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Old 19th May 2018, 17:29   #91
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Default Re: The plight of IT professionals in their 40s

Honestly, experience is over-rated. Skillset and knowledge (domain, technology, product and so on) are the key variables now.

Even our thread makes the same assumption - 40+ equates ~20+ years of experience; not what skillsets and knowledge areas are getting useless. For those who are looking at a way out - start rethinking your career in terms of the above two variables; not the number of years you have on your resume.

Rate your skills and knowledge on a measuring scale - where you stand; how do you fare against the competition (irrespective of their age); and plan accordingly.

This is actually not new - we apply the same basis when we search for an individual for any service. For e.g. if you are looking for a doctor; you don't make a decision basis how long he's been in the market or how old he is. You go by the reputation/reviews which is a testament to his knowledge and his skills. Experience is definitely a factor but the prior two take precedence.
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Old 19th May 2018, 18:48   #92
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I'm in my mid thirties, working in the VLSI domain (still a hands on technical guy) and have learned one thing: Number of working years don't make a difference, its the work in those years that matters. So every day I make sure that I learn something new at work. That keeps "reskilling" a part of my daily routine. Hopefully that keeps me going longer than some of the less fortunate ones. I have also ensured that I take no loans for depreciating assets. If I can't save for that fancy car, I don't deserve it yet!

Another problem with IT and allied industries is the salary structure. I read someone say in this thread say that a technical worker (even in his sixties) isn't frowned upon outside India. That's very true, and I have the good fortune of knowing some very good technical people- People who were working in my industry even before I was born. The reason they are still around as I understand is two fold:
1. They kept themselves abreast with the latest in the industry and evolved continuously.
2. The salary structure outside India is not as skewed as in India. The highly experienced technical people (>25 years) abroad may get paid about 5-6 times of what a fresher gets paid. In India, that factor can be achieved much earlier, and continues to as high as 10-15 times fresher's salary. Somewhere on that "X fresher salary" graph, it starts making sense to replace a "high cost" employee with multiple lower cost employees.

-Abhishek
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Old 20th May 2018, 00:20   #93
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Default Re: The plight of IT professionals in their 40s

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Having faced bankruptcy before I told my wife that now we will live at this burn rate only and can do so for the rest of our lives and will eschew the temptation to spend much beyond this. And it has worked very well for us so far. My erstwhile employees were driving the German three while we stayed with humbler cars. You get the drift. I see many employees in the IT and financial services sector consuming through debt on the assumption of assured incomes and income growth well into the future. That might be assuming more than you can see ahead.
This is where employees think differently than self-financed entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs are aware that their business is always 3 months away from bankruptcy, like if they lose most of their customers at once. Therefore, they mostly monitor their burn rate of personal spending, to survive such potential scenarios. Typical employees don't think like that. They assume that their income is assured and will keep increasing every year at a healthy percentage. This is what gives them the confidence to enter into multiple loan/EMI situation. For them, even taking a pay cut is not an option, it will push them to default on carefully calculated EMI payouts.

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Try self-employment. Once you get used to it, it is addictive. Best of luck. You have nothing to lose but your inhibitions.
I believe it is not for everyone. Majority of people are risk averse, and prefer steady income. Entrepreneurs have to be risk takers and a bit crazy. Here are six signs somebody is not an entrepreneur.
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Old 20th May 2018, 05:20   #94
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Default Re: The plight of IT professionals in their 40s

I had a friend once tell me "If you are not a vice president by forty, make sure you can earn your current salary from 3 small companies by the time you are 45"

I think that is excellent advise

If you have reached a policy position early, then you will be able to leverage it for other jobs. If not, you need to build marketable skills that have clear, measurable outcomes & outputs. In that case you can be a consultant.
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Old 20th May 2018, 07:19   #95
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Default Re: The plight of IT professionals in their 40s

Lot of interesting points. Though it sounds challenging, seems to be part of any business. Probably now I understand why they say, "Life Begins at Forty". Probably its the new life. Excellent question and discussions so far
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Old 20th May 2018, 12:53   #96
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Default Re: The plight of IT professionals in their 40s

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I believe it is not for everyone. Majority of people are risk averse, and prefer steady income. Entrepreneurs have to be risk takers and a bit crazy.
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Try self-employment. Once you get used to it, it is addictive. Best of luck. You have nothing to lose but your inhibitions.
Unless a business has been inherited or a person belongs to "traditional business family", most business owners I know are accidental entrepreneurs. That is, quitting a job and starting a venture is not planned 2 or 3 years in advance. It's always a job loss or voluntary exit from a company because of other circumstances (bad boss, internal politics, company shutting down etc). There is only one way to find out if you will succeed as an entrepreneur, and that is to take the plunge.

Self-employment is a worthwhile option as long as you don't take extraordinary risks (Eg: pledge ancestral property, take Rs 1 Cr loan and start a restaurant). But for somebody who is in IT field, starting your own one-man training, consultancy or software development company is a good way to go about it.

Last edited by SmartCat : 20th May 2018 at 13:05.
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Old 20th May 2018, 15:28   #97
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Default Re: The plight of IT professionals in their 40s

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most business owners I know are accidental entrepreneurs. That is, quitting a job and starting a venture is not planned 2 or 3 years in advance. It's always a job loss or voluntary exit from a company because of other circumstances (bad boss, internal politics, company shutting down etc).
That's a rather pessimistic view of entrepreneurship. People who start a business because of negative reasons would succeed only by accident.

More than anything, entrepreneurs must identify a way create value, and must have boat load confidence and positive feeling about making the venture a success.
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Old 20th May 2018, 15:30   #98
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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.
Great topic and it is definitely interesting to read about the state of play in the IT sector.
I am a doctor myself, and I was curious to understand why you mentioned that our jobs will get threatened in 5-10 years...
Having said that, I am looking to jump ship from the profession in 5 years time.

Kudos to you btw for making the leap to learn a new skill. I am assuming you are going on a clinical fellowship somewhere. Good luck!

Cheerio!!
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Old 20th May 2018, 15:55   #99
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That's a rather pessimistic view of entrepreneurship. People who start a business because of negative reasons would succeed only by accident. More than anything, entrepreneurs must identify a way create value, and must have boat load confidence and positive feeling about making the venture a success.
It was just an observation, not a view. Anyway, planning 3 years ahead might not help much either - because as you pointed out in that article, entrepreneurship requires a different psyche/mindset.

However, I guess planning ahead helps in terms of personal finance (Eg: getting rid of loans, changing lifestyle, managing with spouse salary etc) till the new business venture is cash positive.
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Old 20th May 2018, 16:56   #100
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Default Re: The plight of IT professionals in their 40s

I used to resign from full time jobs, do some odd consulting work and then get back to regular jobs and then do it again after a couple of years. I have done this without any particular agenda or timing - just for kicks. I do take my work seriously but never fancied myself doing very well in career which requires many talents owing to people and politics.

Apart from allowing me to spend time away from gruelling job environment, it removed any basis and desire for "comparison with peers" which is very liberating because to live a dignified life in India you don't have to be a VP by 35 years. I am very hands-on so getting back to a full time job was never an issue and interestingly my hiring managers saw my 'breaks' in a very positive way equating it to be 'risk-taking, confident, can work outside his comfort zone, doesn't suck up to keep his job', etc.

I wouldn't suggest this to anyone because you won't build a good career this way and this probably works only for hands-on engineering type of professionals. However it really allows you to be outside the matrix which can be a good thing depending on how important you consider a stable progressive job is to lead a happy and meaningful life.

Here is one of my favourite essays on jobs and industries, etc.:

In Praise of Idleness By Bertrand Russell
http://www.zpub.com/notes/idle.html
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Old 20th May 2018, 17:37   #101
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Default Re: The plight of IT professionals in their 40s

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Here is one of my favourite essays on jobs and industries, etc.:

In Praise of Idleness By Bertrand Russell
http://www.zpub.com/notes/idle.html
One of my favorite essays too. Unconventional , but he has strong points to make. I particularly like the views he has on hard work.

Last edited by sdp1975 : 20th May 2018 at 17:56.
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Old 20th May 2018, 20:02   #102
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7 Pages and I wonder why nobody has bought up work life balance?
Somebody in their 40's has other commitments, and I am not sure would be able to work 24x7 as most freshers are made to work. I understand that there are other fields like sales where you are more or less at work 24x7, but in IT, experience does not translate to revenue in the same way, as in, say sales. People with 25 years of experience expect to be paid 10x that of someone with 2.5, but that does not translate to 10x revenue. There are some, and they will be in demand, but for everyone else, a company can hire 5 junior devs for half that cost, and if you throw in the unpaid overtime, get 100% more productivity from them. Given that there are no Overtime rules or Labour unions in the IT sector, and a virtually unlimited supply of Fresh talent ( despite all the whining about the lack of quality fresh talent, IT companies would still rather hire new) Freshers who are willing to work more for less will always be more cost effective.
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Old 20th May 2018, 20:49   #103
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Default Re: The plight of IT professionals in their 40s

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7 Pages and I wonder why nobody has bought up work life balance?
What is that?

But on a serious note, the work life balance part is cet par.

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Somebody in their 40's has other commitments, and I am not sure would be able to work 24x7 as most freshers are made to work.
This is a moot point because >40 and <25 people don't do same kind of work, at least not in India.

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People with 25 years of experience expect to be paid 10x that of someone with 2.5, but that does not translate to 10x revenue.
Yes, you are right. It will be more like 100x or 1000x, that is how it is justified. Some people may not understand the math here, so let me give an example. Imagine a company division with $10 million revenue, and it has 90 developers with 2-5 years, 9 managers with 10-15 years, and a GM with 25 years. The GMs success/failure = success/failure of the division, so he/she is responsible for the entire 10 million. Meanwhile the 2.5 years guy (say junior most) is responsible for 1/100th of that revenue, while making 1/10th of the GM.

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a company can hire 5 junior devs for half that cost, and if you throw in the unpaid overtime, get 100% more productivity from them.
Yes, the division can hire 5 juniors developers at the half the cost of the GM, but can they do the job of the GM?

100 TCS junior developers make less than the CEO of TCS. But I doubt even 100 TCS junior developers can effectively do the function of TCS CEO. The latter has way too much responsibility compared to even 1000 junior developers.
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Old 20th May 2018, 21:16   #104
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I am a doctor myself, and I was curious to understand why you mentioned that our jobs will get threatened in 5-10 years...
Having said that, I am looking to jump ship from the profession in 5 years time.
I am assuming you are going on a clinical fellowship somewhere.
Cheerio!!
The problem for doctors who live in Kerala will be the problem of demand supply. Right now , the demand is bit more, but in a decade or so that will reverse with a big supply and less demand. To be honest less than 10% doctors are in a category of those who can't be replaced. Being a skilled Orthopedic you may not face any issues, but right now I have a Orthopaedician friend who has finished an Arthroscopic and Knee replacement fellowship who is unable to get a reasonable pay. And then add to the financial illiteracy, in another couple of decades you can find many struggling to meet ends.

The increasing corporate hospitals are not helping to reduce the problem any less. The hospitals are becoming the brand and no longer does patient come to see a particular doctor. There are few more issues, but that would need even bigger explanations and all. Having been living among doctors for 4 decades , I can smell danger already.

Thanks for your words. It's not because of love to this profession that I'm going to take up this course, but there is no other way. Pure Necessity. If you can't beat them at the game, just join them is the best strategy. Hope you succeed in leaving the profession as planned, you will be an incredibly lucky man you betcha. You had a plan from the beginning I guess, otherwise most doctors end up working till late in life, having never lived. Guys like me are trying to change the inevitable although tad late. Even if I fail, I would have learned lessons that will come handy for my kids!
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Old 20th May 2018, 23:09   #105
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The problem for doctors who live in Kerala will be the problem of demand supply. Right now , the demand is bit more, but in a decade or so that will reverse with a big supply and less demand. To be honest less than 10% doctors are in a category of those who can't be replaced.
It's strange situation with respect to medical profession.

On one hand government is saying there is shortage of doctors but on other hand I am seeing lot of young doctors being denied Jobs. Apart from this , NEET has made lot of doctors with MD degrees sit in coaching shops endless hours and waste time for that elusive Super "degree" instead of practicing.

As for corporate hospitals the end is near as many hospitals are running in losses. Recently Seven Hill hospital shut its operations .

One strange I thing I noticed in corporate sector that there is no thing as meritocracy. Each of them are run like cabal.

Great packages are given to people who have almost sank the company as part of serverence packages. These same people are again employed by similar companies. Case in point Yahoo ex CEO. When asked why are you giving this amount its part of deal when we employed him . But lot of lower tier executive are given raw deal when pink slip is given by so called HR to meet targets.

The larger problem is biasness and lack of ethics in corporate sector which of late has multiplied exponentially
If this isn't sorted out you may have larger problem in coming days which may involve many industries. What IT professionals are facing now is warning to all of us.


Off topic
@Rationalist - If you don't mind could you share the subject you are specialising in at present.

Last edited by ampere : 21st May 2018 at 09:31. Reason: Fixed typos.
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