It’s A Tough Industry… Get Used To It!

It’s always a tough industry. I can’t think of an industry that isn’t tough, unless you’re super super specialized. It’s hard to get a job, and it’s even harder to get a good job.

When I started mechanical engineering in University, one of the reasons I was doing it (instead of architecture) was that Quebec needs engineers, and I was told that I could be pretty sure that I’d get a job easily coming out of school. When I graduated, I looked through long lists of job postings meant for recent grads, and found 1/50 was open to people with less than 5+ years of experience. Great. That one job that was open sounded super boring and depressing, and didn’t pay much. None of the people I knew that graduated with me from mech engineering got good jobs out of school. It often took over six months to find them, and they were still crap.

“You know, it’s a tough industry…”

You might think: “Well what about law, or accounting or medicine? They do all that schooling, there aren’t that many of them, must be easy to get a great job!” You would be wrong! Accountants need to pay their dues and put in ridiculous hours of mildly satisfying work, lawyers have issues finding decent jobs without experience, and doctors have trouble getting placed into the fields they want and in the locations they want.

2016-04-03-oneinamillion

If you’re a specialized systems programmer, an underwater welder, or a prosthodontist, it’s going to be tough to get a good, well paid job. There’s a solution to this though, that I found in engineering and have continued to find now that I’m in the game development world. Contacts.

Contacts are how people get jobs. School is nice, good grades are cool, and work experience is even cooler. But at the end of the day, contacts are what will get you a (good) job. You have more contacts than you think! Whatever field you’re in, you’ve probably got a friend or a family member who knows someone. You’d be surprised how far your inner circle reaches. It could just be that your uncle has a friend who consults for a firm that does ____, and can get you in touch with that friend. I got my first engineering job through the mother of my girlfriend at the time, and I started a company by going to events and meeting people who eventually became our team.

Contacts, contacts, contacts.

2016-04-03-contacts

Not that kind.

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