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Why did you become an engineer?
Sometimes I feel like school pushes you towards what you excel in, even though it may not align with your passions.
I’ve always been good and enjoyed both science and math – so engineering was the obvious choice, but it wasn’t my only choice…
As a fresh grade 12 graduate I really struggled with deciding what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. It’s a daunting task and one that had me at a crossroads.
In school I exceled at physics, math, and English… and we won’t talk about how I did in social studies.
…I guess you could say I’m detail oriented, logical, and creative.
I wanted to pursue education that encompassed all three of those attributes but always ended up feeling like the more engineer-y type programs lacked creativity and the more creative programs… well, the jobs paid a lot less and I thought it would be difficult to build a career around them.
After a lot of research, I was able to narrow down my lifelong professions to either Graphic Design or Engineering.
Both options had their own pros and cons but, in the end, I pursued engineering,
and this is why…
1. I love a challenge
Engineering had high requirements for entry, and I had heard that the dropout rate was one of the highest among all university programs.
Now, if you know me, I truly believe that if I’m determined, I can accomplish anything.
I also enjoyed school and found it relatively easy.
That, combined with my insanely competitive nature made me want to dominate the engineering world…
AND BUILD ROBOTS TO TAKE IT OVER. #kiddingnotkidding
2. I wanted to bring my creativity into a profession that lacks creativity
Engineers have a lot of stereotypes associated with them like being dull, bland, and boring.
…oh, and everyone thinks we are OBSESSED with excel spreadsheets. FYI this one is 100% accurate.
I thought that my creative flair would allow me to differentiate from your ‘typical engineer’.
I wanted to create value with my unique perspective and offer solutions that the industry hasn’t seen before.
3. I wanted job security and a higher salary
Engineering is one of the most well rounded, transferable educational degrees out there.
Especially mechanical engineering – everyone knows it’s superior to Civil (feel free to fight me on this one *wink*).
I had to put myself through school. Money was an issue and always a concern for me. And that is probably why I valued having a high paying job over following my passion.
It wasn’t wrong, it was necessary for where I was at that point in my life.
If I could go back in time and influence my younger self, I would probably tell him to focus more on passion and less on a lifelong career. It’s cliché to say, but you have your whole life for that 😛
But then again, if I did that, I wouldn’t be where I am now… with a blog, A 6 figure Amazon FBA business, and growing as an influencer.
QUESTION: When it comes to your career path, what has been your biggest regret?
It’s never too late to pursue your passion. Just because you went in one direction out of school, doesn’t mean you can’t pivot and learn something new now.
Here are some excellent resources if you are interested in reading more on this topic,
- Only Austin – https://www.austinplease.com/onlyaustin/