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As a civil engineer, remember every job will have two factors that are completely out of your control; however, they'll stress you out anyway. First, you're at the mercy of others' activities. You might be waiting for a civil engineering tech to finish his survey so you can refine your site plan. You may be waiting for an environmental consulting firm to send you their report so you can evaluate a proposed project's environmental impact. Are any of these delays your fault? No, but you'll probably chew your nails over them anyway.

You also won't like the weather delays that put construction projects behind schedule. While it's easy to work around a little rain here and there, four solid days of gully-gusher tropical storm rains will not only gum up the schedule...the deluge may wash away enough soil that buildings' foundations can be compromised. That opens up a whole new can of worms, which, by the way, will glom on to that sopping wet dirt.

Finally, you could find yourself reliving The Godfather...kind of like a Twilight Zone experience. Picture an influential CEO or government official pressuring you to overlook some discrepancies so a particular project can stay on schedule. When he says he'll "make you an offer you can't refuse," run the other way like an Olympic sprinter. You don't want to end up like those poor saps in the movie.