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Things I Will Not Do (Part 2)

Stay In Aerospace

The problem with aerospace in 2004 wasn’t that I was the second youngest engineer in my department, it was that I was the second youngest person in the building. After six months with the company, it was clear to me what I had to do: leave aerospace. I expressed my angst to a couple of trusted coworkers who scoffed at me, telling me “that’s what they all say.” Then they pointed to the baldest guy in the room and told me how, back when he had hair, he used to say crazy things like that too. I stood firm, promising not more than two years of service. Then, almost to spite them, I immediately started applying and interviewing for other jobs.

When an internal opening popped up for a one year rotation program, I didn’t take it too seriously. Someone ten levels of management above me did take it seriously though and had insisted each site offer up a candidate or two. I was picked. Before I knew it, I wasn’t deciding whether to go on rotation, I was deciding where to go on rotation. My trusted coworkers branded me a lifer. They said I’d never come back from rotation. I doubled down, vowing no more than five years of service. “I’ll see you in a year” I told everyone at my going away party.

That was eight years ago.


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