ASM Online Member Community

  • 1.  Career development question

    Posted 07-14-2022 12:49
    Hello All,

    I hope everyone has had a great summer so far. I am wondering if I can have your opinions on what would be the option (s) and hopefully best route (in terms of career development) for a metallurgist (with PhD and 1 yr post doc) who has been working in medical device industry for almost 4 years. What would you do? or if you are a seasoned materials scientist in industry, what would you have done differently if you were 4 years into your career? 

    Any help is appreciated.

    Have a nice day.

    ------------------------------
    Habib Alavi
    Materials Scientist/Materials Engineer
    Cook Medical
    West Lafayette IN
    4057427677
    ------------------------------
    Metkon USA - Technology behind Specimen


  • 2.  RE: Career development question

    Posted 07-16-2022 17:32
    Habib said: <....what would be the option (s) and hopefully best route (in terms of career development) for a metallurgist (with PhD and 1 yr post doc) who has been working in medical device industry for almost 4 years. What would you do? or if you are a seasoned materials scientist in industry, what would you have done differently if you were 4 years into your career? >

    It all depends of course on where you want to be.  Pick a timeframe, say 5 years, for looking ahead.  Do you want to stay in strictly technical areas, or do you want to explore directing others and management?  Does your position have a career advancement path and is that what you want?  Only some firms have a technical value ladder, others require one to be a manager to achieve more pay. 

    Personally I was not interested in managing.  I had a couple of stints sitting in for a boss while they were out for 1-2 months, and I didn't really enjoy it.  Others I knew really enjoyed being able to make wider-ranging impactful decisions on resources and workers, and/or helping develop subordinates.

    By the 4 year mark I had looked around at other firms but had not found a good reason for switching.  If you do decide to shop around, keep in mind that if they find out you are looking, your own firm may take that one of two ways:
    1 - XX is looking around, we realize that any person reasonably needs to keep eyes open for other opportunities, so we should try to increase our attractiveness to XX so that we can retain them, not have to retrain someone and incur the costs of job searching;
    2 - XX is looking around, that is signs of a disloyal employee, we should fire XX immediately or make them miserable enough to leave so that we don't have to pay unemployment.
    3 - or something in between....  So searches should not be done from the employer's computer system or telephone system.  Seriously, get a separate phone and never do this searching on company time.  ASM meetings are great places to network!

    Firms that have tech ladders require one to show additional value, as advanced levels (senior, advising/consulting, principal scientist/engineer) and salary are tools for retention of high-value workers.  As a PhD with postdoc time, you're as far in academic accomplishments as you can go, so can you leverage your knowledge and expertise within your firm to gain additional responsibility? 

    Finally, is medical device work continuing to provide job satisfaction for you, or is there some other field that is strongly attractive?

    It is a good idea to occasionally look around, because no individual job is guaranteed to be permanent and unchangingly good.  Businesses are bought and sold, management changes, life changes.  I hope some of these comments are useful to you.      
    Paul Tibbals




    Metkon USA - Technology behind Specimen


  • 3.  RE: Career development question

    Posted 07-20-2022 08:17
    Habib - I agree with Paul in that it depends on what you want to do.

    I chose the management path 8 years into my career.  And I stayed on that path for the remainder of my 40 year career.  Even though I was a manager, I stayed a metallurgical engineer keeping myself involved in projects, doing failure analysis, leading customer communications, etc.  I started out as a manager of a validation team, then progressed to leading design teams and retired managing a global team.  It depends on what drives you.  And now that I am "retired", I am an adjunct professor at a college teaching basic metallurgy to hopeful mechanical engineers.

    The most important thing to remember: When you chose a path, you don't always have to stay on that path. Try different things, expand your experience and follow the path that grows your interest.  Be sure to always do what you like.  Going for the big bucks does not always lead to satisfaction.

    ------------------------------
    Richard Roe
    Adjunct Professor
    Rochester Institute of Technology
    Rush NY
    ------------------------------

    Metkon USA - Technology behind Specimen


  • 4.  RE: Career development question

    Posted 07-20-2022 15:29
    Richard,

    Completely agree. Choosing a path should not restrict our next move. I will remember your insight and I really appreciate the points you mentioned.

    Regards,
    Habib

    ------------------------------
    Habib Alavi
    Materials Scientist/Metallurgist
    Cook Medical
    West Lafayette IN
    ------------------------------

    Metkon USA - Technology behind Specimen


  • 5.  RE: Career development question

    Posted 07-20-2022 15:27
    Paul,

    Thank you very much for through and very useful reply. I will definitely note your insight for my next move. So far, I have been content with my role and impact in medical device industry.

    Best,
    Habib

    ------------------------------
    Habib Alavi
    Materials Scientist/Metallurgist
    Cook Medical
    West Lafayette IN
    ------------------------------

    Metkon USA - Technology behind Specimen


  • 6.  RE: Career development question

    Posted 07-24-2022 08:37

    Habib, It´s very important, think in that what do you will do. I want to explain you the check list, with base in my life experience:
    It is not what we want, what will necessarily make us happy

    May be is a life biggest question, What decisions would make me happy in the future life?

    Thinks in the work, future develop, field of interest, type of companies
    Think in your own life stile, think in you old man time
    Think in the money, evaluate making you own company
    Think, of course in the type of family life stile


    Have a nice week



    ------------------------------
    Carlos Vergara
    metallurgical engineer (owner)
    Ingeniería y Servicios Solco SpA
    WILLOW GROVE PA
    56994991864
    ------------------------------

    Metkon USA - Technology behind Specimen


  • 7.  RE: Career development question

    Posted 07-27-2022 10:08
    Carlos,

    Thanks for taking the time to answer my question. I am at a point of my life which I can choose different paths and just wanted to have some insight from seasoned people, like you. But I will keep in my mind all the valuable points you had mentioned.

    Best,
    Habib

    ------------------------------
    Habib Alavi
    Materials Scientist/Metallurgist
    Cook Medical
    West Lafayette IN
    ------------------------------

    Metkon USA - Technology behind Specimen