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Finding work after 50
Old 04-20-2005, 04:17 AM   #1
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Finding work after 50

I've posted before about DW's opinion on this, as well
as my indifference to the problem (I was gone by then
and wouldn't have worked for anyone else anyway).

Most of my close friends who are still working are self-
employed or own their own companies (like I would
if I was still working). My brother is an exception.
He is 58 and not entreprenuerial at all. For the past
25+ years he has worked in sales management and
has
changed jobs about 8-10 times, including earlier this year. Two (2) things were interesting to me. First,
over those 25 years he seems to be moving sideways,
never up. He may be making more money, but I'm not even sure of that recently. Secondly, when I was
conducting a job search I thought I went at it about as
hard as I could. One time in my life when I was very
organized and did some heavyweight planning. In talking
to my brother, I can see I didn't come close to his level of effort.
He is aware of the "age thing" and puts on a
tremendous effort, leaving absolutely no stone
unturned. As a result, he has never had a long period of
unemployment in his life. In contrast, I sometimes
held out for the biggest (and riskiest) job, enduring long
periods out of the workplace. Another reason for this difference in our approaches could be that I never minded being unemployed. I worked so hard when I did
work that sitting on the sidelines was a welcome relief.

JG
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Re: Finding work after 50
Old 04-20-2005, 06:35 AM   #2
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Re: Finding work after 50

I guess I was not entreprenuerial either (like your brother).
I was never unemployed during my work life, although I had 4 jobs. Worked in the IT area for 34 years, most of which were during times that were easy to change jobs. Finally settled down in a company that had a decent pension and a good 401k. Didn't get rich, but am now enjoying the pension and 401k.
If I was 22 years old today and fresh out of college, I would not be looking at the IT industry - too many uncertainties.
Big companies have successfully, I believe, been able to reduce IT salaries by getting rid of the high priced mainframe people and replaced them with young people that know nothing of mainframes. These kids of today know what I like to refer to as "Donkeykong" software.
Stuff such as Lotus notes, Web enablement tools, PC software, JAVA, etc. Big companies are still trying to offshore their work to India mainly. And mainly they are failing, as software developed in India is really costing more than they thought, and the quality is sub-par, not to mention the language barrier. Understanding most Indians is very difficult.
But I digress.
While you looked at unemployment as I welcome relief from the grind, it scared the hell out of me. Raising a family with no income ( or unemployment income) was not something that I wanted in my life.
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Re: Finding work after 50
Old 04-20-2005, 06:49 AM   #3
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Re: Finding work after 50

Hello bennevis! Yeah, that's interesting
(unemployment scaring the hell out of you).
I recall people noticing that I didn't seem too
concerned about not working, and commenting
on it. And, this was back when I had kids at home, credit card debts, big mortgage, car loans, etc.

JG
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Re: Finding work after 50
Old 04-20-2005, 08:07 AM   #4
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Re: Finding work after 50

I'mwith you JG on the holdout because the risky stuff was always more exciting and where I learned the most. However I frequently called those periods as 'training to consolidate skills' just so it would fill a time bracket on the old resume.

Like benevis I have seen the conversion to 'donkeykong' software and wonder how anyone keeps up with all the new terminology that is used to restate the obvious each new business quarter! I sure have a tough time with it. Having skills on both sides (mainframe and client server/net) I have witnessed many tragic attempts by companies to shoehorn a perfectly good mainframe application into a collection of servers! I don't think that young folks should avoid IT at all because of our language skills and logic skills (not rote memorization) we will always be needed to manage and define projects no matter where they are put together.

The thought of unemployment used to scare me silly, but especially because I valued my skills highly I made enough to put by for those periods. A dear friend says that those of us who are working full-time should be seeking out any other ways to maintain cash flow that don't involve some activity that can be shipped out.

I have only been 'employed' probably 40 of the last 60 calendar months but I survived it so I know I can do it again.

Obviously your brother-in-law survived it because he took the advice of our local PRofessional Outplacement Assistance Center....network, network, network! But you can do that and still wait for the 'plum' job, too!

8)
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Re: Finding work after 50
Old 04-20-2005, 08:11 AM   #5
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Re: Finding work after 50

bennevis, Mainframes? I've been in IT for 8 years now, I've never heard anyone say, "boy, I wish we had someone here who knew mainframes!".

All flavors of Unix(Solaris, IRIX, Linux) are the future, if someone is looking for a good paying IT job. If you know how to set up cron jobs, know the difference between an etc/default/password file and an etc/default/shadow file, can manage disk arrays, etc. there is plenty of steady work out there. What you've seen is those unmotivated punks who think they'll be driving a Mercedes because they can install Outlook. They hang out on the first floor wondering why they can't get ahead at my company.
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Re: Finding work after 50
Old 04-20-2005, 08:40 AM   #6
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Re: Finding work after 50


I hope I am not monopolizing but I could not resist answering you on this:

UNIX in any flavor is great as far as I am concerned (and you can even run COBOL programs on it! - ever heard of COBOL?).

As you I was referring to those folks relying on all the software coming out of Washington state which proposes to simplify...but big scale data gets lost.
AND there are definitely ways to secure UNIX flavors that those people are always trying to fix.

Aren't words like SUN/Solaris, IBM AIX, and HP/UX music to your ears!

8)

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Re: Finding work after 50
Old 04-20-2005, 08:51 AM   #7
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Re: Finding work after 50

Maybe because you were so entreprenurial minded and aggressive, JG, *is why you burned out so quickly and lost the desire.

I can make sense more of your brother actually. *I've always been of the opinion the tortorise really does beat the hare. *

Instead of trying to scrape for every penny year after year, making sacrifice after sacrifice to try to move up the ladder endlessly, or worse subject myself to the private world, I just put myself on cruise, do the job I know very well, make a very respectful pay at it, and concentrate on great defense instead of focusing too much on the offense and harming my health and well-being in the process. *I'm very familiar with compounding models and thus i'm privied to the power that "time" has, with even modest contributions.

So my motto is chill, do what you do well, dont subject your career to undo risk, smell the roses along the way, maybe even work a little longer than gunho JG types, but be all the more healthy, happy, and quite possibly wealthier in the process ;-).

Azanon
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Re: Finding work after 50
Old 04-20-2005, 10:19 AM   #8
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Re: Finding work after 50

Hello azanon. Your observations are pretty close but
I can't change my personality, nor would I have ever wanted to. The idea of staying in one place and working
for one company for decades............why, I'd be
bored senseless. It is true that I probably damaged my health by my "damn the torpedoes" lifestyle, and it is
also true that my "tortoise" brother will end up with a
lot more money. OTOH, I had
more fun and way more adventures. Not sure who is better off overall. I wouldn't trade places though.
I worked hard, played hard and lived large. Very few
regrets.

JG
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Re: Finding work after 50
Old 04-20-2005, 10:54 AM   #9
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Re: Finding work after 50

I understand. I can personally relate because my brother has some similarities to you as well. He's also a work hard, play hard type. He's easily smarter than me (per standardized tests), but I like to think I make up for it with a dash of wisdom. He's also currently unemployeed, and its likely possible it was because he torpedoed the wrong person(s) too.

He seems to be doing fine with my dad paying his bills. His sense of pride is somewhat lower than mine, so he does this with no shame and from my viewpoint, doesnt seem to be in any rush to find a new job. This is all fine and dandy though i guess since it really isnt my business. If dad's ok with paying all his bills, then I guess he can just live it up.

I wouldnt trade places either. I'm all for having fun, but for me it would be no solace to have fun today at the expense of not knowing whether i'll have a job tomorrow or if my financial stability isnt secured and/or dependant upon someone else. In the private/entrepreneur world, I presume "security" isn't a typical descriptor of that lifestyle.

In the meantime, I think i'll just keep the same job i have for years. Whats nice now, JG, is "we" have the internet to kill time during the slow points. And my job changes enough to keep it interesting anyway.
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Re: Finding work after 50
Old 04-20-2005, 11:01 AM   #10
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Re: Finding work after 50

Unix is awful.

Doesnt waste enough processor cycles doing worthless stuff.
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Re: Finding work after 50
Old 04-20-2005, 12:55 PM   #11
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Re: Finding work after 50

Did I reveal my bias?

Seriously, there are those who have the mind for IT, and those who got a workers comp job change/retrain settlement plan, went to Devry or something like that, and don't know squat but what's on the MCSE test. My job in security is usually held by the latter type, which makes all the real system administrators so happy to have me there instead. It's good to be appreciated! (sorry if that sounded immodest )
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Re: Finding work after 50
Old 04-20-2005, 04:29 PM   #12
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Re: Finding work after 50

Quote:
UNIX in any flavor is great as far as I am concerned (and you can even run COBOL programs on it! - ever heard of COBOL?).

As you I was referring to those folks relying on all the software coming out of Washington state which proposes to simplify...but big scale data gets lost.
AND there are definitely ways to secure UNIX flavors that those people are always trying to fix.

Aren't words like SUN/Solaris, IBM AIX, and HP/UX music to your ears!
Yikes! I came here during working hours (spent in the company of IT techno-lords) to read messages from people who don't CARE about such things anymore!

What is a poor, techno-peasant marketeer to do?




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Re: Finding work after 50
Old 04-20-2005, 04:41 PM   #13
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Re: Finding work after 50

Hi Caroline. If it makes you feel any better, I don't care.
Truly!

JG
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Re: Finding work after 50
Old 04-20-2005, 08:45 PM   #14
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Re: Finding work after 50

Caroline, I look forward to the day I can afford to not care, until then I'm a working stiff/ER Wannabe/Young Dreamer!
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Re: Finding work after 50
Old 04-21-2005, 06:57 AM   #15
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Re: Finding work after 50

Quote:
bennevis, Mainframes? I've been in IT for 8 years now, I've never heard anyone say, "boy, I wish we had someone here who knew mainframes!".

All flavors of Unix(Solaris, IRIX, Linux) are the future, if someone is looking for a good paying IT job. If you know how to set up cron jobs, know the difference between an etc/default/password file and an etc/default/shadow file, can manage disk arrays, etc. there is plenty of steady work out there.
Having worked with both Unix and OS/390 systems, I can say that the mainframe is definitely better and more economical, easier to maintain, support, and much safer from outside attack. The kids of today, having only seen UNIX, are just plain ignorant. And management is just plain stupid.
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Re: Finding work after 50
Old 04-21-2005, 08:50 AM   #16
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Re: Finding work after 50

Quote:
And management is just plain stupid.
So, you techno-lords ARE my people after all! I'll never know enough to have an opinion on mainframes vs Unix, but we can ALL agree on the stupidity of management!


Caroline
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Re: Finding work after 50
Old 04-21-2005, 09:33 AM   #17
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Re: Finding work after 50

Hey, as a former SENIOR manager I can attest to the stupidity. Worst part of the promotion was when they removed 80% of my brain, which I kept in a jar in the fridge until I retired.

The problem with these newfangled operating systems is straightforward. If you've compiled your own code in the last 5 years or done more than 25 OS installs, you think unix variants are the greatest thing. If you havent (read: almost any manager) you dont see the big deal. The further away from the compiling and OS installing, the less big the deal seems.

The piece most people miss is the 'base cost' analysis. There is a 'base cost' to support a platform (hardware, os, application, etc) in an enterprise, after which you can start clicking off the per-user incremental cost. It is in an enterprises best interest therefore to minimize the number of individually discrete platforms within the enterprise. And then there are those pesky business benefits/drivers that have to be accounted for.
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Re: Finding work after 50
Old 04-21-2005, 01:41 PM   #18
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Re: Finding work after 50

TH: So you are, indeed, proof that to become a manager you must first undergo a lobotomy. Never wanted to go into management, as I wanted to keep what little brain I had.
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Re: Finding work after 50
Old 04-22-2005, 09:00 AM   #19
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Re: Finding work after 50

Indeed...I truly miss the meetings where we discussed when we'd have the meetings to strategize superior cost savings methods such as taking a $9 a month pager away from a $100k/year employee to improve our quarterly bottom line...

If that didnt work, we'd have a couple more meetings to ponder a 'headcount reduction' of 20%, followed by hiring the same number of people as contractors, paying them 2x what the permanent employees had been earning. With the added benefit that the contractors had no company allegiance whatsoever.

Ahhhh...the glories of management...
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Re: Finding work after 50
Old 04-28-2005, 07:27 PM   #20
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Re: Finding work after 50

One obvious benefit of being a senior manager at a large company is that the compensation is high enough to afford early retirement if he/she does not spend it all.
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