PistonHeads.com Forum

Trying to Change Career Direction a bit.....

Trying to Change Career Direction a bit.....


Woodrow Wilson

Original Poster:

34 posts

85 months

Friday 5th October 2012
quotequote all
Long post. Sorry.

Engineering degree after A Levels.

I then fell into the controls industry -small company, working in pharmaceuticals industry, I got very little experience of the practical basics, did mostly 'design' paperwork and only enjoyed the fairly rare site work. (I've also experienced nuclear, which is even slower and things never seem to get done)

I tried to move away from pharma, but the job I found wasn't great. The office environment didn't suit me and they didn't even provide me with my own desk or pc to work on in the months I was there. I also realised that I had a lack of basic knowledge of real-world industrial controls, so progress would have been limited.

An opportunity arose elsewhere as a project engineer in the building controls industry. I took it (and now regret it)

A few years, and a couple of job changes, later I'm a project manager(quite a broad role) in the building controls industry, with construction companies as clients. I find it very stressful (constant hassle from multiple projects, re-arranging logistics and suffering sleepless nights), frustrating(the multiple projects are turned around too quickly without the time to develop them properly) and I derive no satisfaction from it at all. I try hard, but it all seems futile. I'm fairly 'bright' in some areas, but time-management is not my forté and I do struggle with the daily changes of requirements and priorities in such a fast-moving role with such demanding customers.

I've admitted to myself that I'm not suited to it and my career is going nowhere.

Commercial matters don't interest me, managing people can be hard going, I find being mostly desk-bound soul-destroying, the goalposts are constantly moving and the interesting bits are done by other people -although they are rushed(from what I've seen, construction is all just thrown together these days, driven on by bullying individuals) and our product is less than inspiring anyway.

Knowing that I'm not suited to the job and having done tests for:

Input, Analytical, Learner, Restorative, Communication

'Strengths engagement'
You aren’t in the right role at work, and many of your colleagues are aware of this. You didn’t seek out this role. You wound up in it. And this doesn’t sit well with you.
You frequently find yourself at other people’s mercy, buffeted by the mild hand of this person’s needs, that person’s expectations

Myers-Briggs INTJ -Apparently only slightly/moderate on all of those, I'm not shy.
-I've had different results at different times INTP on other tests.

Can anybody comment/shed light on these ^^ results?

I feel that I have to change direction soon, in order to prevent my health/sanity suffering

Ideally I'd be doing something with more technical content, that allows me to keep learning new things and solve problems, but without the constant commercial issues, ever-increasing time pressures and having to juggle different projects.

I know of other people (in other industries) who have decided that Project Management work isn't for them and gone back "on the tools". The problem I have is that I was never really "on the tools" in the first place....

With hindsight, I probably should have stuck at it for longer in industrial process controls(I have learned a lot more useful, practical info since then). I feel that I'm in danger of going around in circles and never really progressing.

Having browsed the www, I've realised that I'm not really qualified or knowledgeable enough for the jobs I've been looking at.

I don't necessarily have the 'skills'/mindset required for modern-day career success.

I think the reality is that *if* I can find a different kind of job, then I'm going to have to step down/back, take a significant pay cut and swallow my pride about what I feel I should be doing for work....

Has anybody else been in a similar position?

Edited by Woodrow Wilson on Friday 5th October 23:46


1,086 posts

103 months

Saturday 6th October 2012
quotequote all
Are you sure it's you're profession and not your job which is the issue here?

I have been in positions which have almost killed the enjoyment of what I do (software development) and have meant I have been spending all my time writing documentation or patching up legacy piece of st systems.

Maybe finding a role in the same industry with a different mix of activities for a new company is would be an idea?

Changing career is tough but can be rewarding in the long term, we have a trained barrister working for us as a software architect who switched careers 10 years back.

My sister has done sales, marketing, PR and is now moving into the charity sector. I respect her guts for following her heart but it just seems like as soon as she's about to start earning really good cash she changes her mind again.

Good luck!


4,590 posts

149 months

Saturday 6th October 2012
quotequote all
This screams to me that a move in to academia may suit, researching or lecturing. Good luck!

Woodrow Wilson

Original Poster:

34 posts

85 months

Sunday 7th October 2012
quotequote all

I'd been thinking similar myself, although more likely to be R&D of some sort. I don't have a PhD and I was keen to leave Uni after 4 years (I know it would be different as a non-undergrad 15 years on).

I look forward to the day when Sunday evenings aren't full of dread.


1,237 posts

175 months

Sunday 7th October 2012
quotequote all
Try contacting this lady, she also has a web site called careersnet but I can't get it to load presently:


I met her many years ago and she seems to have the expertise you are seeking.


4,311 posts

102 months

Tuesday 9th October 2012
quotequote all
What specifically is your BEng?