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Old 1st November 2018, 10:21   #301
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Default Re: The plight of IT professionals in their 40s

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I am 37, and I have about 13 years to go before I hit 50. Once I hit 50, I do know that my body's activity levels, fitness, and overall ability to embrace physical and mental challenges will drop to about 50% of what I am capable of doing now. It has already dropped to 50% of what I was capable of doing just 10 years back. This is the law of life, very few people escape it.


The head questions, but it's the heart that answers.
Age is just a number but no one sees it that way.

I was a lethargic lump at 30. Start wheezing at nothing and panting at something

At 40 - started going to the gym half heartedly

At 45 to 50 -I prequalified and actually wrote and passed my security certifications.

Started being more regular at the gym - engaged a trainer

At 49 = Added yoga and Krav Maga (Israeli self defence) into my regimen. Latter is tough, have qualified to P5 - maybe I can survive an attack but I am not qualified to kill a terrorist.

Both of these have made me calmer, am able to confront or face situations.

At 55 -the corporate world seems to write us off but I am betting that I can go harder, that too, my daughter does not realy require my presence all the time at home.

I probably could be doing double of what I could do, however, at our age, we probably will not submit to nonsense!

Last edited by ajmat : 1st November 2018 at 10:26.
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Old 1st November 2018, 10:22   #302
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Default Re: The plight of IT professionals in their 40s

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I believe everyone should jump the ship. Pick up something they feel connected to. Give it a timeline and attempt the impossible in that timeline, but be aware that there's a steep fall possible and the issues/risks that go with it.
True, also it is my belief that entrepreneurs are born.. not made. When the mind doubts it means that one is not born with the entrepreneurial programming.

I took up entrepreneurship because by DNA, I understand how to lead not to follow.. I barely managed to get through 3-4 months of the stereotypical "I.T" job, I felt that I couldn't breathe.. it was a field of absolutely no creativity, imagination or freedom. I am by nature a free-flowing person.. the business side of things, marketing, managing people, adjusting cash-flow and customizing everything to my needs and tastes.. it felt like I was a businessman from birth.

Almost every person advised me against entrepreneurship.. except for my family. The world either wants to see you fail, or to see you bend to their will of their side of things. Then there was this instinct inside me.. that will to parlay and gamble a certain sum of resources and take it one step at a time, slow and steady. It's been a couple of years now and I've cracked away at my market.. deeper and deeper and I've ensured consistent improvement, easier leverage and YoY growth of more than 700%. It helped my follow my passion of being a marketer.. using my creativity to mould the products the way I want and I've held on to my conviction, pricing, and ethics, no matter what the world/customers/competitors do. In summary I took no pressure from anyone.. I've berated trouble-making clients, I've gone out of the way to please the good ones and while there is no promise that I'll take away 'x' amount at the end of the day, a business is always over the long run and everyone knows that.

I also know that there is this incredible need to conform to the societal "normalcy" and I'm a victim to that every day.. when I took a year off to prepare for entrance exams I was only ridiculed because everyone works and everyone needs work-exp to get into great schools, when I cracked the top 10 list, I was again ridiculed because what use is a degree, after all, without a certain game-plan. I had none.. only the support of the family.

Entrepreneurship is like a jump off an aeroplane, you pop the chute and decide how to fly, how long to fly and you accept the risks of being mid-air. From the day you are born you conform to a higher authority outside of your home like teacher, professor, mentor etc, add peer and societal pressure to that you walk away a perfect cookie-cutter specimen by the early 20's. Every man needs the dough and I am not belittling employment one bit.. however there are some of us who cannot live in such an environment, we free-flow and see where the journey takes us. If there isn't much return or benefits, we are also wise enough to jump ship and see where the next ride takes us.

This is just the best advice possible for anyone who is in their teens or twenties and thinking about entrepreneurship - freedom, hard work, creativity apart.. NEVER, do it without first envisioning a proportional financial gain in the near future. Bottom-line is the other term for business.
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Old 1st November 2018, 10:45   #303
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Default Re: The plight of IT professionals in their 40s

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I wish people well. Just want them to know what they are in for down this path. If you have been an employee all your working life and your parents are not in business you are setting yourself up for a very steep learning curve in entrepreneurship at the very time your growing family and ageing parents are demanding more economic sustenance from you. The steep learning will be learnt, if you are lucky, at the expense of your savings kitty.
Very well put.

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I think the reason is because most of them got into the industry by chance and not by choice.
Another interesting topic all together. I don't know how much of choice engineering/science graduates had in India in the past 2 decades.

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The skills are rusty with disuse. If I were to become an agriculturist now, I can still "manage/mentor" people and teach the younger people a lot of skills I learnt, but post 40, can never get back to the fitness/energy levels we once had to be hands-on in the farms.

I suppose the same applies to other businesses as well.
Excellent perspective.
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Old 1st November 2018, 11:47   #304
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Default Re: The plight of IT professionals in their 40s

While it's true that brick and mortar businesses usually require a lot of time and money investment to get going and usually are 'seen' as businesses. But there are a whole lot of opportunities that don't fit the traditional definition of a 'business'. They still might help folks to get by post retirement. These small scale businesses or ventures (for the lack of a better word) can beautifully compliment the income from pre-retirement investments. That's all one needs to lead a peaceful life in a quiet corner of the world. Everything depends on the person's outlook and what he/she is happy with.
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Old 1st November 2018, 12:01   #305
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Default Re: The plight of IT professionals in their 40s

There are 2 types of entrepreneurship,
* Lifestyle (like having a small shop), with steady revenue and with no plans for expansion.
* Growth oriented (like startups), where the focus is on either revenue growth or user growth.

I think the people here are alluding to lifestyle entrepreneurship, like starting or even purchasing a small business and maintaining leisurely.
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Old 1st November 2018, 12:35   #306
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Thankfully this thread is moving from plights of IT professional, to their blessings!
I always wonder why people crib so much about white collar desk jobs, perhaps they have certain romanticized view of farming, business or 'doing nothing'.
Having seen the first two pretty closely (father still has a farm & I played a bit in start up arena), I have my mind cleared up, that white collar jobs are relatively easiest way to make white money.
If one gets fired, its a different deal altogether & one has to really look at options but situation is not as grim as being made out about IT professionals.
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Old 1st November 2018, 12:52   #307
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Nice thread this. Reskilling is the most common advice I see for this issue. In my opinion, even this wont help much. Because in most of the cases, the same job can be done by people with less experience/less CTC. You wont even be considered for the interview. I know a few people who have cut short their total experience in the resume. One solution for this problem is that, people should be ready to take a hit in salary. In fact if you look at the product based companies, even the fresher salary is over a lac per month.
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Old 1st November 2018, 12:59   #308
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Default Re: The plight of IT professionals in their 40s

I know of 2 cases of IT employees leaving their jobs and setting up their own business. Both of them left by choice.

One of them wanted to be an enterpreneur and left his well paying IT job in an MNC company and started his own IT services company. He gets projects from US and also from the large IT Indian giants who subcontract their projects to him. His work life balance is terrible and he works all day - hardly gets any time for his family. I certainly wouldn't want to have a life like his . He's doing really well though in terms of money , having rapidly expanded in revenues in the last few years and having about 40 employees now.

The other one wanted to get away from the hectic Bangalore and IT life, went to a tier-2 city and arranges wedding and events . His incomes are a lot less predictable , but he has been enjoying a very leisurely lifestyle after he quit his well paying IT job.

So I think in business it really depends on the kind of business one wants to get into , and the risk vs rewards appetite one has.

Last edited by sdp1975 : 1st November 2018 at 13:13.
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Old 1st November 2018, 13:09   #309
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Default Re: The plight of IT professionals in their 40s

While thinking of the word 'plight' in the thread title, most of it is brought on by ourselves. However, when we remove ourselves from that situation, it is possible that the plight seems less serious. perhaps because we can see some other options outside the box.

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I think the people here are alluding to lifestyle entrepreneurship, like starting or even purchasing a small business and maintaining leisurely.
I don't know about others, but I was certainly referring to this.
The type where I can just be in my neighbourhood from 9 to 1 and 5 to 8.

Enough to pay the bills and a little extra. It would take care of some of my expenses in terms of tax deductions as well.
The little extra is subjective depending on ambition/ other requirements.
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Old 1st November 2018, 13:45   #310
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Default Re: The plight of IT professionals in their 40s

This thread has totally changed my mind and I recently switched from management background to technical. Just stepped in to thirties and having around 6.8 years of IT experience in Telecom mediation domain. I was working as Team Lead in Accenture managing 15 resources. After going through all post I changed my mind and moved to Ericsson a product company which is specialized in the same domain. I left the management profile based on the inputs from other members as it was too early.

If I compare it with my previous designation with the new one in Ericsson I kind of got demotion as my experience didn't qualify for the solution architect level and they gave me senior solution integrator profile. The good thing here is I can find many people who have experience landing somewhere near 10-12 years working on same designation as mine. I think product companies do not give promotions that easily unless you master the specific area.

In terms of salary I got a decent increment and I am happy I didn't barged for designation as I can easily sustain another 3-4 years on same profile which will make my experience >10 years after which I can again move to management profile if required. I don't have any plans of early retirement and want to work in IT industry as long as I can and can't think of sitting idle at home.

As others rightly said business is not for all we should think before getting into it. My cousin brother opened a restaurant in Bangalore (home of startups) BTM area last year. I recently went to meet him and was glad to see how he is working whole day to manage everything. I too helped him for 2 days and to be frankly speaking it is not everyone's cup of tea. There are two partners in the business who are working really hard and the profit each one is sharing is not more than my monthly salary. Another thing which I noticed was he has put on lot of weight and has to be on his toes whole day, could spot grey hairs while he is 2 years younger than me. To make it more lucrative IT job helped me to stay with my family and still earning six digits monthly salary as I didn't saw office for 2.5 years after my little one was born. Work from home facility is another big thing which we can easily have in IT sector. It has started again within 1 month of joining my new company and I usually stay twice week at home.(WFH today: )

Anyways it is true that the IT jobs will never last as long as Government or PSU jobs. So the best way is to plan a debt free life before we think this industry will kick us and should try to cut down our expenses and save accordingly.
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Old 2nd November 2018, 09:43   #311
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Nice thread this. Reskilling is the most common advice I see for this issue. In my opinion, even this wont help much. Because in most of the cases, the same job can be done by people with less experience/less CTC. You wont even be considered for the interview. I know a few people who have cut short their total experience in the resume. One solution for this problem is that, people should be ready to take a hit in salary. In fact if you look at the product based companies, even the fresher salary is over a lac per month.
I can attest to that, I added a new certfication with a view of moving to a new area but alas, I suffer from a lack of experience in one area and too much experience else where. Am willing to take a hit in order to start again but companies are scared about whether old men have ego's about having younger peers!
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Old 2nd November 2018, 11:26   #312
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Default Re: The plight of IT professionals in their 40s

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I can attest to that, I added a new certfication with a view of moving to a new area but alas, I suffer from a lack of experience in one area and too much experience else where. Am willing to take a hit in order to start again but companies are scared about whether old men have ego's about having younger peers!
I am sailing in the exact same boat as well. I have 14 years of total IT experience and just completed 10 years in my current organisation, so I cannot even cut short the experience in my resume much as most people around me seem to be doing. Reskilling won't help when freshers are available to do the exact same job for a fraction of your salary.

I think the best possible solution to this might be to try to get into a project within your current organization that uses these upcoming/niche skills, gain some experience on it and then try exploring opportunities after a couple of years. The downside of this approach is that technology is changing so fast these days that the one you have worked hard and gained recent experience on, might become obsolete in the next 3 years.
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Old 2nd November 2018, 12:26   #313
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I think the best possible solution to this might be to try to get into a project within your current organization that uses these upcoming/niche skills, gain some experience on it and then try exploring opportunities after a couple of years. The downside of this approach is that technology is changing so fast these days that the one you have worked hard and gained recent experience on, might become obsolete in the next 3 years.
Ideally yes, but when I attempted this, I was told that the "learning curve" would be steep so they selected someone more technical and of course, younger!.
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Old 2nd November 2018, 12:59   #314
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I wish I had seen a lot of this advice when I was in my 20s!

The two biggest takeaways for me from this thread:

1. Stay away from avoidable debt for non-essentials (fancy car/bike, foreign vacations on EMIs, etc. - not saying don't buy a fancy car if you can afford it, but don't get into debt for one.)

2. Take care of your health and be active - very heartening to see so many people reporting a more active lifestyle post their 30s than before.

While I did pay attention to the first, by avoiding debt, I'm afraid I didn't spend my money wisely in my 20s either. Had I made some simple, obvious investments back then (and I'm not even talking about 'predicting the next big thing', just very obvious stuff), I could probably have retired by now. Still, better late than never!

Health-wise, I'm one of those too who have been much more active in my 30s than I was in my 20s. Again, I wish I had picked up a sport seriously in school/college and worked at it in my 20s instead of all those late party nights and associated unhealthy (but fun!) habits. Again, better late than never.

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I always wonder why people crib so much about white collar desk jobs, perhaps they have certain romanticized view of farming, business or doing nothing
Yeah, that's true. I guess it's a factor of being so focused on the 10% who have it better than us, that we forget that we have it better than 90% of the people, especially in a country like ours. We also don't get to meet too many people outside of our sector. Especially if you moved to a city like Bangalore for work in the IT sector, I suppose the majority of your social circle will also be people with similar jobs, education and social background as you. So we really don't get too many practical views from different kinds of people.

That's why I love meeting people who have never worked in the IT sector. (and this is on a lighter note) Such a joy to talk about anything else but 'Apple', 'percentage hike', 'new flats', 'took my Royal Enfield to Khardung La', 'Canon/Nikon', 'being a foodie', 'my startup idea'...

Last edited by am1m : 2nd November 2018 at 13:16.
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Old 2nd November 2018, 13:42   #315
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Default Re: The plight of IT professionals in their 40s

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Originally Posted by adithya.kp View Post
Nice thread this. Reskilling is the most common advice I see for this issue. In my opinion, even this wont help much. Because in most of the cases, the same job can be done by people with less experience/less CTC. You wont even be considered for the interview. I know a few people who have cut short their total experience in the resume. One solution for this problem is that, people should be ready to take a hit in salary. In fact if you look at the product based companies, even the fresher salary is over a lac per month.
Good point. Reskilling is a common advice. As you mentioned, going off in a tangent and reskilling in a new area will not really help. In my opinion, unless you can take your new skills, complement it with your existing strengths/skills and then position yourself in a niche area that combines both, it will not really help. This is especially true if you are into that 15+ experience range. This is what I am trying to do currently. Will update if it works out.

Taking a pay cut may also not be an option since even though you are willing to do it, a recruiter may be very hesitant to hire someone willing to take a pay cut. Since they might assume that this is just a temporary stop while you figure out the right job.
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