In this career interview, an engineer shares his experience in the industry. He talks about the challenges faced when working for government contracts, and also opens up about racial discrimination he has faced on the job. This is a true career interview as told to LatPro.com. This is one of many interviews with individuals in the engineering or manufacturing fields including interviews with a civil engineer and with an efficiency expert. I am a civil engineer and I guess you could say I work in the industry of government or engineering. My firm is a privately owned business, but we were set up primarily to fulfill government contracts. I have a grand total of nine years in the field of engineering and five in civil engineering, specifically for the government. Using only three adjectives, I would describe myself as charming, happy and easygoing. My ethnicity and gender is black and male. Although I think there have definitely been improvements in the way black people are treated, I do not think I get all of the respect I deserve. Race should not be an issue in what I do, and normally, it is not. But a few instances have stuck out, and it's not anything big - just a little comment here or there, or someone saying something under their breath. You probably wouldn't believe me if I told you, which is why I just ignore it and go to the gym later to take it out on the punching bag. What I do is meet with architects basically to turn their ideas into working buildings (or bridges or statues or what have you). It is my job to make the dream become a reality. I would rate my job satisfaction at an eight. With government contracts, there is so much oversight and needless bureaucracy it is hard to be creative. It seems as though everything costs four times as much as it should just because the government is so far behind on technology. To unleash my full enthusiasm, I would need more control over the designs. I got started in this line of work through a program at college because it seemed like a good investment. I was looking for a steady paycheck and something challenging. This job does not necessarily move my heart, but it is fun. I don't know if I have found my sweet spot necessarily. I think that would be writing children's books. I learned the hard way that the government wants certain things done a certain way, and if there is a more efficient way, just don't tell them about it. I tried to call a government agent once on a project to inform him of an inefficiency. That only resulted in us getting our budget pulled from the next project. My boss was livid for a month. The single most important thing that I have learned about the working world outside of school is that I need to shut up unless my opinion is specifically asked of me. I get up and go to work each day hoping that something exciting will happen. I feel good when a project turns out actually looking good, despite all of the forces that seem to conspire to make everything just mediocre. The challenges that make me want to quit are really dealing with the government and my co-workers. Though my job is not really that stressful, it can be boring at times. I definitely maintain a healthy work / life balance as I try to get out and go snowboarding whenever I can. I wish I had more vacation, as I only get 3 week per year, but I make use of what I am given. A rough salary range for my position would be from $55 to $65K per year. I don't think I am paid enough, because my friends that work on private projects can make 10 times as much per year. Though money can vary from project to project, to be in my field, you definitely need a college degree. If I could write my own ticket, I would be working on private buildings for individuals in Los Angeles, New York and Paris. Male civil engineer image from Shutterstock
8 Ways You're Being SHUT OUT Of The Hiring Process
1-hour workshop to help job seekers figure out what's getting them tossed from the hiring process
September 28, 2022
Are you terrified of screwing up a job interview? Does the thought of writing a cover letter horrify you? Are you scared to network with others? What do you even say, anyway? If you're struggling to overcome your job search fears, this live event is for you.
We get it. Looking for work can be scary, especially if you’ve been at it for a long time and haven’t gotten any results.
Understanding which fears are getting in the way and how to overcome them will make all the difference. Sometimes you might not be aware of which obstacle is getting in the way of your goals. If you want to overcome these fears once and for all, we invite you to join us!
In this training, you’ll learn how to:
- Utilize strategies for coping with your job search fears
- Be confident in your job search—from writing your resume to networking
- Face your fears and move forward
Join our CEO, J.T. O'Donnell, and Director of Training Development & Coaching, Christina Burgio, for this live event on Wednesday, October 5th at 12 pm ET.
CAN'T ATTEND LIVE? That's okay. You'll have access to the recording and the workbook after the session!
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If you feel like many of the job postings you come across in your job search are scams, you're not alone. You are not the first job seeker to tell me they feel this way. But we have to think about where this comes from.
The Job Application Process Is A Broken System
@j.t.odonnell Replying to @nana_5075 Why job listings feel like a scam... #jobs#careers#careertok#jobtok♬ original sound - J.T. O'Donnell
Back in the day, a company would post a job in the want ad section of a newspaper, so you'd have to open up a newspaper, read through it, write up a resume and cover letter, and snail mail your application off to them. When the idea came to post jobs online, it meant more people who were the right fit could apply. But over time, that's broken down.
Now thousands of people will apply for one job when it gets posted. And many of those job applicants are not a fit. So employers now have to hire recruiters, who are also called sourcers, to go through thousands of applicants so they can whittle it down to about 50 qualified applicants. What's the rhyme or reason they're using to select some applicants and screen others out?
This is why you don't get called—because it's just so random.
After employers get down to 50 applicants, they look through those, find a few they like, and call them. That's why only 3% of people who apply online ever hear back from companies.
It's a completely broken system, so I can see why it feels like a scam. The whole thing is flawed.
So, how do we improve this system? It starts with making better matches, getting back to a place where only the right people are applying to the employer. We actually want fewer applicants, but more of the right applicants. That's the solution. And there are hundreds of millions of dollars in this industry trying to figure it out. But the one thing we have seen is that storytelling is one of the ways to do that.
You're going to see a rise in companies telling their stories. And there's a fancy term for this in our industry. It's called employer branding. Companies will tell their stories on social media platforms like TikTok so that those stories fatefully, naturally, and organically show up in your feed. But it's not fate, right? It's the algorithm at work—and before you know it, you'll start to see companies that feel like a fit. Then you'll go over and check them out. You'll see that there's a job posted that you're fit for. And this is how this matching process will start to fine-tune itself.
Right now, yes, you're right. Those online job postings don't work. They don't work for either side. We need a better system. And storytelling is the key. So go learn how to conduct a proactive job search today so you can finally land a job and work for an employer you actually like!
Need more help with your job search?
I'd love it if you signed up for Work It Daily's Event Subscription! I look forward to answering all of your career questions in our next live event!
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