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Old 11th October 2018, 11:16   #196
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Default Re: The plight of IT professionals in their 40s

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Originally Posted by digitalnirvana View Post
What am i not good at: people leadership. I am often too demanding of people
I am not qualified enough to provide any suggestions on what to do; other than support the fact that you need to do something.

For the quoted statement, you might be surprised that if you are too demanding of people your employers may actually think that is a good thing!

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Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
Sometimes I think people are being too facetious. The high salaries you get in the early days are to compensate for the short working life. In a short time, either you retrain, or move over to management, or are essentially redundant.
I could not agree with you more sir. However, some of us who have grown through the ranks have not had the luxury of high salaries in early days.
Moreover, we had to grow into the hierarchy as our employers were not willing to pay us the same salary for individual contributor roles.
Now we have the same problem at higher levels. I think it is a spiral or a jinx, maybe both?

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This is the way I too think, my father at the time of his retirement saved around Rs.9 lakhs plus a plot in Bangalore.
While I am not aware when your father retired, I am sure there would be some inflation aspect involved. The value of 9 lacs then would be higher now, and buying a plot now may not be the best investment option anyway.

I am thinking it is better to live well within our means and not get tempted by the marketing ploys these days. EMIs, YOLO and a lot of other abbreviations are true long term killers. I don't know how having an iphone or a SUV in terms of status is important when we keep relying on loans for those. And then stress ourselves silly because we have loans.

I am sure our parents did not replace consumer goods/ furniture/ cars every year. Neither did they upgrade their residence unnecessarily nor go on extravagant travels/ annual vacations. I am not advocating we live exactly the same way, but there is a lesson for us also in curtailing or controlling our spending habits.

In my opinion this spending pattern adds a lot to the plight. And then whatever we save/ invest keeps losing value as against inflation.

Last edited by selfdrive : 11th October 2018 at 11:17.
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Old 11th October 2018, 11:49   #197
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Default Re: The plight of IT professionals in their 40s

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I am thinking it is better to live well within our means and not get tempted by the marketing ploys these days. EMIs, YOLO and a lot of other abbreviations are true long term killers. I don't know how having an iphone or a SUV in terms of status is important when we keep relying on loans for those. And then stress ourselves silly because we have loans.

I am sure our parents did not replace consumer goods/ furniture/ cars every year. Neither did they upgrade their residence unnecessarily nor go on extravagant travels/ annual vacations. I am not advocating we live exactly the same way, but there is a lesson for us also in curtailing or controlling our spending habits.

Very very sensible words. I agree completely, thanks for putting this down.
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Old 11th October 2018, 12:13   #198
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Default Re: The plight of IT professionals in their 40s

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Sometimes I think people are being too facetious. The high salaries you get in the early days are to compensate for the short working life. In a short time, either you retrain, or move over to management, or are essentially redundant.
I agree, though partly. Most people in IT in their 40s might be drawing high salaries, but they might have started with a meager one when they took up their career. I agree with retraining to keep aloft, but moving to management in IT sector is even more risky, especially in our country.

The managers are deemed as non-billable resources and are generally the first to be fired during downsizing. I know of a manager who took nearly 6 months to find a job when he was fired by an MNC after the 2008 crisis. Another person was laid off in November 2016 and has still not found a job. The individual contributors in his team have found jobs in a few months however.
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Old 11th October 2018, 12:36   #199
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Default Re: The plight of IT professionals in their 40s

Ok, let me as an IT professional now in his early 50s, the age when most are sent out to the "parking lot" or the "pasture to graze" as many call it OR as is the recent trend offered VRS or just nudged out, offer some advice/gyan for those approaching what I believe is the danger zone in terms of age and career.

a) I can't stress this enough - YOU are responsible for your career from the time you enter the industry to the time you retire. Do NOT make the mistake of expecting your immediate boss or anybody else in the hierarchy even HR to map your path. YOU have to do it. Take their help if required but don't expect them to do it for you.

b) Every employee is only a pawn in the game. You will be moved to where the company deems it can extract the max benefit for itself. How you benefit is secondary

c) Keep your life as simple as possible. No over the top EMIs for homes, cars or sundry luxuries. In other words live within your means and save as much as you can for that rainy day. Well, it doesn't rain any more, it's more like a tornado. Shorter working careers means you need to save more. Expect to retire latest by 50-55 and plan your finances accordingly. With AI and automation coming in in a big way I expect careers to be crunched even further. Good thing is you get rise faster but become redundant that much sooner. Get a financial adviser if you believe they can help in your retirement planning. You need to start NOW.

Take a leaf out of your parents' books. Very sensible and down-to-earth lifestyles that held them in good stead over longer working lives and even post retirement.

d) Change is the only constant. Be flexible enough to accept new roles (even non techie or managerial) and be willing to learn, relearn. Heck man, I'm studying for a PhD at my age. You are NEVER to old to learn! "Old dogs can't learn new tricks" is an adage for the past and the FASTEST way to make yourself redundant. Prove it wrong!

e) Should the inevitable happen consider going independent and doing what you always loved to do & earn . I know a youngster, an engineer, who at age 25 gave up his techie job and is now into wedding photography, charging 2-2.5 L per shoot. Believe me there's money (and competition of course) in these fields. Good at teaching? Like interacting with youngsters? Great! Take up a teaching job. Many of my former colleagues teach at coaching classes or do guest lectures at colleges. I do that too every once in a while. It can be fun. Love to cook? My family friend (background is banking), an excellent cook, set up a patisserie in Navi Mumbai about 10 years ago was quite successful. He was recently offered a job in a 5 star hotel as a Head of FnB. He sold the business and joined the hotel. Talent speaks for itself.

f) Look after your health. "Health is wealth" is true. Give it priority # 1. I go for detailed health check ups including treadmill stress tests every 1-2 years. Minor tests as follow ups every 6 months.

Last edited by R2D2 : 11th October 2018 at 12:38.
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Old 11th October 2018, 13:08   #200
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Default Re: The plight of IT professionals in their 40s

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While I am not aware when your father retired, I am sure there would be some inflation aspect involved. The value of 9 lacs then would be higher now, and buying a plot now may not be the best investment option anyway.

I am not advocating we live exactly the same way, but there is a lesson for us also in curtailing or controlling our spending habits.
My father retired in 2004, the value of 9 lakhs was sufficient to lease a house in Bangalore and take care of my sister's marriage expenses. I also strongly believe in leading a simple life, hate to waste money on unnecessary expenses. I had invested some money into SA and pension plans a decade ago, the monthly returns from these investments takes care of my daughter's school fees. The road ahead is tough and unknown, whatever penny you can save will have its worth in future.

Last edited by deehunk : 11th October 2018 at 13:10.
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Old 11th October 2018, 13:08   #201
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People in IT have to understand the painful reality that the party is over for people above 40. All these reskilling, adaptability to change and new technologies etc are simple jargons invented by HR to get rid of people. The real reason is obvious that these companies are becoming top heavy now and need to get rid of people at the senior levels to preserve margins. You can reskill and learn new technologies, but why would the company pay 5 times to a senior level executive when an entry-level guy will have much more agility, enthusiasm and subject expertise in these new technologies.

In matured markets, it is common for professionals with even above 20 years experience to work in junior engineer roles. Indian companies have so far not adopted that culture and have experience band for each role. So a vast pool of people with more than 15 years is left competing for a continuously shrinking pie of jobs.

Life outside IT is not that rosy as well. You have to compete with people who are more street smart. Most of IT folks are too meek and won't fit into these careers.
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Old 11th October 2018, 13:16   #202
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Default Re: The plight of IT professionals in their 40s

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You can reskill and learn new technologies, but why would the company pay 5 times to a senior level executive when an entry-level guy will have much more agility, enthusiasm and subject expertise in these new technologies.
If a senior is doing an entry-level job, then what is the problem in accepting entry level pay?
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Old 11th October 2018, 13:22   #203
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Just came across this news.

https://www.msn.com/en-in/money/news...cid=spartanntp

The news does not mention if this in India or all over the world. Considering that cognizant employees maximum number of manpower in india, this may well affect India employees too.
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Old 11th October 2018, 13:22   #204
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Originally Posted by R2D2 View Post
a) I can't stress this enough - YOU are responsible for your career from the time you enter the industry to the time you retire. Do NOT make the mistake of expecting your immediate boss or anybody else in the hierarchy even HR to map your path. YOU have to do it. Take their help if required but don't expect them to do it for you.
True. No one else is responsible for one's career.

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Originally Posted by R2D2 View Post
b) Every employee is only a pawn in tdeshe game. You will be moved to where the company deems it can extract the max benefit for itself. How you benefit is secondary
True again. After all it is a business and despite all the brouhaha, it is still how much one brings to the desk.

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Originally Posted by R2D2 View Post
c) Keep your life as simple as possible. No over the top EMIs for homes, cars or sundry luxuries. In other words live within your means and save as much as you can for that rainy day. Well, it doesn't rain any more, it's more like a tornado. Shorter working careers means you need to save more. Expect to retire latest by 50-55 and plan your finances accordingly. With AI and automation coming in in a big way I expect careers to be crunched even further. Good thing is you get rise faster but become redundant that much sooner. Get a financial adviser if you believe they can help in your retirement planning. You need to start NOW.
Young people often fall into false sense of illusion that the party will go on forever. With the all the marketing blitz going around, it is very easy to fall in to the trap of crass consumerism.

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Originally Posted by R2D2 View Post
Take a leaf out of your parents' books. Very sensible and down-to-earth lifestyles that held them in good stead over longer working lives and even post retirement.
...also do not teach your kids to live like their parents, if their parents themselves have not taken a leaf out of their parents' books . Tell them how their grandparents lived. Instill a sense of thrift in their lives early on no matter how many crores one has got to burn.

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f) Look after your health. "Health is wealth" is true. Give it priority # 1. I go for detailed health check ups including treadmill stress tests every 1-2 years. Minor tests as follow ups every 6 months.
This should actually be the first point to focus on...

Last edited by AltoLXI : 11th October 2018 at 13:31.
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Old 11th October 2018, 13:23   #205
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If a senior is doing an entry-level job, then what is the problem in accepting entry level pay?
What I meant is that this is not yet happening in India. My friend who has 20 years of experience working as a principal engineer is learning new technologies along with entry-level engineers. But he is drawing 10 times more salary. Anyone can predict what will happen going forward.
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Old 11th October 2018, 14:19   #206
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Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
In a short time, either you retrain, or move over to management, or are essentially redundant.
Agree with the retrain bit. Not so sure about the move over to management bit, at least not in the Indian IT sector.

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The managers are deemed as non-billable resources and are generally the first to be fired during downsizing.
Exactly, since for most IT companies, a big chunk of the client base is in the US, most of the important decisions are taken in the US- the Indian IT manager is essentially a go-between guy for the higher US management and the Indian IT employee. Given the (still) pretty bad communication skills of your average Indian IT employee, this makes some business sense, but up to a point only. I see most managers here doing nothing to grow the business or improve efficiencies, or reduce costs. It's mainly meetings, e-mail, conveying what their US manager tells them to their direct reports, and follow-up. I guess most companies can no longer afford to pay the salaries they are paying for someone in a purely supervisory role anymore.

Last edited by am1m : 11th October 2018 at 14:20.
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Old 11th October 2018, 14:28   #207
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What I meant is that this is not yet happening in India. My friend who has 20 years of experience working as a principal engineer is learning new technologies along with entry-level engineers. But he is drawing 10 times more salary. Anyone can predict what will happen going forward.
I am sure he can add a lot of value reflecting his experience. Of course being unaware of what exactly he worked in and now has been trained on I can only hazard a guess. He could work on acquiring domain knowledge and perfecting designs even in the new technologies.

With Agile the de facto standard of project execution, today's IT industry doesn't just demand good/very good designers and programmers but they also expect you to have the domain knowledge for e.g in BFSI, telecom (I worked in telecom BSS among other areas), manufacturing, and utilise domain knowledge to perfect your designs. You need to be able to converse with the customer about his business domain. They appreciate it. This is what sets the experienced employee apart from the freshers.

The other key thing in your friend's favour is the depth of knowledge and best practices acquired over decades of experience. He may be learning anew (kudos to him) but I am sure the company will have higher expectations and should he deliver on them he will be valued too and possibly rewarded.

In a nutshell - an experienced techie doing hardcore technical work in a new area remains an asset for most organisations. Depending on the project and domain I'd likely value him more than a managerial bloke with the same # of years of experience. Remember most of the flab in companies is in the managerial cadre. In the eyes of the company their salary vs business value or contribution diminishes as time goes by.

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Originally Posted by AltoLXI View Post
This should actually be the first point to focus on.
You are right. It should have been point # 1

Last edited by R2D2 : 11th October 2018 at 14:32.
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Old 11th October 2018, 14:47   #208
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If a senior is doing an entry-level job, then what is the problem in accepting entry level pay?
There is no problem. However companies will and do not hire senior for a entry level job. The reasons why they don't do that are well known.
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Old 11th October 2018, 14:48   #209
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Another challenge some of us are facing is in looking for new job roles. Our CVs usually show more domain/ managerial experience; whereas most recruitment agents only look at the technologies/ platforms. As we would have 15+ years experience, it is more likely (than not) that we would not have experience on newer technologies.

The recruitment agent could end up assuming that the relevant experience is low. Whereas the previous experience on other domains (as opposed to technologies) could also be useful. How to get past the initial recruitment agent screening stage is also a challenge. In some cases where you can get someone to refer you (excolleague, neighbour, friend, etc), it is at least possible to influence the screening to be a little more thorough than a first glance.

The next issue could be that for such senior roles, most organisations would prefer to recruit internally than hiring outsiders. Something which organisations like Cognizant seem to be doing. However, I am sure those who grow internally already are aware of the dangling sword over their necks. It would not be long before they face the same fate as their predecessors.

As I have stated before, it is up to HR to ensure dignity in this process. Also the same for other employees in the organisation to avoid being judgemental. I have also heard of HR negotiating for a lower salary just because the candidate is not working currently. It reminds me of vultures for some reason.

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Originally Posted by am1m View Post
I see most managers here doing nothing to grow the business or improve efficiencies, or reduce costs. It's mainly meetings, e-mail, conveying what their US manager tells them to their direct reports, and follow-up. I guess most companies can no longer afford to pay the salaries they are paying for someone in a purely supervisory role anymore.
It depends on the role. I am aware of managers handling multiple projects/ clients. It is also a misnomer to assume such roles are not needed. It is like saying that a restarant manager is not needed because the staff (cooks, waiters, etc) know what to do. Or that a conductor is not needed in an orchestra because all musicians have their notes.

There are other ways to reduce costs (company provided cars & accomodation, first class flights, business travel, other perquisites etc) that will save more money in the long run than making a scapegoat of a manager.

My previous organisation asked a support manager to leave with the assumption that the leads will be able to handle everything. He moved on, but in his absence there was no end to end delivery. Everybody just did their part and the service delivery was a big mess. Then they offered him to rejoin, but he had already started off something on his own and seemed unwilling to return. They ended up spending more to recruit someone else and train that new person with around 18 months of client haranguing. With this added stress, the leads also started leaving the organisation and it was overall new team to be built.

It is quite easy to destroy something that has been built; not at all simple to rebuild something or even build from scratch.

It has been a long rant so I will keep other examples for a later post.
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Old 11th October 2018, 14:55   #210
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There is no problem. However companies will and do not hire senior for a entry level job. The reasons why they don't do that are well known.
Given the salary band, why there must a cap on years of experience. Why the companies won't hire a senior for entry-level jobs? What would be those reasons?
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