I feel like I'm in a career-rut - or should that be just a "rut", as I no longer think of mechanical design as a career - just a job these days. Wouldn't it be nice if it was like being in an institution such as the police where you could aim for being a "Sergeant Mechanical Design Engineer", or one day be a "Chief Inspector Mechanical Design Engineer". I like the idea of a ordered pay structure and career path broken into bite-size chunks. But obviously that's not possible in our world. It's either Mechanical Design Engineer or Senior Mechanical Design Engineer (meaningless titles that do not reflect expertese or pay). I'm not interested in getting into management so I guess that means I'm stuck as a "mechanical design engineer" for the rest of my life. I can't see any opportunities for "career" progression unless I move to management, but that's means I won't do mechanical design anymore and would end up driving a desk instead. What do people do in my position? The options I think I have are as follows. a) Stay where I am without any future progression b) Become a manager and become miserable c) Invent something or set up my own business (very difficult and I'm not sure It's my cup of tea) d) Join a circus. Any suggestions??? Anyone else stuck?