Finding a job. (read: PA sucks the big one)

godzilla525godzilla525 Western Pennsylvania
edited September 2007 in The Pub
While I was in college everyone was going on about how companies couldn't find enough engineers to fill the positions they had and that everyone that graduated was getting picked up right away...

Now, the 'time I was in college' spans consecutively from fall of 99 clear up to when my degree came in the mail last May, so things have changed a bit since they were going on about that. (WARNING: DO NOT ATTEND SATELLITE CAMPUS(ES) EXPECTING SCHEDULING TO GO SMOOTHLY. It's bull.) That same time period was also the worst time of my life thus far. Meaning, knowing what I know now, I would have gone job searching out of high school (with my electronics cert) or joined the Air Force.

So, after all that, I finally have a BS degree. Unfortunately it's utterly useless since what little I can find in the area all require several years experience with that same absurdly specific job description.

Of course that brings up the ancient How are you supposed to get that type of job experience if you can't ever get the job chicken-and-egg relationship.

..internships. scheduling conflicts; no car
..job fairs. Up until I actually got the degree, I wasn't even sure I'd actually graduated The only good ones electrical-engineering-wise were at University Park, and that is one heck of a drive (see also: no car).

At that point I wasn't even sure after putting up with all that if I even wanted an EE-type job at all. I still don't know if I want one. With all the outsourcing/offshoring these days, I'm not even sure it's even worth it at all if I'm just going to end up out on my ass in a couple of years anyway.

Well I did try a bit anyway.

McKesson...45 minute commute...no response.

Bechtel...Maryland...rejected by HAL9000 resume parser as 'not qualified' (when I am according to what my resume has in it)...and I know someone there, and they DO want to hire me (but not enough apparently to give HR a dope-slap for using an inexcusably poor automated system).

Spectrum Control...somewhere in between the two...THEY called ME (resume in school's DB) was interviewed via phone by someone annoyed to have to do it, bombed. I just LOVE not having flowery,scripted answers to irrelevant questions that HR makes everyone use because some prima donna who had a 'better' idea gave that crap out at a business seminar someplace.

They wrote back... apparently they found someone else who interviews better. Whether or not they actually got somebody competent I don't know, although judging from a lot of people I went to college with, I'd be surprised if they weren't scraping the bottom of the barrel. (It's called Pennsyltuckey for a reason...)

So at this point I can
1. email the school's somewhat useless career office and complain
2. McJob (previously no luck there...we do have a 9% unemployment rate locally and haven't recovered economically from the 70s)
3. Air Force (either pilot or mechanic) ..parental units object.
4. Magically pull job out of my ass (what parental units and family members expect...)
5. Suicide (well that would solve EVERYTHING, wouldn't it?) :bigggrin: Seriously, it's too easy to botch that and end up disfigured, disabled, or as a vegetable. Although it's too early yet for me to rule that out entirely. The reasons to hang around slowly decrease as time goes by.

Comments

  • LeonardoLeonardo Wake up and smell the glaciers Eagle River, Alaska
    edited September 2007
    Air Force (either pilot or mechanic) ..parental units object.
    Sorry to hear about your difficulties in finding employment. The Navy, Marine Corps, and Army also have pilots, LOTS of them, and the former two services look very favorably on engineering education. SO WHAT if your parents object to military service?! THAT'S IRRELEVANT. Your parents raised you to be an independent adult. Were they not successful?
  • jaredjared College Station, TX
    edited September 2007
    Don't join the service if you want to be a pilot. Almost all their pilots come straight from the Academies.

    Damn, September must be a depressing month for people. Just hang in there and things will eventually come around. They always do. Like prime said, life is a rollercoaster... for everyone. Your best bet is to strap in, hang on, and do the best to enjoy the ride.

    Things could always be worse. Just remember that.

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    cheers :jared:
  • shwaipshwaip bluffin' with my muffin
    edited September 2007
    grad school!
  • LeonardoLeonardo Wake up and smell the glaciers Eagle River, Alaska
    edited September 2007
    Don't join the service if you want to be a pilot. Almost all their pilots come straight from the Academies.
    Not the Army's. About 90% of Army pilots are warrant officers who've never been to a military academy. Besides, there are plenty of other positions in the Armed Forces for engineers besides pilots and flight engineers.
  • IndigoRedIndigoRed Perth Western Australia
    edited September 2007
    Military should be a definite consideration.

    1. Employment
    2. Education
    3. Free room and board
    4. Further education
    5. VA benefits
    6. Free medical and dental

    One proviso, look over the career paths. Pick one that is consistently on the cutting edge of technology. Air corps comes to mind. Advanced electronics is the way to go. Why? You want skills that will transfer straight across to civilian life. You don't want to get into a field that was developed 20 years ago.

    Yeah, it's the military. You take the bad with the good. You may be put in harms way. In this day and age, that could be more likely. But in a skilled field, the likelyhood of front line is reduced.

    Don't sweat life, mate. Today's downers are forgotten tomorrow.
  • edited September 2007
    jared wrote:
    Don't join the service if you want to be a pilot. Almost all their pilots come straight from the Academies.

    I'm another that says that is hogwash too. My cousin graduated with a BS in Petroleum Engineering in the 80's from LSU and after school the job market in the oil industry was crap, so he joined the navy and they put him in F/A 18's. He just missed participating in the the first Gulf war and his ship relieved one of the carriers that participated in Desert Storm. He flew quite a few missions enforcing the no-fly zone shortly after. He also went and got a Master's degree courtesy of the Navy too. Now he is a pilot for Fedex flying packages.
  • JBJB Carlsbad, CA
    edited September 2007
    Move to CA...we have tons of engineering jobs. I grew up in PA and I feel your pain when searching for an engineering job locally.
  • LeonardoLeonardo Wake up and smell the glaciers Eagle River, Alaska
    edited September 2007
    Now he is a pilot for Fedex flying packages.
    In an F-18! Very fast, very EXPENSIVE express service. Yahoooo!
  • edited September 2007
    Leonardo wrote:
    In an F-18! Very fast, very EXPENSIVE express service. Yahoooo!

    Yeah, that's that new "Next hour service" they offer! ;D;D

    I'm sure Mark wishes they had F18's to fly instead of those package buses he flies now.:wink:
  • godzilla525godzilla525 Western Pennsylvania
    edited September 2007
    This whole thing is definitely going to be a difficult step because I have a hard time getting interested in anything at all these days (which is why I'm down to a handful of forum posts per year and don't get involved in anything at all). It feels weird and I don't like it since I can tell it doesn't get me anywhere.

    The fall and winter months for me are usually pretty rough. Probably SAD.

    Parking my butt in a fighter jet (or anything that really moves) might help. Driving usually helps, too, but our cars are getting all old and break-y and gas is getting too expensive.

    I'm still thinking about what to do pending a reply from the school's career office. They've dropped not-so-subtle boldfaced red hints here and there lately in surveys and mass emails to the effect of 'if you haven't found anything yet then holy crap email us now'.

    As far as grad school goes, generally I've heard the idea with that is to do it only if you can get a scholarship or your employer pays for it. (I'm pretty sure my cousin will finish her degree with the latter method...from the HAL9000 HR company no less...)

    My parents don't think I can hack the military. They seem to be actively and strongly discouraging it when I talked to them about it briefly yesterday. Personally I'd prefer getting shot at in Iraq to getting pecked to death by ducks at Wal-Mart/McDonalds. (Yeah, that's a bad attitude to have...) I think my biggest obstacle would be getting through BT without keeling over dead. :) I'm still thinking about it, even if just as a good 'screw you' to my parents for making me do (and finish) the college thing.

    California. Ugh. There are many enjoyable recreational activities considered normal here in PA that will get me fined or arrested out there. (such as the gratuitous burning of gasoline and gunpowder). That and housing out there is way too expensive. Ditto for places over here like Boston and D.C. Texas might be OK...

    I'm going to keep at it, but if I find myself working before New Year's I'd be really surprised.
  • RWBRWB
    edited September 2007
    Dude living in Texas is cheap! Closer to the coast you live the cheaper the gas as well. If I didn't have so much out in multiple loans and multiple CC's I'd be living the high life at only $26K/ a year. Get a roomy and you're doing that much better. My co-worker gets paid as much as me and he has no debt or much of anything, he's always buying up $400 airsoft guns, equipment, and stuff like lens's and whatever else he can get for his old film camera.

    My Apartment is a 1 bedroom/1bath 680+ Sq. Ft. apartment, and it's expensive at $580/month for the location(which ain't that great), if I were willing I could move to a different area of town and pay $450/month. Gas right now in the area I just paid $2.52 a gallon for Shell, $2.48 for QT.

    Anyways, just my $0.02 on living expenses.
  • NLichtmanNLichtman Spring Valley, CA
    edited September 2007
    Do them all in order...
  • shwaipshwaip bluffin' with my muffin
    edited September 2007
    If you have SAD, you should definitely pick up a full-spectrum light. They work.

    This whole thing is definitely going to be a difficult step because I have a hard time getting interested in anything at all these days (which is why I'm down to a handful of forum posts per year and don't get involved in anything at all). It feels weird and I don't like it since I can tell it doesn't get me anywhere.

    The fall and winter months for me are usually pretty rough. Probably SAD.

    Parking my butt in a fighter jet (or anything that really moves) might help. Driving usually helps, too, but our cars are getting all old and break-y and gas is getting too expensive.

    I'm still thinking about what to do pending a reply from the school's career office. They've dropped not-so-subtle boldfaced red hints here and there lately in surveys and mass emails to the effect of 'if you haven't found anything yet then holy crap email us now'.

    As far as grad school goes, generally I've heard the idea with that is to do it only if you can get a scholarship or your employer pays for it. (I'm pretty sure my cousin will finish her degree with the latter method...from the HAL9000 HR company no less...)

    My parents don't think I can hack the military. They seem to be actively and strongly discouraging it when I talked to them about it briefly yesterday. Personally I'd prefer getting shot at in Iraq to getting pecked to death by ducks at Wal-Mart/McDonalds. (Yeah, that's a bad attitude to have...) I think my biggest obstacle would be getting through BT without keeling over dead. :) I'm still thinking about it, even if just as a good 'screw you' to my parents for making me do (and finish) the college thing.

    California. Ugh. There are many enjoyable recreational activities considered normal here in PA that will get me fined or arrested out there. (such as the gratuitous burning of gasoline and gunpowder). That and housing out there is way too expensive. Ditto for places over here like Boston and D.C. Texas might be OK...

    I'm going to keep at it, but if I find myself working before New Year's I'd be really surprised.
  • jj Sterling Heights, MI
    edited September 2007
    If you're looking at jobs that require 5 years experience or more, then you're definitely not going to find anything. You just graduated, you're on the bottom rung of a big ladder. Education means you get to be looked at and that's it. Take an entry level position somewhere, stay for a year or 2 and move on. Believe me, pay and quality of job increase pretty quickly. I've increased my salary 90% in 5 years. I took an entry level position that wasn't much of an EE job. I stayed for about 3 years and moved on. Now I love my job, much more involved in electronic design. If your have your mind set (and I'm not saying you do) on not taking a job that is "beneath" you then I would say you'll never find a job.
  • RADARADA Apple Valley, CA
    edited September 2007
    As a former Air Force member I can honestly say as a pilot you get treated VERY well..

    My parents weren't thrilled either, but after I came home on leave the 1st time, they changed their mind. They said I was more mature, disciplined and driven they had ever seen me. My Air Force days were some of the most exciting times of my life.

    If you don't push yourself outside of your comfort zone, you will never know what you could achive.
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