Asked by Anonymous
Asked on 26 Jul 2018
I hope I can receive some of your opinions/experiences/advice as to the dilemma I am facing now!
I am a local uni mechanical engineering graduate, 27 this year, and I managed to get into a graduate program in an US MNC, specifically in the engineering/manufacturing field.
I have just completed this 2 years program, and I realize that all that I've been doing is very general, like I don't have a specific skill set. Yes, I was exposed to different business functions, but it's only a little bit of everything, kinda like a jack of all trades, master of none. And that led me thinking on what I actually wanted.
Even after being exposed to these function like sales, marketing, operations, I still can't figure out what do I want.. I always said I want to go into supply chain/logistics, but I actually don't even know exactly what is it as supply chain represents a lot of functions.
What can/should I do? Thank you all so much!!
There is no real right answer here instead I will share my personal experience
In my early career I went deep into one technology and felt really trapped. I wanted to learn broader skill sets and do many different things So I went to a generalist role where I did many different solutions and learnt a lot however that was a double edge sword as head hunters told me that I was doing too many things. They can’t really see what are my core abilities
i moved into a specialist role mid career and focused on a specific domain which I really enjoyed and helped pave the direction.
i am now in a more main stream domain with a lot more experience As such quite a bit of head hunters knock on my doors currently.
As long as your boss and company values you and provides new challenges to learn and grow then it’s ok to not know what you want.
Move around different companies to gain new experiences if you are feeling stuck.
The important thing is to never stop learning and growing.
For your current role, are you exposed to any supply chain functions? What is it about supply chain or logistics that attracts you in the first place? Look deeper and find out exactly what attracted you, and see if you can maneuver into a role like this within your current company.
I will say, EXPLORE. You don't have to really choose your lifelong career at this point in time, in fact choose what is something you have more interests in.
My personal experience, my Polytechnic is on Computing, my Post-Polytechnic Advanced Diploma is on Strategic Marketing, my degree is in Information Systems.
I started my career in Banking, didn't start as IT in the first place, but eventually I did a switch back to IT because I realized that is something I am good at and probably love doing it, and this had proven over the years.
You don't have to really choose and think its a confirm confirm decision, just be open, choose something you don't hate and probably like, start for 1-2 years and see how it goes. Life is a long journey, and "losing" 1-2 years in exchange to be "more" sure on what you want, is a good way if you still don't have much strong interests in any field.
I think it is totally ok to not know what you want. Instead, do you know what you really dont want?
By method of elimination you may be able to narrow down your choices. From there, start with something and give yourself a year or two before evaluating if you want to change to another one of your choices. Hopefully you find yourself a company where lateral transfer is encouraged so that moving around is easy.
Depending on your personality, you might also want to work for a firm where you agree with the values. I find this v important to me.
All the best!