Why would a talented engineer in a decent position start looking for a new job? We checked in with our panel of engineering recruiters to understand what makes an engineer think about a career change, and what factors are decisive in taking the plunge. The simple answer: Challenge.
There are more than a few solid reasons engineers look for a change. “Many engineers get into the field because they love the idea of creating something that will solve problems for someone or something,” observes Jackie Ross
, a veteran Aerotek recruiter who works with some of our most successful engineers. “They love the ever-changing technology and being able to be a part of the ‘next big thing.’ But when such challenging opportunities fail to materialize for them in the company they’re with, they start itching for a change.”
In search of challenge
The engineers we work with us say the opportunity for growth in a job is a huge draw. Many engineers, both those with experience and relative newcomers, consider themselves underemployed, too often within a relatively short time after starting in a new position. Jackie offered some insights. “Many candidates I work with are worried about the stability of their job or the lack of a future with the company and want to move on. But often job dissatisfaction stems from engineers feeling they are underemployed. They’re not able to apply their full potential. They just don’t feel their roles are challenging enough.”
Accelerated advancement isn’t always the answer
Career path matters, and if you’re an engineer it can prove critical. In recent years many engineers have entered the field through co-op programs, going straight to work at the companies where they trained. More and more companies are using their co-op programs to identify and cultivate management-track candidates. But for some engineers, moving swiftly up the ranks from “doing” to “managing” isn’t always the most ideal path. Swift career advancement into management roles sometimes fails to equate to job satisfaction for some engineers.
We asked Jackie what she thought was going on. “It’s very interesting. I work with a candidate who started working as a co-op at a large manufacturing company in Cleveland, then got into their entry-level engineering program. He was in a mechanical engineering role, which led to project management, and now he is a senior manager. But he’s actually looking to leave because the challenge just isn’t there anymore. He misses the doing part of work, the solving real problems part.”
The sound of opportunity knocking
Our Aerotek recruiters who specialize in helping engineers maximize their potential agree on one thing: Degreed mechanical and manufacturing engineers with 2-7 years of experience are in extremely high demand right now, across a multitude of industries. The engineers we work with have come to understand what a great position this puts them in when it comes to finding their next challenge. It’s what we do every day ― matching knowledgeable, passionate engineers with their ideal positions.
If you’re a mechanical or manufacturing engineer looking to up your challenge game, we’d love to help. Create your career management account here
if you haven’t already and click here
to explore our current manufacturing and mechanical engineering opportunities.