Author Topic: Will your skill get you hired?  (Read 2774 times)

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  • Swamp Rat
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Will your skill get you hired?
« on: October 15, 2020, 06:45:42 PM »
For non engineers:  if you left your job today, do you think your ability is enough to get hired in today's climate?

I see an emphasis in larger companies focused on growth centered on directors, managers, etc (those with advanced degrees / stamps), less focus on hiring or even retaining anyone without them (cad techs), regardless of the years of experience. What's it like in your area?


  • Swamp Rat
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Re: Will your skill get you hired?
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2020, 08:23:56 AM »
In my experience, going back multiple decades, that's SOP for large organizations. The people who actually get the work product out the door are essential, but unimportant.  Remember that the phrase 'essential worker' bandied about during the age of covid is equivalent to 'disposable employee'.
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  • Villiage Idiot
  • Seagull
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Re: Will your skill get you hired?
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2020, 11:37:32 AM »
Do I think it is enough? Well, if you had asked me this question prior to 2010, I would have said absolutely. Regardless of it being "today's" environment, the focus has been and continues to be on removing decision making from the people who have the ability to make informed decisions and reduce everything down to some sort of metric that works for all hiring. Here is a clue: Metrics do not work, at least not in the context of having a potential employee check off a bunch of boxes. Experience counts for a whole lot more than a list of credentials and experience only counts if it comes with the understanding that experience only counts if you are doing the exact same work. Experience driving a bus for example, doesn't prepare you for driving a semi and driving a semi sure as heck doesn't prepare you for driving a school bus. The best metrics can't be reduced to a check box and therefore many employers miss out on the best employees because they insist upon looking at everything from a system of "additive qualities" that aren't really qualities at all.

So no, I wouldn't think my ability would be enough to get me hired today. It wasn't enough to get me hired in 2010 despite having more ability than the person who was hired for the job. (yeah, I followed the jobs ... I'm a stalker like that).

Plus, I have the whole age discrimination thing going against me that isn't going against me but it really is ... Oh, we have this 30 year old applicant .. lets hire them, he will be able to "grow with the company, this other dude will be retiring in a few years".

It's why I have put myself in a financial position to no longer require a job. I work because it's somethign to do.
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  • Seagull
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Re: Will your skill get you hired?
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2020, 01:09:10 PM »
Quote from: MP
My tenacious problem solving and innovation expertise does not come across on paper or map to today's HR filtering methods. Add "born with a face for radio" and a "voice for print" I'd have to reluctantly acknowledge "no". I've been steadily employed for decades strictly on word of mouth recommendations and testimonials, a strategy that is no longer in vogue. As a result have frequently considered leaving the industry to write a book for CAD support professionals who are thanklessly tasked to perform the work of dozens++ of design drafters at the eleventh miracle hour - the book I wished I had in my arsenal 20+ years ago.
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  • Newt
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Re: Will your skill get you hired?
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2020, 04:44:42 PM »
The short answer is "no"... at least as it relates to CAD work. I actually do something else now; kind of a bridge to what will eventually lead to a project management position (or site supervisor, we'll see). Roles like those are always in high demand.

I'm in Western Canada and I can say with 100% certainty that the majority of firms don't respect CAD skills. Nor are they aware of exactly how much poor CAD practices are costing them as it relates to both time and money. Often times, the Engineers try to force the CAD standards and the results are pretty bad. Worse yet, I've seen the quality of the engineering work itself go to sh*t. I think the engineers have too much on their plates and are not self aware of this fact. They sometimes seem more interested in trying to dictate CAD standards rather than fine-tune their engineering designs (or get them to code even). In spite of all the new technological advances the drawings end up being really really bad. My experience was mostly with engineering consulting firms which specialize in multi-residential. I feel like this might be the most problematic sector, at least in my region.

The reason I've had so much trouble 'throwing in the towel' on the CAD work is that I could see huge potential for productivity gains, and therefore it makes economical sense in my mind for someone to pay me what I'm worth (as they'd obviously profit even more than myself). As I learned more about construction I also saw opportunity to reduce construction waste, improve constructability, etc... As I learned more about the engineering side of things I was able to spot more and more engineering mistakes. On paper I'd be exactly what a lot of firms are looking for, but in reality my "skills" simply generate office conflict. I recall an example of where I made a simple LISP routine that completely automated a 20 minute procedure. Instead of a raise or a pat on the back I was taught a huge lesson in office politics. The routine worked perfectly but nobody used it. My skillset is nowhere near the level of some of the CAD experts on this forum, so I imagine things would be even more frustrating for them should they ever end up in some of the situations I have.

My day job has me nowhere near a computer (for now) and I actually enjoy working for once in my life. I only do occasional freelance work now and simply try to 'upsell' clients on my programming skills (in reality, my value is derived more from a combination of CAD workflow/standards knowledge, building construction knowledge, some pretty nifty dynamic block skills, and mediocre LISP programming). I've worked for some great clients but I usually have to work with very broken CAD standards. I'm waiting for the 'perfect' opportunity; that being helping a start-up company and creating a CAD department that absolutely hauls ass. With the added bonus of not having to spend hours on broken drawings that should be someone else's problem. If that opportunity never appears I'm totally okay with that.