Fast replacement of technologies, shifting economics to new post industrial (global and IT based) structure placed for +40 y.o. specialists in very complex situation. On one hand massive migration of manufacturing toward 3rd world in relatively short time made knowledge purchased 20 years ago less relevant, on other hand employers have perception that this group of workers is hard to re-educate. They rigid in methods, cost a lot and bit skeptic about what young managers aim to do (others will name it life experience :)). All this make these group of relatively young and experienced (today 40 looks and act like 32 y.o.) people non attractive in hiring process despite clear advantages that just long term experience and team work could grant to each smart person – ability to make things done no matter how complex task ahead.
So what are the right tactics for day that will come to everyone that works in technology sector?
I tried to compile few possible tactics:
1. Industry runner. This is nothing to do with this fact – employers ready to pay us only in areas where you have clear added value and if you best engineer for designing of crackers machine and you company moves it to China so you can take a risk and move yourself with family there. Pro’s: you secure your job for few years and your carrier horizons opened – your experience could take you to VP or CEO position in almost zero time. Con’s: how family will adopt relocation, how to come back?
2. Saver: this is really type of people – that know to place cent to cent, year over year and come to age 40-45 with no financial obligations and sufficient savings. The best tactics for these people is to calculate chance to keep current position or get similar in another company that allow you to keep current income level for the next decade thus looking for early retirement. Pro’s: good planning and execution will take you to right pension plan Con’s: it’s not easy to accept fact that you passed your Life pick point and now you are on a slow way down. It could be bored and sometime depressive.
3. Midlife changer: Ok, today doctors explained why it happened with us in the mid of the life – why we want new carrier, often new love and tend to take risks. This is change of hormonal background because each of us is kind of chemical fabric and minor change in chemical balance causes us to take unexpected steps. This is ~25% of us belongs this category. You want be school teacher instead programmer? OK, go for it, just wait a minute before you jump in. This is no way back to high tech or to corporate life. Try it before you cut, work on weekends like a volunteer. Is it really good to tech these small bastards like you dreamed about? 🙂 Pro’s: it’s better regret about failures than on things you never tried. Your self-estimation will go up (at least for short period). Con’s: unfortunately these improvisations rarely succeed. Only well planned steps could take you to the right place without to ruin carrier and family life.
4. Innovator: You feel like 18 y.o., full of ideas and know how, just cannot take risk like 18years old –it seems mortgage, kids educations and other obligations grounded you forever. Sounds familiar? Proposed tactics – Put 3 years plan – and start to execute it on daily level starting from today. In 2016 you will be ready and it not too late. I do not mean to teach you how to plan and execute, probably you can teach me. Just do not wait –select few idea, build small team (you will be surprised but it’s probably biggest challenge) and start to work. GO, GO, GO !
So what’s in common? This day will come and you should be prepared – do not say that I did not inform you in advance! Start to manage your time on 80/20 method (Common with your experience in 80% of time you can do 120% of current job!). Invest rest of 20% in study – how to invest if you saver, try different jobs if you midlife changer, re-map your industry opportunities if you industry runner. And what about my lovely type – Innovator? Try different horizontal positions in the next 3 year (finance, operations, marketing) All this knowledge is a basement for your success. The rest – how to find genius idea and implement it in cool product is pretty easy for you!
What you think guys? Please share your thoughts and experience: what need to do in order to feel for the next 25 years that your carrier on the way up?