Sunday, March 02, 2008

Job Status

This last week has been a wild one for me. Along with the two tests that I had I got a job offer from my current job. I guess I should rewind even a bit farther to explain myself. A couple of weeks ago I interviewed with Spectrum Engineers. They are an engineering firm here in downtown Salt Lake City that specializes in the electrical system design for large building projects. They are set up a lot like a law firm and once you get your PE (professional engineering license - which you can't get before being in industry for 5-7 years) then you can become a partner in the business. They pay extremely well (they've told me numerous times that nobody has ever left over money - they've even got engineers making up into the $300,000s, but of course they are workaholics). I think that their average salaries for PEs are in the low to upper 100s. In short, the way that I see it right now I have 4 options with where to work.

1. The first option is with Rocky Mountain Power. Like I mentioned, they gave me an incredibly generous offer earlier this week. The offer is for a field engineering position in the Salt Lake City Metro - the job that I would probably most enjoy doing there. They have an incentive (i.e. bonus) plan that pays up to 12% a year, I would get a car and work in an office with guys whom I get along with extremely well. The problem is, power engineering is nothing like the other three types of jobs I am considering (If you want to know what my offer was, just ask. I've got no shame and don't really care if others know what I'm making - as long as that information isn't used directly as a bargaining chip. Just know that if you ask me what I'm making, then I'll probably ask you!).

2. The next option is with Spectrum Engineering. As I mentioned above, I interviewed with them a couple of weeks ago - and I was actually offered an internship - that I ultimately accepted. This internship only lasts through the end of the school year - but obviously I'll have the opportunity to sign on with them once school ends if I so desire. I don't see accepting this internship as turning down the power company in any way. It's a chance to try something else and see if I like it. Working for the power company or Spectrum Engineering mainly requires on the job training - none of this stuff is taught at the U (they don't have a power engineering program (or even a class); the closest ones are Idaho State University or New Mexico State University). The stuff that Spectrum Engineering does as well is also quite unique for EEs. Very few EEs go onto being professional engineers because it is required in so few jobs.

3. The next type of job that I have been pursuing (although not as actively as I could be) is with defense contractors. These companies (such as L3, Raytheon, Northrup Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, etc.) have stable, interesting jobs and pay very well. They would give me the opportunity to easily work all throughout the United States because they are all located in the majority of the 50 states and some have divisions in all 50. I've also had a couple of interviews with Hill Air Force Base. This wouldn't be my dream job, but they do a lot of really cool stuff up there. I would not sign on making nearly as much at the other jobs but the opportunity for speedy advancement is available. They would offer me a 25% signing bonus and write off up to $20,000 of student loans (I don't have nearly that much, so I would have them pay off my credit card - and then go buy a $10,000 plasma tv...).

4. The last type of job that I am most seriously considering (I once again haven't been too actively seeking) is with semiconductor design and/or manufacturing companies. These are jobs that I am most qualified for because of my schoolwork. I have designed numerous chips, had a couple of semesters of lab in the University's microfab cleanroom and feel very comfortable with this type of work. My adviser has been trying to recruit me for a couple of these companies. This is the type of work that I feel most passionate about - but I haven't had the chance to do any of the jobs mentioned above.

As you can tell, I've got a lot going through my head. All throughout the day I'll decide to seriously commit to any one of the mentioned areas but I'm all over the place throughout the day (and Rocky Mountain Power wants to know by the end of the week - they may have to wait). I feel a little bit of extra pressure with these decisions because they are difficult industries to move between. Moving from the power company to a fab engineer at IMFlash (flash RAM semiconductor company) would be very difficult because there are almost no similarities between the two types of work - and the same goes for Spectrum Engineering and the defense contractors. Anyone that made it through this long post deserves to be commended - but instead why don't you just share with me your thoughts?


Jason, Hollie, and Brianna Whinham said...

That certainly is a conundrum. It seems like you really need to pick you career by the end of the week. I would try to identify the path that you would find most enjoyable in the long run. What gets you excited to wake up in the morning? I think we all know that no amount of money can make up for doing a job we don't really enjoy. However if you can find a job that you love and you're getting paid, well that's just gravy!

McKell said...

Wow I wish I had something to contribute! Your life is far too complex for me. Being a simple house wife my biggest decision is what I'm fixing for dinner. I do agree with the previous statement NO amount of money is worth doing something you don't enjoy!

A Good Husband said...

Congratulations on all of your wonderful prospects, Tyler. I would say that any company that wants to force you into making a decision probably isn't worth working for (unless they're waiting on you before they say no to other interviewees).

Sounds amazing. I'm sure you'll pray about it and find some answers. Good to hear you're doing well. Lissie and I are coming to Utah for a visit over Easter weekend, we're very excited. Hope everything works out!

"All you need is love" said...

Pick the job that you end up with the t.v!! Classic.

Brett said...

Well, myself being a somewhat similar position (looking for a job), I'll share my thoughts. There are a couple of trains of thought as to what you should do.

1) Pick the job that you really want. I've heard from way too many people "I really hate my job, but it pays the bills." It's quite possible that you'll spend more quality time with your job than with your wife. Did you really pick your wife based on anything less than how wonderful she was and how much you loved her? Probably not. (note, I realize that you won't do a given job forever, but it's still important to consider your quality of life if you take a particular job)

2) Stay close to family. It's worth sacrificing some money and opportunities so that you can stay close to those whom you love. Isn't it?

3) Find a job that will help you get the career you want. Most people really don't consider the long term future when making choices. The problem with this train of thought for me is that I have achieved all my life's goals besides retire and go on missions. While growing up, I never planned for my 30-50 year old range, so I'm not quite sure what planning for my career would entail (besides make lots of money).

tysqui said...

Thanks everybody for your thoughts. I appreciate hearing these tips from all of you who don't often comment. Brett hit it on the head: "pick the job that you really want," but my problem was deciding which job I really wanted. It seemed my optimal choice changed every couple of hours.

Good news though, I've made my decision and I'll be posting about it in the next couple of days.

sdande said...

Congratulations Tyler! Ok this may not look to have any obvious correlation to your post but stick with me on this one. I remember driving to lunch w/you everyday in the lurp truck and you were such a crazy driver, getting as close as you could to mailboxes, etc. Well, I always noticed how even though it seemed you were out of really were in control and knew the limits of your car and the dimensions of it to the exact detail. Well, it sounds like you've made a decision and if there is any doubting then I would remind you about this yourself. I have no doubt you have analyzed every last detail like you knew lurp truck and have a very good feel on what you want and what your family needs. You'll do awesome wherever you are! I can't help but be a little envious that you are finishing school...I should be joining the workforce by roughly 2015...cheers for medical school! :)

tysqui said...

Sean, I have absolutely no recollection of anything that you are talking about.

And look at it this way, in 2015 you'll be turning 33 or so and don't they say that 33 is the new 23? You've got nothing to lose!