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How was it like when choosing your career?

I am interested in the engineering field. I am in 12th grade and I want to have an easygoing career and not a hardworking one.

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Francisco’s Answer

Hi Kurt!

Now this is an interesting one. In my opinion there aren't easygoing or hardworking careers, only easygoing and hardworking people, and you can be both if you learn how to balance them. As an engineer I would definitely tell you it takes hard work and determination to have a fruitful career in engineering, but also takes an easygoing nature to deal with work stress and know when to let go of issues. My argument is, in any career path you choose the kind of professional you want to be.

An example could be a waiter. Everyone has seen the waiter that goes above and beyond for his/her customers. She is always on top of things, gives recommendations, makes jokes, etc. The kind of person you love giving a big tip too. We all also know the waiter who does the bare minimum, it's just there cause he/she has to, and does a good job but nothing too outstanding. Obviously one person is putting more effort than the other, and it's working harder than the other, but neither of them are doing a bad job, just have different approaches.

This same logic applies to any career, some professionals are always trying to do more, climb the ladder into new positions, become leaders and managers, and then there's other people who are comfortable in their roles, want to remain a certain thing forever, and they are content with that. None of those options is bad, just different ways of approaching a career. Even amongst the hardworking ones, there's different ways of doing it. Some people think working 12 hours a day makes them more hardworking than the people who just work 8am-5pm. I believe it depends on you to determine what hard work looks like, and give yourself time to relax while also being outstanding.

Now, coming back to engineering. Engineering is definitely not an easygoing career, but you don't have to be a genius to be an engineer (believe me, I've seen some guys and gals that I'm shocked they graduated). But it does take effort to advance in a career as engineering, and depending on the type of role, there's gonna be moments that are tough, where you working too hard, and that are stressful, but if you are smart and do the right moves, you can find ways of reducing those times or moving into a position where that's not something you need to do. You mold your career with the work, attitude, and strategy you put into it.

Finally, I can tell you why I chose engineering. I originally wanted to do Psychology, but in my junior year, I realized I was truly passionate about science and taking a project from nothing to something amazing, which pushed me into Industrial Engineering. The fact that I could learn how to find better ways to do things, make a difference everyday in worker's lives, and work with an array of new technologies was very exciting, also it matched my ambitions of becoming a leader and moving into managerial roles in the future. Overall, engineering offered me the opportunity to use my brain with a clear focus and objectives, while also opening doors to lead, mentor, help, and develop others. I consider myself a very hardworking person, but that won't work a single hour of overtime unless I need to, cause I make a point of being efficient with my work so I don't need to live at my desk.

Hope this helps gives you some idea about how to look at your career path, and how to look at "hardworking vs easygoing". If you have any other questions about what I said let me know, I am more than happy to discuss.

Good luck!

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Laura’s Answer

Hi Kurt,

This is a great question! I would say that all careers take a lot of work and it doesn't matter what field you go into. My career is in HR/Recruiting and I have a huge workload, partner with a ton of people cross-functionally and have certain expectations of myself that I need to reach. When choosing a career, I believe it is important to choose something that you are passionate about because it is something you may be doing for most of your life.

I truly enjoy helping people find their dream jobs and know that I picked the correct career path. When thinking about engineering, is it something you are passionate about? Is this something you would be excited to do every day? Since you are still in high school and possibly moving onto college soon, I would recommend taking a wide variety of classes to see where your interests lie. It is such an exciting time to be taking that next step and figuring out what you want to do with your career. I wish you the best of luck in the coming years!

Thank you,