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  • 1.  Career relocation

    Posted 05-25-2023 08:35

    What is your comfort level with relocation? This is an important factor for everyone to consider. It is only rare than an engineer will stay with the same job at the same location for their entire career. Advancement is easier if one is willing to relocate. Picking up roots however has lots of disadvantages with friends and family. Thinking about this early will likely come in handy.

    What are your job relocation experiences?

    Paul Follansbee
    Professor Emeritus
    Greensburg PA
    (724) 834-1860
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  • 2.  RE: Career relocation

    Posted 05-26-2023 07:51

    Relocations can definitely be difficult on spouses and kids.  I have relocated a couple times but went into those situations with the expectations of having to move in a relatively short amount of time (think grad school).  When I get to a point where I think it's time to leave a company, I prescreen where the new job is before I get too interested in the job.  If the new job would require a relocation to an area that I don't want to move to, I move on to the next potential job.   
    Targeting where the family moved at the end of grad school was key in making it easier on myself so that I can change jobs/companies without having to relocate.  Picking a decent size metropolitan area with lots of engineering and manufacturing has meant I don't have to think about relocation much at the moment if I were to look to change jobs.  Once the kids are grown and at least in college, I will have a bit more freedom in where I would be willing to look at for relocation.

    Daniel Baker
    Lead Metallurgical Engineer

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  • 3.  RE: Career relocation

    Posted 05-26-2023 10:24

    Well, I haven't though there have been choices. 4 companies post graduation but 26 years with the current as I near retirement. Twice the better job, different employers, turned out to be a worse job. Once within current job they wanted me to move w/out a real raise or job band bump. I currently work for the global R&D center as "deployed staff" traveling globally. Prior to the current position I worked for the local plant but would routinely get loaned out to help other projects, Korea, Brazil, Abu Dhabi, and upstate New York. That one involved travel 4 weeks/month for two years so...

    Curtis Eddie
    GTL - Continuous Anneal Solution Heat treat
    Newton Falls OH
    (330) 979-7695

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  • 4.  RE: Career relocation

    Posted 05-26-2023 10:28

    relcation is something that needs very serious consideration. I've relocated 4 times now, 3 to different countries and it probably more inmportant to consider the effect on family than for you.

    When interviewing for SA relocation it was a requirement for the spouse to also attend the interview and more than once it was obvious that the candidate was willing but the family connections would cause real problems.

    the other factor is to look at the company culture. very few companies, departments, managers, who have themselves not reloacted are very good at onboarding new additions.


    Martin Reeves
    fontec-global LLC
    Holland MI
    (616) 635-4283

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  • 5.  RE: Career relocation

    Posted 05-26-2023 10:51

    It can be particularly difficult for spouses who also have professions that might require relocation. A professor warned us as students to be cautious about relationships with other materials engineers. People in the legal or medical professions can get jobs almost anywhere. Two engineers who fell in love during late nights at the X-ray lithography lab will have fewer options.

    Then there is the issue of divorce. When shared custody of a child or children is involved, relocating might require sacrificing your relationship with your kid(s). And of course, the former issue can be a factor in the latter.

    Ken Kirby
    Snap-on, Inc.
    Kenosha WI
    (262) 748-3836

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  • 6.  RE: Career relocation

    Posted 05-27-2023 09:00

    Relocation, unfortunately, is not only your choice.  Early in my career, I was extremely excited to be on the ground floor of magnesium automotive part production in the late 1980s through to ~2000.  I also took the opportunity to get involved in high volume near net shape automotive aluminum processes (SSM, heat treatable HPDC alloy) commercializing.  The choice of going into the automotive parts manufacturing supply sector has turned out to be a poor one as many of my employers have closed and/or reorganized which led to unplanned relocations.  I am now very happy in South Dakota working on non-automotive 6XXX extrusion processes but would advice (along with the earlier comment regarding a job you are moving to not being as good of a fit as the one you left) a person to be careful going into a immature material/process.  I will never forget my friends from Mg and HPDC aluminum and both materials/processes were cool to learn and develop but relocations are harder as one gets further along in their careers.

    Rob Bailey
    Senior Process Engineer
    Hydro Extrusions
    Yankton SD

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  • 7.  RE: Career relocation

    Posted 05-28-2023 09:56

    My specialty (failure analysis) is rare enough that I have to go where the job is. I cannot stay wedded to an individual area as a result, much as I would have liked. Employers no longer hire for life so being flexible is simply a given. The plus side is we have lived in many interesting places, from Houston to Chicago to Orlando to our current excellent location of Dayton.

    Aaron Tanzer
    Principal Research Engineer
    University of Dayton Research Institute
    Beavercreek OH
    (407) 247-9557

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