A Tale of Two Carrots | Fairygodboss
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Electrical Field Engineer
A Tale of Two Carrots
I'm 2.5 years into my first entry level job. I'm not crazy about it, but as a fresh college grad I leapt in with both feet without asking too many questions. I'm an electrical engineer, but I spend most of my time dreaming up my own assignments to stay busy. We're overstaffed for the work we have (which is not technically intensive; it mostly involves updating old technical instructions to modern requirements), so it's hard to stay productive, even when you're actively seeking assignments. The only place to exercise any autonomy or creative input is in the rotating pool of field engineers; everyone is required to do 12 weeks each year, but typically no more (so the office groups can continue to produce instructions and planning products.) I've been considering making a career swap (in about 6-7 months, when my lease expires) to a position that supports remote work and international travel. I'm in a good position in my life to take off on a whim and travel the world while working remotely. However, my new supervisor tossed me a carrot this week and informed me that the field engineering group will be starting a new project next September, and they'll be looking for a technical lead right around the time I was planning to leave. I suspect they're trying to keep me, because we have a terrible attrition rate as it is (~7 people a year), and I'm right in the average departure time frame. It's a year-long assignment in a leadership position (supporting all electrical work for a major project, working with the rotating engineers to provide continued coverage and minimize work stoppages), which isn't something I have documented experience in (and am unlikely to obtain if I spend the next few years working remotely). I'm not guaranteed the position, but I will be one of the top candidates. I'm torn, because I think getting leadership experience in this kind of role is a good long-term career move, and a huge step towards leading my own team, but I'm also sick of management's reluctance to allow change, even for small QoL improvements. My view towards remote work is arguably a bit on the romantic side, and I'm sure it won't 100% match my expectations, but there are so many opportunities opening up globally for remote workers to stay beyond the standard traveler's visa that it just seems like the perfect timing. Is it better to stick it out in my current job for the leadership experience, or can I make up for it in a different position further down the line? I want a job where I'm able to make changes and provide improvements instead of monotonously reinventing the wheel, but I don't want to shoot myself in the foot, either.

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