If there is one thing that I can say with absolute certainty about the future, it’s that there will be changes. The world does not sit still. You can either sit and wait for change to happen to you or seek it out. I have chosen the latter.
Beginning on April 20th, 2015 I will step into a new role as a sales engineer. Seven years after graduating college with my BS in Mechanical Engineering, and obtaining my PE License along the way, I’m choosing a new direction, away from the world of consulting engineering.
The first few months of 2015 at work felt as if the weeks were melting into one another. Looking back, I couldn’t tell one week from the week previous, or the one before that. This wasn’t the first time I had felt this way, but I couldn’t sit there and allow it to happen any longer. The first time I felt that way, I thought, “This happens to everyone, it’s just for a moment and will go away.” Then I had the realization, twenty years down the road, when my hair is beginning to gray, I don’t want to be sitting there having the same feeling, I have to make a change.
Sure, some projects were wrapping up, others were starting, and I was continuing to learn new aspects of engineering, as well as take on new responsibilities. Everything from the outside looking in seemed to be going in the right direction.
It was a different story from the inside looking out. With each new project that came across my desk, I felt less and less drive to attack it. The excitement of learning how to design another mechanical system seemed to wain with each system that I learned. I had long passed the point of proving to myself that I had the capacity to learn the different technical aspects. My eyes seemed to be glazing over at more and more regular intervals as I dove into excel calculations and CAD layouts.
In the mean time, opportunity was knocking. I had recruiters contacting me through Linked In on a weekly basis. If I accepted their invitation to connect, others would see that I had connected with a recruiter many more would send me requests. Eventually I began to hear them out. Not wanting to simply switch to another firm and fall into a similar role, I eventually found the description of a sales engineering role more alluring. The idea of using my engineering knowledge to help others seek out the right products for their applications, as well as providing competitive pricing seemed to be right up my alley. I have always had a pull toward the business world. This sounded like a way of not totally leaving my currently industry behind, and while stepping closer to some of my long term goals. Plus the thirty percent boost in pay made my decision that much easier.
The firm that I’ll be joining as a sales engineer represents a line of quality products, many of which are standards in the industry. They provided me with a great starting salary, and once my commissions begin to exceed the salary, they will switch me over to 100% commission. While frightening to some, this sounds exciting to me. If I don’t perform, I won’t get paid, and if I knock it out of the park, there is unlimited potential.
Time will tell if this is a good move for me. For now I take comfort in the fact that I have sought advice from many wise confidants, and taken action to pursue a better future. The adventure continues, and I’ve found some wind in my sails.