For the past several years, I've felt like my career has been somewhat on hold as we tried to get our family situation figured out. That's not really true considering that where I am is hardly stagnant, it's that I haven't done a whole lot of thinking about what I want my trajectory to look like. I mean, I had some rough idea, and was toying with the thought of making a change when the opportunity came up. One of those changes was to apply for a manager position when it came up next. Unfortunately, that position came up right when we brought Baby Z home, so I let it go. When I got back to work after maternity leave, I realized that I have two good projects going, and maybe I should see them through before making any decisions about what kind of path I want to take.
Then, a temporary position came up in an office that I have considered working for. I went for it even though the timing was pretty bad, considering there was field work starting on one of my projects and I needed to make two trips out to the site at the time I was supposed to be beginning my new job. On top of that, several other coincidental bad things happened and instead of having one of my jobs taken over by another engineer, I've had to scramble, find another person to help last minute, and try to keep it moving forward. STRESS.
There is intense pressure to figure out if I want to make the switch to a non-technical position, and where that position can ultimately take me in my career life. Do I want to go the management route or do I want to stay the technical engineer?
It's a scary thought to leave a position that is comfortable, to leave my friends, and to stare at them from the other side of the table (I would turn from peer to client in the new position).
It's a scary thought to leave my technical development behind and turn my focus to management. What if I'm not good at it? What if I really am better as the engineer, not the manager?