I recently received this email from an experienced civil engineer: “I don’t care where the company is located or what types of civil engineering projects I will be working on. After 3 months of being unemployed, can you just help me find a civil engineering job?”
By now, we all know the difference that a couple of years can make.
It wasn’t that long ago that candidates would turn down good opportunities for a variety of reasons: too far of a commute; didn’t like the workspace (“I want my own office”); job title wasn’t right (“I want a Department Manager title”), etc. An upcoming CivilEngineeringCentral.com newsletter author spoke with me about an excellent article he wrote for us entitled, “Advancing Your Career.” Specifically, he lists “Top 10” ideas that one can use to help advance his/her career. Among the 10 bulleted items, the article suggests assessing where, and for whom one works. It is suggested that you then evaluate whether you are in the right company with the right people to help you reach your professional goals. I question whether many of our readers have the luxury to make these types of assessments at this stage in life.
On the company “gossip” websites, employees of A/E firms complain in great detail about their employers. In many instances they report that they will leave their employers as soon as the market allows for them to identify another job. But, for today, they will stay employed and endure their perceived incompetent management, demotivating work environment and inadequate compensation. Most are saying “any job will do”– for right now.
When the market bounces back, companies who are ignoring management training and evaluations will find voluntary turnover rates skyrocketing! Staff at all levels will leave in droves and recruiting to replace them will be a financial and logistics nightmare. Hopefully, HR leaders will keep an eye on employee comments and hold technical managers accountable during the current market.
Until then, while job security is more important now than in the recent past, there are still a lot of good opportunities out there to consider. Don’t stop evaluating your career goals– just be more selective in your search. And, make sure to either talk to your HR representative OR use your anonymous employee feedback system to alert management that you don’t just want “any job” located “anywhere.” You deserve to take an active role in making the one you have much better.