Has your engineering career flat-lined (or worse in a deep hole) and do you feel you are a spectator to a blood sport others are thriving in? Do you feel you are watching this career sport unfold, while other more agile engineering career cohorts are getting to where you’d like to be?

While you are not alone, you only have to look at yourself in a mirror to answer this question.

Do I want to achieve change or watch as others pass by me as I sit and observe?

Only 17% of individuals, from a career perspective, enjoy what they do.

Your choices are – do you stay on as a spectator or do you become an active participant?

Do you want to be the 17% of free-spirited individuals who look forward to work or do you want to be the 83% of deprived individuals continuing to do the same old for the rest of your working life?

I see a lot of engineers of various experience levels, whether they be civil, electrical, mechanical, chemical, telecommunications, industrial engineering or of any denomination – languishing badly in their careers.

They are unsure of their career direction and where its heading. Unsure if what they are doing is going to deliver the best outcome for them. Unsure if they should stay where they are from a work perspective or leave. Unsure if they should start a business of their own or continue on in employment. Unsure why they are not getting call backs from the various job applications they’ve made via job boards. Unsure as to why recruiters say one thing and do another or why recruiters never return their phone calls. Unsure if the jobs they are applying for via recruiters are even real. Unsure if the job they are in is secure or not and what would they do if their job were made redundant. Unsure if engineering is the right choice for them despite being in the industry as an engineer for ten plus years. Unsure if there is a “blacklist” they are on and whether that’s the reason why they’ve not been hired for some length of time. Unsure if they should continue on or just give up and start doing something totally different (like driving an Uber cab!). Unsure if ageism is what is holding them back. Unsure which industry or company to target and how to get to the relevant decision makers. Unsure how to approach those decision makers, given when they’ve tried to approach them they’ve had no or very poor responses back.

So they come to me for guidance. I offer them a book relevant for engineers at no cost on why engineers continue to stay dissatisfied with their current work situation without an escape plan.

They read the book and then come up to me for a consult (which currently is at no cost but will be at a nominal cost from 2018). This is done through an hour or so spent listening to their situation. I provide them an insight into what’s happening on the cold front given changing industry and economic circumstances analyzing their specific situation, helping them understand what is happening within their careers. I offer pathways through a Program I run providing examples of other engineers similar to them who’ve undertaken the Program. Engineers who have come out of it flying free within careers they have re-discovered through skills I have taught them which they will retain for life.

There is a segment (probably close to 17-20% ) who decide to participate.

And then there is the rest who I describe as the Spectators.

They like to watch (and continue to languish). They sit on the side lines. They vacillate. They cheer (so openly say that what I’ve conveyed is great) but then do nothing further.

Yet, when I see them at networking sessions or talk to them during the year or see their LinkedIn profiles (where they continue to be, despite having told me how much they hate being where they are); I find they have not moved from where they were 6, 9 or 12 months down the line.

Will anything change by being a spectator?

Is it any wonder self-esteem starts going down hill? Relationships come under pressure? That it becomes harder and harder to do something about it as time drags on? That you are actually losing tens of thousands of dollars by not being at your peak as compared to continuing to operate at a flat-line level? That changing something now and from now on to the rest of your working life, equates to a lot of money and a great quality of life you are missing out on?

Is it time to jump in and participate in this career game it has become (remembering it’s a competitive environment your career needs to survive within) or do you want to look back at your life and see the ruins your career has started to become, by continuing to be a spectator?

Is it time to see yourself in the mirror and ask these difficult yet emancipating questions to yourself?