To continue from my last post, here’s a little more detail of the hunt so far (including the wild boar peaking through the brush right now!).
So I’ve already gotten my first job offer. And by “already” I mean I got it a year ago. The company that I did my internship with offered me a position, with a pretty reasonable salary (likely the hightest I’ll be offered with my B.S.). I dragged the offer for almost a solid year, but about 6 weeks ago my old manager called me and told me he needed a solid ‘yay’ or ‘nae’. With grad. school still a real possibility I had no choice but to turn it down. A few classmates were shocked that I did, but I did. It was a good job, but it wasn’t a great job. It wasn’t the sort of job that I would’ve quit my job, moved to a new city, and spent 4 years of college for, if that makes sense.
I’ve said a few times since, the determination of whether or not I’m an idiot for being so picky is forthcoming. If I land a job that makes me pee my pants a little, then it was the right move. If I’m looking at management positions at new Target in three months, then I’m an idiot.
Since job offer #1, I’ve gone on one job interview. It was for a software engineering position (i.e. not electronics) and I asked 3 out of the 5 people I interviewed with, “Why are you interviewing me when you really should be interviewing a computer science major?” Shockingly, I didn’t get the job offer.
Now, since then, I’ve come to realize that there are roughly 2.7 shit-tons of software engineering positions which are looking for electrical engineers to fill them. So far I’ve applied for none of them. In 3 weeks, I’ll probably start applying for a few.
This brings me to today. I’m sitting in a hotel room, typing out this post, in a non-Oregon city. It’s a small city, small enough that if I gave you the name you’d know (via quick web search) what company I was applying at (Which is why I’m not sharing the name for now; I try and keep career details off the blog). I had my interview yesterday. It went well, but could’ve gone better. This is my second interview and I’ve still got a little ring rust. But all-in-all, I expect it went well enough to warrant an offer.
The company seems OK, and it I got the impression that I’ll have an opportunity to move forward fairly quickly, which is pretty important to me at this stage. I worry a little bit about the market they’re in. Their product is fairly commoditized which means a portion of their profit cycle is outside of their control.
The city was, hmm. Well the city was nice but small. Very small. 200,000 people small. Small enough to make me worry. The weather also isn’t ideal, but I’ve realized that ideal weather to me is Portland, Seattle and maybe the bay area (San Francisco et. al.). In fact, these last couple of weeks I’ve begun to realize that I’m going to have to come to grips with the fact that my next step won’t be the ideal life I’ve been draining hours in the library to find.
I may have to accept that I’ll live in a place that’s too hot in the summer, too cold in the winter, or both. I think I’ve mentioned before that, as an engineer, it’s more likely that I’ll find jobs that are not in dense urban areas. So I may be the owner of a car once again. Similarly, living in a downtown condo with a few-block walk to good Chinese food may actually look more like a suburban townhouse with a quick drive to a local whatever.
Oh well, right? When I think about it, it kinda seems silly to compare what’s next against some ideal I’ve made up in my head. More appropriately I should compare what’s around the corner to what I left behind. 10,000 degree summers with a job as a technician which allowed me to work with some great engineers, but also some fucking dumb-as-shit engineers at a company who couldn’t see past my lack of degree to give me half a chance due in part to a middle management that had the people skills of a rabid grizzly bear. On top of that, though my new salary won’t be double my old salary, I expect to be at that point within 3-4 years. I fully expect the coming years to be good ones, but it seems that I do need to recalibrate my expectations.
Well I’m at the airport now, finishing up this post. The flight home boards a few more minutes. I gotta post this and go home. There’s still quite a bit of school work between now and June 14th. And of course, the job hunt continues.
I’ll try and keep you guys updated… but as you’ve come to expect, it may be a while.