Discussion Thread

  • 1.  Time for a Change?

    Posted 24 days ago
    Every now and then, I'm willing to bet that many of us find ourselves taking a step back from our daily tasks to try to reflect on some bigger picture thoughts about our careers. We might think about the duration of time we have been employed in our current positions, or about the type of work that we do. We might fixate briefly on the things we dislike about our current role, and then consider the parts we are okay with. But what happens next? Do we decide that "the grass is always greener" and continue in our current role, or do we make a change?

    I am hoping to learn from others who have changed careers (or made other changes)  throughout their lives. Was there a single major event which made you decide it was time for something new? Did the feeling grow persistently over time instead? Did a new opportunity drop right in front of you that you knew you had to go after?

    How did you know it was time for a change?

    Christopher Seigel P.E., M.ASCE
    Civil Engineer

  • 2.  RE: Time for a Change?

    Posted 23 days ago

    My early-in-my-career "big picture" story --

    During the late 1960s I was struggling to decide if I should continue engineering graduate studies.  I was troubled by a conversation I had with my grandmother when I was 27 years old and still in school. She and I had a great relationship, beginning in my childhood. She was a hard-working, kind, and classy lady whose formal education ended with the fifth grade.

    During a visit with her, she asked me what I was doing, and I said I was at the university studying engineering. Her abrupt response, clearly remembered fifty years later: "Stuart, you are 27 years old and don't have a job. What a shame."

    That hurt. Was I studying to avoid work or to prepare for it?

    At that time, by a great coincidence, I stumbled across engineering professor Hardy Cross' 1952 book Engineers and Ivory Towers. I read many
    insightful thoughts such as, paraphased, "an engineer cannot know a little about everything until he/she first learns much about one thing" and "thoroughly explore a topic, find out what has been done, what should be done, what can be done." 

    Cross's book helped me realize that I enjoyed being a student, in the broad sense of the word. I wanted to be a perpetual student, which meant I better find employment situations in which I could be a "student." I did-in academia, government, and business. Cross put me on a student-for-life-track, and I never got off.

    Stuart G. Walesh, PhD, PE
    [email protected]

    Stu Walesh PhD, PE
    Consultant - Teacher - Author

  • 3.  RE: Time for a Change?

    Posted 16 days ago
    Seek new opportunities with your current employer. If you find yourself still restless, start looking, even if you end up staying. Then you may have fewer questions about what-ifs.

    Keep your resume current. It'll remind you of your victories and what you enjoy.

    Tsee Lee, A.M.ASCE
    General Services Administration
    New York, NY