Dear Huddie

Dear Huddie: Getting Back Into the Engineering Workforce

November 8, 2013

Back for installment 22 of Dear Huddie, a bi-weekly column to assist engineer job hunters in their pursuit of happiness. Halloween has passed, Turkey Day coming soon!

That’s funny from the internet … not all engineers use their talents for good things!


Dear Huddie,

I have been out of work for about 6 months, my plant shut down. So now I am feeling the longer I am out of work, the harder it will be to get a new position. And the plant shut down was an economic decision, it’s not like I was fired!

Signed – Where is that next job!


Sorry to hear about your plant shut down. The more plants shut down, the more hard workers like yourself end up in the job market, and that makes it a tougher job market. If you knew how to set up a website to aid people in signing up for government health care I could have hooked you up … too soon?

OK, on to your question: now that it has been 6 months, time to get something to get you into the workplace. I would start with a temp agency – it’s not uncommon for a temp job to turn into something permanent, especially if you are good. Key is, even though it’s a temp job, take it seriously and treat it like a try-out.

If after a couple months you are still without work, take something, anything, even holiday work. It’s much easier to explain in an interview that you are working at “Joe’s Burgers” because you wanted to be in the work force, wanted to be part of a team versus watching The View every day! The alternative is going into an interview and trying to explain why you have to set an alarm to get up in time for The Price is Right. While you are trying to explain that away, the interviewer is thinking “this person has not been hired in a long time, why not? Am I missing something?”


Thank you again for listening, that’s it for now. Next installment in two weeks – don’t forget to send your Dear Huddie questions to