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What are some not so great things to look out for in the engineering field?

I know everyone has their own likes and dislikes, but some insight on what you personally don't like about engineering would be helpful. #engineering #career

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William’s Answer

Danny. Good question. I would caution against three things:

1. Those who take short cuts in design, construction or manufacturing which can be common to save costs. While cost is a valid concern in engineering, I believe things should be engineered for durability, sustainability, etc. to last in a variety of circumstances & environments.

2. Those who lack critical thinking in engineering design, etc. This is probably more common than not (i.e., many lack the skills or desire to think critically). In short, this requires engineers to consider the "what-if" circumstances and "what else" (other) considerations.

3. Those who do not adhere to engineering ethics. Like some other professions, professional engineers are bound by an oath (called a Creed according to the National Society of Professional Engineers) to conduct themselves and perform their engineering responsibilities according to ethical principles because those designs may involve lives, property, etc. Many college curriculums require a course in engineering ethics as they should. However, there can be cases where some either forget or overlook this considerations in the name of time, profits, etc.
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John’s Answer

As a 10-year mechanical engineer in product development I can attest to being exposed to a wide range of challenges, cross-functional teams, and environments. This type of work is addicting, I can get lost in it. This comes with both good and bad. While I love immersing myself into a project or challenge, I noticed that I would sometimes miss lunch because I was so absorbed by the work in front of me. Another thing I had to learn from is having too much faith in myself early on. Missing lunch is bad as it is a sign that I'm not taking care of my health. This was corrected by having reminders on my phone and calendar. Having too much faith in myself was bad as it ended up with me letting people down because I had promised to deliver something and they relied on that follow through. This also was corrected by being more humble about my abilities and asking others for their insights. I would say the only consistent thing that I have found that carries a negative aura around it is that all the groups I've been with have located engineers in a back corner somewhere, the worst is when there aren't any windows. Other than that, engaging with others, solving problems on things that haven't been developed yet, and growing professionally are all rewarding results of a mechanical engineer.
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Danny’s Answer

As a passionate Mechanical Engineer, I love the full realm of the engineering practice. So what's not so great? Inevitably, you will be diverted to "non-engineering" tasks to some degree, which I don't particularly enjoy. But this is almost unavoidable. That's why I like being in a position where very little of my time is diverted to things other than engineering design and analysis.
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Sarah’s Answer

I absolutely love engineering! I am an electrical engineer, and I have also worked as a quality engineer. What I love about engineering, and especially working at a medical device company, is knowing that my work contributes to making the world a better place by solving problems. I love the whole engineering process from identifying a need, brainstorming and defining design requirements, creating a solution, and seeing it come to life.

One thing I have learned about engineering is that different industries have very different cultures and working styles. Since I work for a publicly traded medical device manufacturer, my pace of work typically picks up around very important deadlines or dates like the end of our fiscal year. So even when things get busy, it's typically somewhat predictable, and I have good work/life balance the rest of the time. My husband, on the other hand, who is a civil engineer, worked for a private company that did industrial site development. I described his word as "feast or famine" - they either had an active contract and everything had to be done NOW, or he didn't and things were very slow. This can be preferable for some people, but I would hate working in that type of environment! So, if you find yourself in an environment that doesn't work for you, know that you may be able to change it by moving to a different company or industry.
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