger, etc. Regardless of your current misery, don't move on until you have the new job secured. You should be realistic in the knowledge that not all of these jobs may turn out well and may be worse than the one you left.

    This certainly happened to me- especially when I was once hired by Dr. Jeckyll and later encountered Mr. Hyde. Another situation was when the boss called me and said I was hired and told me a person that I would be closely working with said "bring him on". That same person and I, during the first week on the job- at a site visit out of state, started screaming at me and was deeply concerned that I was there to hinder his getting promoting- which was hardly the case. The job lasted nine years and I only left when the owner, who supported our group, died and the office politics began.

    James Worrell
    Mostly Retired
    PE, RLS (retired)
    Raleigh NC
    [email protected]