Episode 23 — Priorities

pathsChris and Jeff discuss priorities and burnout, and we learn a thing or two about Chris’ future plans.

  • Chris isn’t sure what he’ll be doing in a month, but says it probably won’t include hosting The Engineering Commons podcast. (A collective gasp rises up from the audience!!)
  • Jeff quizzes Chris for a bit about his career objectives, and the role podcasting plays in advancing his personal and professional interests.
  • Exploring a wide variety of opportunities, and steeling himself for the possibility of massive industry changes, Chris has developed a number of online venues (in addition to this podcast), including The Amp Hour, Engineer Blogs and Chip Report TV.
  • Chris currently considers himself a “starter,” but not a “finisher.” Jeff thinks he’s being too hard on himself.
  • Apparently the human brain loses plasticity as it gets older, making it harder to forget the old information, and thus blocking the absorption of new data.
  • Is Chris suffering burnout, or merely changing priorities? He’s previously written about nearing the burnout stage.
  • An observation about consulting is, “Why work 8 hours/day for someone else when you can work 16 hours/day for yourself?
  • Seth Godin’s book, The Dip, is about when to persevere, and when to quit.
  • Jeff runs through a list of the Top 10 Symptoms of Developer Burnout, just to verify that Chris is making an informed decision.
  • There’s also a list of the Top 10 Tips for Avoiding IT Burnout.
  • Chris reveals that he’s known to do yoga late at night, and recommends the site DoYogaWithMe.com.
  • A program that adjusts the color temperature of your computer screen to match the local time of day is called f.lux.
  • Women engineers report a higher level of burnout than do their male counterparts.
  • According to a recent survey from the ASME, the average male engineer earns $96,000 annually, while the average female engineer earns $77,000.
  • Based upon a recent search of available positions on Indeed.com, the average electrical engineering job is going for $84K. California jobs average $94K, while those in Ohio are averaging $80K.
  • Jeff mentions an old movie, The Seven Year Itch, in noting that it’s not unusual for individuals to grow dissatisfied with their career situation approximately 7 to 10 years after graduation.
  • Our episode on economic value with Professor James Trevelyan highlighted the differences between skills taught at school and those used on the job by practicing engineers.
  • A Money Magazine article about setting priorities appears focused on financial decisions, but has some applicability to career decisions.
  • The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey, is a book that Chris frequently references.
  • Jeff recalls getting stymied by the chore of correctly assigning priorities to all the tasks he listed in his Franklin planner.
  • Jeff and Chris discuss options for the future of this podcast, including the possibility of finding a new co-host. Chris has posted a video about podcast creation.
  • While Amazon lists a book, Philosophy of Technology and Engineering Sciences, for $210, our little podcast remains free of charge!
  • There will be a three week break until the next podcast, due to some scheduling hiccups. However, Chris will still be co-hosting our next episode, which will discuss leadership.
  • Individuals interested in possibly taking a run at co-hosting this podcast with Jeff can send email to admin -=at=- theengineeringcommons.com.

Thanks to Elf Pvke for the photo titled “Bloomington, IN, 5/10.” Podcast theme music provided by Paul Stevenson

One thought on “Episode 23 — Priorities”

  1. Thank you for a great podcast! Chris, I understand your decision. I listen to your podcast on the way to work (also TheAmpHour) because it is the only time I have to do this – I am sure many others do the same. Throwing in work, life, wife, (kids?), I don’t know where you get the time to do editing etc.

    Not finishing things? I don’t agree, you started this podcast, it is not supposed to finish… (I hope…)

    I am quite looking forward to the episode on politics now. I don’t like it at all (avoid
    it), but it is a reality we have to deal with day to day. I recently started reading a book on this and expected it to be really boring – I was quite surprised to find
    myself battling to put the book down. (Political Dilemmas at Work, How to
    Maintain your Integrity and Further your Career – in case you are interested)

    Keep up the good work guys – don’t burn out! :o)

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