Are you in your 40’s and are getting stagnant in your job profile? Are you struggling to remain relevant in your job? Or are you just looking to do something different. Midlife Career advice for IT professionals is a big counselling area today.
This is the stage of career where many in IT industry struggle today. This industry did open up lot of opportunities. But remember whether you are a graduate hire or a senior professional, in this industry almost every one has similar qualification and hence qualification is not a stand out criteria in this industry. The competition is more and you compete not just in your age group but in all age groups.
The experience level do define your skills, but then there are people, less experience, but with proper training are able to perform better at young age and we need to accept this fact.
10 advice for IT professionals struggling with midlife career crisis
Hence, I feel we should look at below and take very very informed decisions.
#1 Skills are not just defined by age and experience
Yes it is a fact which we need to accept. IT is one area where technology keeps changing continuously and hence there will be younger professionals who are more knowledgeable in new technologies than us in our 40’s and we need to understand that. We should be mentally prepared to accept this and try to navigate though this challenge. How ? this is something which you need to figure out. But the first step is to accept this situation.
#2 Keep and implement learning
Second advice I will give from my experience is keep learning. I will give an example. Today “Data Analytics / Data Science” is changing the way reporting and analysis has been done in past. But this also means that there are projects in this area and if you are a project manager and if you understand these areas you are more suited for projects in these area. Every project will need project managers anyway.
Another exmaple.. today delivery model has changed to Agile. Why not to learn and get certified in Agile / Dev Ops etc.
So you to constantly learn and implement it or find ways to implement it.
#3 It is important to understand your strength and competition in that area
I have done project management / delivery management for long. And I did it quite well. Reason being I had the capability to connect with people. But is that only capability I have. If yes then my whole life I would be doing same. I realized that I have capability to manage stakeholder and I shifted to Stakeholder Management and it has given me rewards. This area has less competition as well.
#4 Focus on your passion
Just because your manager says that you have 10 years exp and should take up management responsibilities, you feel great and take it. No that’s not right. If you love solutio design, move to architect role. You define your career path as per your passion, not by age or experience.
#5 Share knowledge
Very important. Learn new things and share it with you colleagues. One it improves your rapport, second it helps refreshing your knowledge. Third it gives you practice to talk on that topic
#6 Make yourself financially secure before taking big decisions
If you are in your 40’s, you have family and you need to take care of it. So before you take any big decision, make yourself financially secured. Have fund at least for 2 years!
#7 Look for non-IT industry for IT roles
We tend to miss out on these important opportunities. Non IT companies also have IT roles as IT is everywhere. Why not try these roles. They may reward you with better work life balance.
#8 Try freelancing
Yes why not. You have so much experience behind you. So try freelancing. Become a freelance trainer. This will keep you engaged and also give you some extra bucks. May be you are able to retire early. Who knows!
#9 Revive your network
Jobs at this age are of senior profile and much of them are fulfilled via referrals. So do revive your network.
#10 Involve your family in all career related decisions
Last but not least your family is the most important part of your life. Involve them in each of your decisions.
Above are from my experience. I have implemented these. Hope it helps you.
Do you have any advice to share?
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