I have two guiding principles that I rely on when making career decisions. Compounding experience and future opportunity.
When I graduated with my engineering degree almost five years ago, I was terrified I would get stuck. There was so much opportunity in front of me, how would I choose the right path? Which ones were dead-ends? What industry should I work in? What type of company, department, job function should I focus on? How much weight should I put on near term compensation versus long term growth?
The often-asked question that is supposed to help in this situation is “what do you want to do later in life?” You’re supposed to answer it and then work backwards filling in the education and experiences you need to get there. But as a new grad, more often than not, it’s difficult to know what you might want 30 years later into your career. But I knew that I needed a wealth of experience. Experience would make me more valuable to my employer, to the industry I serve, and as an extension of the society I live in, but, on top of that, experience would also help me figure out what I liked and what I didn’t.
I fundamentally believe that experience compounds like financial capital accruing interest. Over an extended period of time (such as a career) the more quality experience you put in up front the larger the sum will be at the other end. So, the more quality experience I could get, quickly, the more capabilities I would have for whatever I wanted to do later in my career. I knew I needed to find a job that would allow me to grab as much experience as I was willing to take. CAI attracted me because of its global network of subject matter experts and its diverse portfolio of client engagements. I knew these two factors combined would help me incubate my developing career with rich experience and knowledge.
As my career progresses, I’m still not sure what I want to do later, but what I do know is that I will need opportunities to help utilize all of that compounded experience! There is no hiding that consulting/contracting work requires greater flexibility and has less stability than a typical fixed job role. But for me the most important thing right now is creating a future opportunity. At CAI I have worked on three major client engagements, and with each one I have had a different set of responsibilities and was exposed to very different company cultures, operating models, manufacturing processes, and product types. I have built a strong professional network through these diverse work experiences, and as a result, every new engagement seems to bring more opportunity and experience than the last.
I stay at CAI for the same reasons why I chose this company initially – a wealth of compounding experience and the promise of future opportunity.
Are you interested in joining our team? Visit our Careers page for more information.