As I read the depressing news about the future of our profession and in particular the unemployment rate of electrical and computer professionals I find myself wishing that we could bring back the good old days.
What do I mean by the good old days? I can remember a time during my over 40 year career with "for-profit industries" that I had complete trust in the motives and ethics of both management and my colleagues. Sadly in today's world of mergers, buy-outs, sell-outs, and a throwaway society I no longer feel that way. Sure the companies, that I was employed by, were interested in maximizing the profit to the company and dividends to the shareholders, but they did that by increased sales and reducing product production expense not by juggling / “cooking” the books. I must admit that the companies that I worked for were run by engineers and not by lawyers, accounts, human resource types, or imported professional managers. Most of the management came up through the ranks. In fact the only reason that I became a member of IEEE was because my "Boss" suggested I join. Well, my mother did not raise any dummies and when my "Boss" suggests something you do it. As a Senior Life Member and Past Director of Region 3 (the worlds greatest region) I am happy that I did.
Do I think that we can return to the good old days when engineers ran the companies we work for? No, well maybe, but you the IEEE volunteer can help stop our profession from becoming another offshore casualty like textiles, steel, shoes, and electronic manufacturing has become. Take advantage of the opportunities being offered you by your IEEE membership and your volunteer status. You are already a cut above the average member who pays their dues and sometimes scans the technical information provided by IEEE, but never attends a Section or Chapter meeting. You have stepped forward to become a leader. Now lead, don't just follow, but lead.
Contact any Region 3 officer or me ( ) if you would like to discuss the issues raised here, need help in developing your leadership skills, or would like to become more active in some of the Region 3 projects.
If you don't like the way things are going,
then become an advocate for how you think things should be done.