This is my first post here and so I apologize if this is mistakenly posted here.

Background: I graduated in May of 2016 with a bachelors in Mechanical Engineering. I accepted an offer for a contracting company working for an Automotive OEM in Michigan. I began here in November of 2016 (training and traveling with the company in between start date). This company is a big company. It is an Indian based company, and as such has a few company rules that I don't particularly like (i.e. we started with 0 vacation days, accrue .8 days per month and we have to use some vacation days when Client holidays don't align with my companies holiday schedule).

This job is a scripting job. I enjoyed the challenge of learning how to code at first and develop tools for the engine calibration group. But 2 years later and now I am feeling as though I did not make the right move in accepting this position. I want to go back to Mechanical Engineering, but since I have not used my skills since graduation, and I'm not going to be using the current skills I possess in future roles, I am stuck. Feeling depressed and in a rut because I don't know what to do. I am a hard worker, I have heard nothing but great things from my employers, but after applying for the last couple of months, nothing aligns considering I don't have enough experience for Mechanical Engineering positions. I can't apply to entry level positions because most want recent college graduates, and engineering level II positions require much more experience than I possess.

Another thing to consider is that I moved from Washington State. Being away from friends and family in a new location did not really help this situation as well. I would highly consider moving back to Washington State.

Can anybody help me take a foot in the right direction? Every day that passes I seem to get more and more depressed because I feel as though that I am drifting farther and farther away from any positions that would interest me.

Thank you for your time.

  • Either apply to entry level jobs (you say you "can't apply" - do you mean tried and failed, many times, or do you mean something's physically preventing you from applying?) or pick up the knowledge you're missing (if any) in your free time and apply to more senior roles. Nov 13, 2018 at 20:38

2 Answers 2


I'm an industrial engineer who graduated, didn't work in industry, and then went to Korea for a "year abroad teaching". I came home 8 years later.

I got an entry level gig through a friend of a friend. First thing is reach out to your network. Most jobs are posted with a networked candidate in mind.

If you've already explored your network for contacts and are forced to apply without introduction remember 2 years of experience does not disqualify you from "recent graduate" positions and 2 years of industry experience in a peripherally related industry may land you an engineer II sort of role. Apply for both types of positions, they won't blacklist you for not 100% meeting their stated requirements. Your background may give you a leg up for mechanical jobs that involve a little bit of coding (it is a valuable skill pairing).

  • 1
    Thank you, this answered my question perfectly. I talked to my network back home, landed 3 interviews, and am currently considered for a Control Systems Engineer. I just had to get the confidence from my network and along with some great recommendations from their part. The position that I am considered for currently had requirements that I did not meet, but I interviewed well and impressed them enough to land the job.
    – A. Glez
    Feb 4, 2019 at 19:47
  • @A.Glez I've also looked at a jump into that exact role. It's a good match for people with a foot in both the computer and mechanical worlds. It's also an incredibly marketable skill set once developed. Good luck!
    – Myles
    Feb 5, 2019 at 16:27
  • Congrats! Exactly what I've been finding out. I'm eagerly excited to start this new position and see what is in store for myself. Thank you!
    – A. Glez
    Feb 6, 2019 at 17:45

It sounds like you have a pretty specific goal in mind - "get an entry level job as a Mechanical Engineer, working in Washington state".

As an engineer, you know a thing or two about solving problems. Think of this as just another problem to solve. It's going to take work on your part, but that's OK.

Your age isn't necessarily the handicap you may think it is. Some people spend an extra year or two in college (changing majors, etc.)

Hold your head high, don't apologize for being more mature, and start applying.

Think of these 2 years as a competitive advantage for you - you know how to get things done, you know how to show up for work on time even when you don't want to, and you have patience.

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