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Old 17th May 2018, 14:02   #31
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If you thought that it would last forever and did not save some of it for this day, then it was your mistake.
As layoffs become more common, more people are beginning to realize the truth of this statement, these days. The kind of spending and overstretching I used to see during my initial 5-10 years in the industry was crazy. I used to wonder if some of my colleagues and friends were really brave or foolhardy with the amount of loans and credit cards they used to sign up for without batting an eyelid and without actually calculating whether their income was really at a level to service borrowing at that level. But now I see a lot more caution, in general.

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The day they let me go, I am gong to hang up my boots.
I've had this thought several times too. The kind of work I do has several opportunities for freelance assignments. So, if it comes to that, i think I'll be able to continue as a freelancer, with a much reduced income, of course. But right now it's still a good (if boring) job with great working conditions that pays well. So will enjoy it while it lasts!

PS: And I really don't think 'becoming a farmer' after the IT mela ends is an option- agriculture is hard work and depends on a lot of factors, several of which are not predictable.
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Old 17th May 2018, 14:06   #32
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Easily said than done, my friend who is a cardiologist runs a 150 acre farm in Ahmedabad. It took him 15-20 years of hard work and learning to run the farm. Another 10 years to adapt the farm to bio-rhythmic/organic farming and now it is one of the most reknown farms in Ahmedabad. He has scaled down the medical practice to focus on the farm. You could call it a partnership between the farmworkers and his family to get to this level.

Loans and EMI - I could see my situation coming. I bought my property outright a long time ago. I had taken loans for investment properties which I cleared months before my impending circumstances came to fruition
Sir (since you're on the wrong side of 50 )

Unless we try anything, we won't know whether we will be successful or not. You do not need to go in with 150 acres of land to be a successful farmer (or anything else). Farming was just an example. Lots of things can be done in a low capital manner. Ofcourse, this depends on the person, their intelligence, street smart creds, their drive, motivation, existing bank balance etc. If these things are not in line, then you're in for trouble.

If you're in a financial position where finding a job is the proverbial damacle's sword hanging over your head - you are absolutely finished in today's world where absolutely nothing is certain. This was the case for all the candidates in the news article shared by the OP.

I also find that many peeps who are in their mid 40's are already finished with their personal drive and motivation to "make something happen". I think this is usually because all the energy is spent in managing their wives, kids, their education corpus, buying homes, managing loans, managing politics at the work place...its just a nightmare. Worse, if you've already suffered a serious health scare, like a heart attack, or some surgery which seems ever so common for people above 30 these days.

After this, fighting the world to make something new happen seems a tremendously uphill task, and most folks just quit after reading a few failures on the first 3 links of google. Its too much, and I can't blame them at all.

Loans and EMI's are the biggest pythons in our lives today. A well orchestrated play between consumer businesses, banks and employers to

1. Keep people hooked to buying stuff they don't need +
2. Taking easy loans for crazy interest to buy above stuff +
3. Getting tied to a monthly take home to keep buying more stuff and paying loans back.

Infinite Consumerism (not rational consumerism) is the bane of our society at large. That is the root of the problem.
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Old 17th May 2018, 14:10   #33
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While this topic is about IT sector , let me chip in.

Iím a Specialist doctor with 10 years of Post specialization experience. I can continue in this job as long as I wish provided nothing happens. All my friends who are in a similar situation feels nothing will happen. I on the contrary feel that our jobs will get threatened in another 5-10 years and we might end up in dire straits. I had 2 options.

1) Say All is well and go on living in my own fantasy bubble and hope only the best happens
2) Get higher skill sets in an emerging field

I chose option no 2. At the ripe age of 40 I have resigned from a comfortable job with 36 hour week and a good pay and is joining a course with 100 work hour week and a stipend which is about one third of my pay. It's gonna be gruelling work and while my mind is ready for that, I don't know about my body. Why am I trying to do this? In this competitive world , only those are skilled is needed. If you don't get updated , you get rejected soon. I may fail in this , but it won't be before I give my 100%.

Many may think, everyone can't do such things, I'm sure more than 90% can do. I was a very poor student in college. I was a write off. Only after 30 did I change and came back clawing into my profession. I have been resisting the temptation of a bigger car and a house for all these years, because deep inside my mind my intuition was that I would need the money for something. Right now, when my friends who drive BMW's and own houses on EMI's , I have the liberty to leave my job and pursue excellence in a promising field. I can very well maintain the current lifestyle for couple of years comfortably, by which time hopefully I will finish my courses.

I learned something very late in life, that is Power of delayed gratification. One day when the time comes , you will be the last man standing. I'm happy that I learned it even though it was late. There is no problem that a determined person can't tide over. My mantra would be " Never hang up your boots, because our work life is no sprint, it's a marathon". If you come to a marathon with the skills and mindset of even Usain Bolt, you will fail.
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Old 17th May 2018, 14:12   #34
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Worse, if you've already suffered a serious health scare, like a heart attack, or some surgery which seems ever so common for people above 30 these days.
There are such great points on this thread! This is most certainly the most important one!

Keeping healthy is paramount. One bad brush with a serious health condition can wipe you out. Prioritize exercise over work. In the long run, it makes all the difference.
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Old 17th May 2018, 14:27   #35
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Default Re: The plight of IT professionals in their 40s

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Time to move out of the cities and embrace farming. More money there I tell you. And time. And fresh air. And great mornings. And exercise.

Wait, you can't? Oh Loans and EMI.
I am curious. Are you saying this from personal experience? From what I have observed and experienced, Farming is one of the lowest paying jobs when you take into account the effort. Of course we are not talking about inherited 1000 acres of land or crores on the outskirts you can lease to some builder, but actual farming
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Old 17th May 2018, 14:30   #36
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Default Re: The plight of IT professionals in their 40s

I have retired from my IT career just as I turn 40 next year. I have saved a decent corpus for my future by resisting from buying any kind of a property for investment on EMI and not falling into any of the EMI traps for that fancy car or holiday. My friends who are still paying EMI on their second house have hardly saved enough to call it a day. I definitely want to work till about 60, but as far as the IT field is concerned, I am done. Just couldn't be a slave of those onsite guys and higher management guys to turn up for nonsensical timed calls and meet unrealistic deadlines and deliveries any more. The company asking to innovate year after year or perish was always a stressfull exercise and I am glad I could walk away from it and the peace and calm I have discovered since then is absolutely amazing. IT anyway wasn't a field of interest in the first place so hopefully will do something a lot more meaningful and interesting in the future.

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Old 17th May 2018, 14:57   #37
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A very nice and interesting topic for me personally as well

Let me first say I have been in the IT industry since 2002 and have never been a manager, a lead, or any other role than a hands-on hard-core coder (and since I work on an ERP platform made by the "great" Larry Ellison and his cronies, been a functional hand as well)

However, last year was my last job and I was let go because to put it simply they felt I was too old to learn new tricks (without ever giving me any form of training, or when I learned myself ... then no opportunities to work on that "new" platform/tech)

Now, I freelance a bit here and there where people really value (very rarely) a person with 16 years of total hands-on experience in one technology/platform

However, I have seen that in our country, the experience/knowledge of a person does not matter much to ITeS companies. They would rather deploy 2-3 younger folk to do the same task

I remember a story I heard some time ago which my then boss told me. It seems a major jet-turbine manufacturing company had a technical issue with a new engine they had built. They kept getting in "experts" to help solve the issue but then along came an old man with a tool-box. Initially folks were skeptical seeing his "age" and wondering how a simple man like him may solve their problem. He took some time, did a lot of looking around/checking and finally opened his tool-box. He took out a small hammer, knocked on some specific component and bang!! the jet came to life.

When the company asked for his bill, he presented a huge bill and the folks were shocked!!! They asked, so much for just knocking once with a tiny hammer? Ridiculous!!! The man replied, "It's not the hammering that matters, its knowing where and how that counts"

Coming back, the point is ITeS companies in India do not value enriched/purified knowledge. They value "billing in timesheet" and profit margin compared to the person's salary

As an example, when I was in my last job, I remember many of the "young guns" used to keep sitting in focus-groups (or whatever it is called) to solve an issue in our ERP. I would sometimes just go in there, hear them out, see the error message and know what the issue was. I feel that over 16 years, my knowledge which started as the raw Thorium on Kovalam beach, has become so pure and enriched that it is weapons-grade plutonium now

But this is not what India needs. After all we produce lakhs of engineers each year. Why keep an old man on board when they can go to colleges each year and pick up truckloads and fill up timesheets.

I agree that up-skilling, learning new tech can help, but the way I saw it was I would be a fresher/trainee again and more than the salary my body would not allow me to keep burning the midnight oil like I did when I was young

The one main learning I got from my life so far is to never stick around in a job because of some senior man's promises. They are mostly hollow and never come to fruition. They are just carrots to keep you going and not look for a change when you still can.

You keep giving and giving till finally one fine day you are just "too old". In fact I applied via a friend's referral to a job at a leading consulting company in Mumbai (after having re-written my CV to show just 10 years experience to fit the job) and the HR there told him (this is in his words) "Sorry yaar, this man may be good like you say, but he is 37 years old and we don't want to hire someone so old now. Don't tell him like this, just tell him we don't have any openings at this experience"

I am not yet debt-free as suggested by everyone else on this list and should be by Sep-2019 and I hope till such time I can keep freelancing and make some dough to get my loan done. If not, who knows then!!!

Learning new skills is important but in an industry where tech changes each day, each hour, whatever skill you learn and spend years refining, it will be obsolete very soon. This is the unfortunate reality of our world and there is no escaping it. I may go back one day to the college I graduated from (as the class topper) and hope they give me a job as a lab attendant at least or maybe join a BPO (if they hire old men) but otherwise my options seem limited at best
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Old 17th May 2018, 15:07   #38
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I foresee a big problem with when (not 'if') AI guts the jobs of last resort in the US - clerical jobs in the retail sector and driving jobs in the transportation sector. Most Americans who've been laid off so far due to globalization and outsourcing have made do with these jobs of last resort; it is their voice that Trump has made heard now and cut down on H1B visas.

What do you think will happen when clerk-less retail outlets & warehouses become the norm (something that Amazon's already piloting) and when many (not all) driving jobs become redundant? The job description - 'Driver' - is the most common one in most states in the US, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, USA. We're talking about a direct 50% unemployment, and further job losses since automated trucks won't drive through the routes that truck drivers take and hence many truck stops, restaurants etc. will go out of business.

When it gets to be a proper bloodbath, American politicians and lawmakers will turn on the Outsourcing industry. Not just people in their 40s, IT professionals of all sorts and ages from the outsourcing industry will face that day then. Give it 10 years or 20 at the most for everyone.
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Old 17th May 2018, 15:34   #39
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Default Re: The plight of IT professionals in their 40s

We are facing the same problem in the Maritime Industry. Companies are preferring to employ lesser experienced officers at lower wages or even similar experienced people from Philippines or China at lower wages and longer contracts.
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Old 17th May 2018, 15:49   #40
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Default Re: The plight of IT professionals in their 40s

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Iím a Specialist doctor with 10 years of Post specialization experience. I can continue in this job as long as I wish provided nothing happens...I on the contrary feel that our jobs will get threatened in another 5-10 years and we might end up in dire straits.
I am curious (since many of my classmates are doctors) as to why you felt your job would be threatened?

The skills a good, experienced doctor has in diagnosis is not easily replaced.

In Mumbai for example, I know of a doctor who is still revered and he must be in his 80s you can google Dr. O.P. Kapoor (or OPK for short). His lectures even today cannot be contained in a classroom - they have to book large halls to accommodate all who want to attend and there is "standing room only".

OPK is only one example, I know several who are equally adept in their respective fields. I don't think any book or Google or robot is going to replace the ability of a good human mind in analysis and diagnosis. Not any time soon at least.
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Old 17th May 2018, 16:05   #41
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I am curious. Are you saying this from personal experience? From what I have observed and experienced, Farming is one of the lowest paying jobs when you take into account the effort. Of course we are not talking about inherited 1000 acres of land or crores on the outskirts you can lease to some builder, but actual farming
Not really. A fresher in a typical IT industry would earn say about 20-30K/month. Take home would be lesser owing to taxes/pf etc. Now take example of a fresher working as a labourer in farm in Coastal Karnataka(my place). While an engineer spends 4 years studying, a labourer spends much lesser time to acquire a specific skill. Lets keep that constant and say both become market ready by 22. Lets see various jobs and the pay a labourer gets:

1. Peeling Arecanut: A skilled labourer peels anywhere about 60-80Kilos a day from 9-5PM. Each Kilo peeled he gets, 12 rupees! I.e about 900 bucks a day.
2. Plucking coconut/Arecanut from tree: Each person earns about RS 1200 working from 9:30-2PM.
3. Spraying medicine to trees: 1000 rupees per day.
4. Doing unskilled stuff like carry goods, a labourer earns anywhere about 300-400 a day.

Added benefits: Tax free, flexibility, free food, lesser cost of living compared metros.

This is the story of a humble labourer, imagine the one's paying them. Agree that not every farmer succeeds and makes profit, but if you have the will and discipline, there is a tonne of opportunity. Again, I am just taking example of what I see/aware of and may not be applicable to farming elsewhere.

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Old 17th May 2018, 16:14   #42
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1. Peeling Arecanut: A skilled labourer peels anywhere about 60-80Kilos a day from 9-5PM. Each Kilo peeled he gets, 12 rupees! I.e about 900 bucks a day.
Really? Do we not care a bit about job satisfaction, career growth etc? I for one would not want to peel arecanut all day even if they would pay me twice or thrice my salary.
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Old 17th May 2018, 16:21   #43
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Really? Do we not care a bit about job satisfaction, career growth etc? I for one would not want to peel arecanut all day even if they would pay me twice or thrice my salary.
Aren't there IT professions who have been in same post/role doing same job for past 10 years. Growth opportunity is there everywhere my dear friend, and depends on one's skill, luck, opportunity. An arecanut peeler, if good, will manage a arrange/manage more workers over a period, hire machinery's to do the job, invest elsewhere. This is not imaginary and have seen people become that. Now if you don't want to do a particular kind of job, that is perfectly okay. Job satisfaction is subjective, aren't there people who are unsatisfied with IT job? Again I am not arguing a farm labour is better than IT, just wanted to give a perspective on earnings in farming sector. I feel IT sector still a safe bet and has quite a few opportunities, but other fields have started catching up.

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Old 17th May 2018, 16:38   #44
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I am not sure why IT industry is being singled out here.

For that matter anybody , any company that doesn't change with time and remains stagnant is doomed. Case in point , Hindustan Motors. You make the same model for 4 decades+ and you are done and dusted.

Evolve with time - period. Not necessarily IT, but any field.
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Old 17th May 2018, 16:42   #45
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I am curious (since many of my classmates are doctors) as to why you felt your job would be threatened?

The skills a good, experienced doctor has in diagnosis is not easily replaced.
In Mumbai for example, I know of a doctor who is still revered and he must be in his 80s you can google Dr. O.P. Kapoor (or OPK for short).
OPK is only one example, I know several who are equally adept in their respective fields. I don't think any book or Google or robot is going to replace the ability of a good human mind in analysis and diagnosis. Not any time soon at least.
Even I thought no machine would be able to touch doctors jobs, how wrong I was. I have a relative who is working with acompany involved in AI. They have achieved phenomenal success rate in diagnosing diseases. The way things stand the desk job of doctors donít have much future.

And sooner or later nurse practitioners will crop up. Add to that the number of specialists who come out is too high in Kerala. Few specialities have difficulty finding jobs now itself. What happened to engineering is coming to medical field. It has already arrived for dental field here. A new BDS guy gets around ₹ 5000 to ₹ 8000 here. I had told this would happen in 2005, but everyone laughed off. 6 months back my friends younger brother was offered ₹ 4,500 for a Dentists job!!!

I have to be living under a rock to believe that my field is immune to such scenarios. Iím sure in another decade an MBBS graduate wonít fetch more than ₹ 30,000 in present day value. No point to wake up one fine morning and exclaim ď Who moved my cheese ď! Donít think Iím a pessimist, Iím an optimist with a pinch of pessimism added, Optimistic pessimist. Reminds me of the US general James Stockdale who was among the group of POW caught in Vietnamese war, who lived to see him liberated. When asked who didnít make out of the camps, his reply was ď The Optimists ď. It later came to be known as Stockdale paradox.
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