The job market is a fickle environment, and when it comes to fluid power positions it’s definitely no more stable. Everyone and their not-yet-retired grandma is worried about the safety of their position as an engineer, mechanic or technician, but I’m not convinced they should be. The reason is twofold … let’s walk and talk.
I often read a newspaper article citing the claim of an apparently luckless sap complaining of their recent layoff and how they were failed by the educational system they received their degree from. The article will continue by referencing jobless rates for educated professionals, apparently blaming the mere existence of their barely-achieved degree as the reason for their lack of work.
Unless you have a degree in chimney sweeping or alchemy, your success in employment has nothing to do with your chosen field. Sure, there are layoffs all the time in manufacturing of every sort, with fluid power jobs not being unique. But it’s not your degree; it’s what you do with it!
Just having a degree should be no guarantee of a long and prosperous career. When there are layoffs, and unless the whole company is going down for the count or unions/seniority plays no artificial part, ask yourself why others were saved the axe. I will bet they are self-imbued by hard work and character, and are generally pleasant people to be around.
Think about it; whom would you rather keep? Would you rather keep an engineer whom graduated with honors, has multiple related diplomas or certificates, speaks at industry conventions, and has her own personal Facebook page dedicated to her field? Or would you rather keep an engineer whom was barely awarded his degree, does nothing in his spare time to further self-education, cares little about advancing the field and is the first guy punching the time card at the end of the day?
Does the second engineer have any right to complain when he’s laid off before the first engineer, even with his higher seniority? Enough said.
Look around you at your fellow employees, and ask yourself, “am I the brown-nosing nerd who loves my job, goes to night classes and never complains it’s Monday, or am I the water-cooler complainer who tries to look busy without doing much, never gets promoted and always greats others with "TGIF!" at the end of the work week?” And when the wind starts whispering of layoffs, how well do you sleep at night?