Don’t Panic!

Recession is a natural part of the economy. Just think of it as an enema. Or a laxative. It’s natural. Oh, you’re going to have cramps for a while. And your mornings for the next few days are going to be busy. But you’ll feel all clean and rosy afterwards… as soon as you down a few gallons of water.

No? Then think of it in terms of the Circle of Life. Yeah, the song from The Lion King. There. Doesn’t the syrupy sweetness of faux philosophy and upright moral fortitude of Elton John make you feel better? Don’t you feel all warm and snuggly suddenly? It’s the circle of liiiiiiiiiife and it moves us all.

OK. </sarcasm> I feel better now. Sometimes, it’s better to let the snark flow move out (oh, dammit, enough pooping puns) be. It’s better to let the snark be. Sigh.

For people looking for jobs, it sucks. Oh, it’s not that no one is hiring. It’s just that no one is hiring in the field for which I’ve been trained (which is civil engineering generally and water resources/stormwater management specifically). And other fields in which I might be employed until my field gets its collective ass together in Georgia? Well, I’m overqualified. Even f’n Wal-Mart won’t have me.

You know, I’ve wanted to get out of engineering for a long time. Looks like this is the time to do it.

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12 comments on “Don’t Panic!

  1. ajax says:

    Well there are two new career fields I can think of.
    Mortician/undertaker is one that will never be hurt by a repression (ahem) sorry, recession.
    And, I’ve owned a security guard firm for about 10 years now, and recessions are great for us. People are more careful than ever with their assets, and layoffs cause us to grab nicely qualified people we otherwise couldn’t afford. Unlike morticians, however, good economies aren’t so good for us; neither are minimum wage increases. We thrive on fear and uncertainty.
    Ugh, now I feel like a dirty scavenger, must go shower.

  2. pam says:

    I think you should try meteorology.

    You could be a ground breaker in the field. Instead of standing in front of a screen and prognosticating, you’d simply stick your head out of the door and proclaim “It’s raining; take an umbrella today!”

    That would be helpful, and those people never seem to be out of a job.

  3. Prudie says:

    “It’s raining; take an umbrella today!”

    Heh. That kind of common sense meteorology, we need.

    Mortician? Ew. No thanks.

  4. Abbadon says:

    <i.Even f’n Wal-Mart won’t have me.

    Fuck ’em. THEIR loss.

  5. Vmaximus says:

    I have been in engineering for a long time, why would you want to get out? I know the economy is slow, so one might not have a choice. People are A**’s everywhere, but there are enough Civil shops out there that you can find one that you like the people

  6. Prudie says:

    Vmaximus, Engineering is cyclical. I know that most professsions are, but civil engineering is heavily cyclical. Which means that it’s either feast or famine for civil engineers. I hate that.

    Also, I hate the schmoozing and deals that go on. Georgia has a serious problem with bribery and such with municipal transportation officials. (See the problems at GDOT for an example of this. Oy.)

    Also, I worried a lot as an engineer. Seriously, I had anxiety attacks. I was a good engineer. But I constantly worried about mistakes and errors that could lead to loss of property or life. It was an irrational fear, I know, because with all the QA/QC that goes on in the profession, errors and such are rare. Still, I couldn’t take it.

    And don’t get me started on irresponsible engineers…

  7. Vmaximus says:

    I started as a draftsman in 1981 learned cad, was accepted to UF college of Engineering (Gators!) got divorced, could not afford a ex and a education at the same time. I have been thru a few cycles. Still doing cad, but mostly PM

    I have only seen 1 “bad” thing happen. A kid fell in a pond and drowned. The construction inspector signed off on a slope that was 3.5:1 instead of 4:1 The company was sued and E&O paid.

    Now I have seen flooded houses, (bad storm model) lots and houses bought, (bad stake out) Flumes built to stop erosion. But no one ever lost their job for it, maybe a bonus or 2.

    But Yea unlike most professions, you are personally responsible for what you sign, and that is not nothing.

  8. Prudie says:

    I never worried about losing my job. I worried about harming people. I did a lot of flood studies for municipals, FEMA, etc. (I created LOMRs, CLOMRs, pond designs, and closed and open drainage systems – but mainly bridge hydraulic/hydrologic studies, if you want the details.) Water is the most destructive force on the planet and I worried that there was something that I overlooked, etc. that would cause someone to die.

    Irrational, like I said, since it’s unlikely with all the QA/QC that happens on all levels. And as I got closer and closer to the PE exam, I worried more and more about it. Unfortunately, it was a fear I wasn’t able to handle.

    So I’m looking for a new field. Hopefully, in the new field I’ll be able to use some things I learned as an engineer.

  9. Vmaximus says:

    I recently interviewed for a position at Fluor in Greenville SC. I did not get the job, but they pay VERY well. Look into then if you are inclined.
    What fields are you looking at? There are many opportunities out there for one with your background. What about GeoTech?

  10. Prudie says:

    I want to leave engineering period, not just move to another engineering field. Though, I may work as an engineer for another year, just to pay off my credit cards, then quit altogether and go back to school.

    I’m thinking of becoming a math teacher or a librarian. I haven’t made up my mind yet. I may pick something else before I go back to school, but that’s where I’m looking right now.

  11. Vmaximus says:

    Prudie,
    I have done a cost benefit analysis, and come to the conclusion that, if I were in your shoes, I would look at getting a CPA.

    1. you have 95% of the math.
    2. CPA’s make better money than engineers. (think lawyer)
    3. (I am assuming) that you could pick up the degree (or sit for the test) faster than other degrees. I will ask my CPA friend.

    I don’t think I could do it. I don’t mind math, but when I spend days running calc’s, my head hurts. Doing it day in and day out… meh.

    So if you take career advise from random anonymous strangers on teh innertubes….

    V

  12. Prudie says:

    random anonymous strangers on teh innertubes

    Heh. If you can handle giving advice to random anonymous strangers on the innertubes, I can handle considering it. Interesting coincidence that you mention accounting though… There might be a job opening soon in the accounting office where my mother works. Her boss is interested in hiring and training me if the guy currently in the job continues to make mistakes. And a local college offers accounting degrees with a lot of the course work at night. So, yeah, accounting is on my radar. I’m not thrilled at the idea of working in an office again, but it would be better than working in the public school system as a teacher.

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