CAD monkey position, again?!

I recieved a phone call asking if i could take a 6 month contract job for a machining company doing CAD. I am currently at a temp job doing CAD for aerospace parts. I am right out of college and my fear is that I will get typecasted as a CAD Jockey and never get a chance in doing any creative design work. The funny thing is that I don’t know what field of design I want to step into yet because I haven’t gotten the oppurtunity to intern or work within a field.

My question is simple;

Should I take the 6 month CAD job (if I am given a thumbs up) and risk being stuck as CAD; or do I risk not having a job in a month or two and apply for internships and entry level positions?

Take the job as a cad jockey - spend your free time working to develop personal projects, freelance work, and your own portfolio. When the economy picks up have a kick ass portfolio and some new work experience to take with you.

It’s a bad time to risk being unemployed unless you have some other means of survival or a good savings account.

That is up to you. Do you need money to pay your bills and eat? If so take it. We all end up doing things like this. You learn from every job you have even if it is a CAD jockey. Times are tough right now and if I were you I would take what ever I could get. If you want to keep those design skills up, do some freelance or some compatitions. This is a great way to keep moving forward.

I second cyberdemon. The market is too risky for new grads, considering you already have employment. Polish your stuff in that 6 months and you’ll have practical manufacturing experience under your belt and a kickin’ portfolio. A nice well rounded employee is a pretty hot commodity these days.

I did this same thing last year after I graduated, I had a little boy to take care of so it was something of a no brainer. My boss at the time knew I wouldn’t be there long and it was nice to hear that I had more potential then they needed, so I went to interviews and worked on my folio. I actually ended up quitting without something else lined up because it sucked pumping autocad in 2d all the time, but even that experience was better than no experience for the next one.

The job I have now started out as a “Rhino Guru” contract position, but since I can’t really turn off the design thinking, when they hired me permanently I was easily able to show them some of the things I had already done for them that someone from a tech college wouldn’t have been able to do, and was given the title I wanted (Industrial Designer) and also the significantly larger salary that comes with it.

It is a difficult and uncommon road trying to convince a company what ID is and that they need it to succeed, but it can happen. (like me!) Right now I am leading a research project to possibly develop a new service product.

or if nothing else you get really good at surfacing and can do freelance at a consultancy or something. (my next goal)

yeah, seriously. take what you can get. it’s great you’ve gotten offers. if i could snag a CAD jockey position, i’d do it in a heartbeat. it’s kinda sad, but i just got turned down for a CAD position similar to what you describe. the reason? i have a Bachelor’s degree. they wanted someone with an Associate’s degree, and stated “this is an entry level position.” it’s funny, because they actually contacted me after seeing my resume, and asked me to apply. but i guess they didn’t see the Bachelor’s degree part…i still don’t see why that would matter. i explained to them that i was indeed looking for an entry level job, and i would love to still be considered. no dice. i guess i was overqualified. :neutral_face:

Just to beat a dead horse… It’s better than being out of work. And, it’ll still be educational.

How long do you have left in your current position? Have you been proactively hunting other opportunities that are a bit more on teh creative side?

You don’t have to take a CAD job, but it certainly is nice to know you have something of a safety net in these tough times.

Just don’t start pumping cadd and liking it like this guy

most hilarious Corflot folio ever:

This is great. I think ever CAD guy goes through this, at least I know our CAD guys do.

Hahaha thanks for the laugh.

Brown Brass Extrusions Pty. Ltd
POSITION: Extrusion Simulation Department Head. If it’s extruded and it’s brown, I’m on the end of it.

You won’t be pigeon-holed unless CAD is the only thing you are good at.

I wish someone knew the CAD pumper guy on Coroflot. I bet he forgot he even posted that and it is still legend. My design buddies and I still reference him every few months. Good times!

thanks for all the comments. I hope CAD is not all that I am good at. :laughing: I would like to think that I am not lacking in research skills and creative concept development and that where I need to work is in the sketching and aesthetics.

lol. I totally remember that!

We have a CAD guy here, it’s like all he does, and I’ve got him to start using the term “pumping CAD”, so it’s like the gift that keeps on giving. Sometimes he’ll even do this arm gesture with it. Priceless.

One other thing I thought of. If you have a choice try to get a CAD job at a company that does something with a product. Like I turned down a better paying AutoCAD job with a company called Donaldson, huge company that does industrial heating and cooling, to take the one at a smaller company that used Rhino and has a handful of consumer products. I imagined that in the long run it would make more sense to get really good at Rhino and possibly work on some of their products. Smaller companies also seem to be more receptive to your ideas and less concerned with titles, in that if you can convince them what you are doing is closer to ID then just pumping cad, they may begin to think about needing some ID pumped instead.

And again, any experience is better than no experience, I think in a year or so when we all look back at this time, no one will say, “gee, you did CAD, why didn’t you just hold out in your parents basement until the economy picked up again?”

good choice. It would have been terrible trying to explain to a design company what you were doing during that time at an heating/cooling company…

I’d take the job and be fortunate that you were offered something right now. Six months?? At least you have six months of great experience and you get to leave on good terms. That means perhaps an excellent reference for your next job and a group of people that you help you out later down the road.