Best Career Advice for those over "50"

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Re: Best Career Advice for those over "50"

Post by Watty » Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:54 pm

Icecakes wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:04 pm
Did you learn anything after 50 you wished you had known before?
I would not say that I wished that I had known it but when I went through my 50s I saw a lot more people than I would have expected either die or develop major health problems. There was one year in my 50's when I went to three funerals for people that were roughly my age. None of the people were real close to me but it does get you thinking. A lot of people that are that age, or their spouse, will also have a health scare that they get through OK but it will cause them to reprioritize their life.
sunny_socal wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:56 pm
I don't see many old people in my current Megacorp, I have no idea where they all go. I certainly don't see many retiring.
I worked in a mid size Megacorp IT department that had about 100 people. The company has gone through multiple mergers but it has been around in various forms for over 50 years. I retired a few years ago just before I turned 59 and the amazing thing is that I was the first person to voluntarily retire out of that IT department. Some people decided to retire after getting laid off and getting a severance package but I was the first one to pull the plug myself.

I suspect that at that company a lot of age bias was with more with the hiring and it was rare that anyone much older than 40 was hired.

This means to retire at 60 you would probably need to work at the company 20+ years and few people will work at one company that long even if they are not laid off.

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Re: Best Career Advice for those over "50"

Post by maroon » Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:05 am

Have a skill set that's hard to duplicate.

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Re: Best Career Advice for those over "50"

Post by FIREchief » Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:21 am

What a great thread!! I 100% agree with those who suggested save, save and save some more so that if by any means possible by age 50 you could walk away and not wind up eating dog food.
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:11 pm
Look around you with open eyes. Does your company run an active program to push out those over 50? Over 55? I never noticed it at Megacorp until I turned 55. It was like someone hit a light switch and my awesome ideas, patents, performance, awards suddenly meant nothing and someone had decided that I was next to be voted off the island.
This is so similar to my Megacorp experience that it is scary. I observed three categories among my colleagues:
a) those, like myself and Jack FFR1846, who could see it with open eyes and just did our best to manage the situation (for our own benefit, not Megacorp's)
b) those who felt greatly insulted and angry that Megacorp had lost its mind
c) the delusional ones who felt that they just needed to pick up their game so that Megacorp would once again love and embrace them

FIRE is the best (and perhaps only) cure for Megacorp. FIRE away!! :sharebeer
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.

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Re: Best Career Advice for those over "50"

Post by Rocco Sampler » Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:06 am

On my small street one husband dropped dead at 60; one 50-ish wife went to the hospital for minor surgery got MRSA and died; next door neighbor waited until ’65 to retire, got a brain tumor diagnosis one year later and died within two months; guy in 50’s across the street went crazy - divorce; beautiful, active next door neighbor got Parkinson’s just before retirement. There is risk/reward to waiting also no matter how much money you have. One other thing I’ll pass on. A radiologist friend of mine told me that repressed anger, hate and resentment play a crucial role in the development of cancer. He noticed it from all the bitter divorced folks who got cancer about two years after said bitter divorce. Check out emotional causes of cancer. If you enjoy what you do, maybe you should keep doing it. If you don’t, pull the ejection handle.

Best wishes to all!

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Re: Best Career Advice for those over "50"

Post by KlangFool » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:05 am

maroon wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:05 am
Have a skill set that's hard to duplicate.

It follows that this skill set has limited market space. Only a few employers would need it.


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Re: Best Career Advice for those over "50"

Post by KlangFool » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:06 am

nedsaid wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:49 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:57 pm
nedsaid wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:48 pm

I agree with you however in recent years things have changed. In the major metropolitan areas of the West Coast, it is just getting darned expensive to live. Housing is more expensive, even the cheaper options have been bid up. Healthcare premiums have zoomed, and now that I am on my own to buy my health insurance, I am experiencing this for myself. A third area is used cars, which are more expensive than they used to be. Fortunately, inflation in other areas seems to be quite subdued. I am looking for work, I have tried to be picky but it seems that employers want to start you out at the bottom again.

That is one of my advice. If you have the financial independence of certain degree, you have the leverage to hold out for the right job and offer. You can say no.

Well, fortunately I saved a lot of my shekels so I am in a good financial position. I am very thankful that I don't have to panic. I am getting interviews, so it is only a matter of time that I will be working again. When it happens, it happens fast.

In my case, it usually takes about one year to find a new job. So, I paced myself accordingly.


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Re: Best Career Advice for those over "50"

Post by renue74 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:14 am

queso wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:58 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:41 pm

The best career advice is to retire and/or be FI before 50 years old. That was my plan. I saved 30+% of my gross income in order to achieve that. But, I lost 50% of my investment because I gambled on Telecom stock. Or else, I would have met my goal. After that mistake, I have to retire or FI after 50 years old.

That was my goal as well (tech sector). Be FI by 50 so if someone closes the door on me I can either retire or do something else and not worry about how well it pays.
I'm 43 and own a small web design and custom software shop with 4 people. The only large firm I ever worked for was in 1997 when I first graduated, so I'm probably don't much about megacorp HR...but it seems to me I would value older employee wisdom about IT problems and solutions.

Everyday in my office we run into issues that we had in the past. The solution is made faster when we recognize the error has having been addressed in the past on a similar project. As time goes on, the employees I have build more wisdom and experience to troubleshoot those problems.

I guess that type of consideration is not addresses as often in larger megacorps.

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Re: Best Career Advice for those over "50"

Post by KlangFool » Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:33 am


You need a verifiable method to prove your skill and learning across multiple employers and industries. Aka, your credential. You could either use your social network as your referral to prove your credential. Or, there is a new system: open badges. Some employers are issued open badges for their training and certification. It is an interesting idea.


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Re: Best Career Advice for those over "50"

Post by 2015 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:51 pm

djpeteski wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:23 am
I work as an individual contributor software engineer, and the last time I changed jobs I was 49.5, and am about to turn 51. Add to this my previous job only lasted 18 months, and a shorter stint at the one before that.

To me age is an attitude and turning 50 led me to more actively pursue fitness. While I have traditionally been drawn to weightlifting, I switched to doing more cardio as weightlifting alone is difficult for me to keep down the body fat %. The result of this, is I look much younger than I actually am and significantly younger then my father at a similar age.

How does that relate to career? Once you get your foot in the door they don't really see you as an old guy.

You have the additional benefit, currently, of being in a tight labor market. If you can do the job, they may overlook "warts" you have in your employment history or education. For me, I was very concerned about age my short tenures at my two previous positions. As usual, when communicating with a potential employer, the overall message is how you can help make them more profitable. After about a 6 week job hunt, I had three offers.

Then the usual mantra once you start: keep up skills, work as a team member, serve those around you, treat your coworkers well, and work your tail off. Those are all behaviors that is well within one's ability to control and make someone an invaluable asset.
Couldn't agree more. I have a sibling who is about to turn 65, only has a high school diploma, has worked for just about all of the big name IT companies (Google, Yahoo, would have been Dell but they made him mad and he rejected their offer), and many, many others in Silicon Valley, and around the country. He's now with Amazon who he now calls the Google of the '10s because he thinks they're much more advanced and cutting edge in the cloud space than Google. I have a graduate degree and he has more job security than I did before I retired. think I've posted before he had to take down his website because he's always inundated with recruiters.

To the contrary of your post, my sibling for the longest time looked like some kind of freak mountain man, with a longish white beard, pot belly, and a sort of aw shucks southern cool demeanor. I figured it was his unconventional appearance that helped him fit right into IT. That and the fact that he reads voraciously in his field. I realize he is an outlier, but it does show that having skills in demand can trump even the most priggish of industries.

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Re: Best Career Advice for those over "50"

Post by Nectarineman » Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:22 am

From the feedback here this thread is a little bit of a downer. One could get the impression that at 50 if you are not FI you are destined for age discrimination and deteriorating mental faculties and job prospects.

Does age discrimination exist? Absolutely. Do some companies view paying a 30 year old for what a 50 year old would do as advantageous? Maybe. But in a society where our biggest entitlement mess is based on the demographics of a shrinking younger work force, I would think many could see 50 as a sweet spot of experience and yes, youth for an employer.

I can’t see being 50 and thinking the next 30 or so years there is little to offer or appreciated in the workplace.

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Re: Best Career Advice for those over "50"

Post by simas » Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:52 am

I think good advice applies to everyone - be active, understand what you are doing, remember how valuable your time is (especially to self and family) and say no to BS (quit if needed). Be FI so any action of any employment partner would not hurt you.

At the same time, I feel there is some bad advice/attitude focused on victim mentality - "them" attacking/firing "us" because blah-blah-blah. As immigrant , I also see a lot of it on any forum of any community - people writing hey "we" are passed for promotions, first to lay off, because they hate us, they are racist, etc, etc ,etc. You visit any religion focused forums - you get the same people saying the same things , "we are discriminated against" because we are Christians, Muslim, Jews, non believers, etc. Visit any other subculture you hear the same victims claiming the same things. that ultimately "the world" hates "everyone"

so may be this is a little more random than that? that your experience does not translate to some grand plan conspiracy against straight, bi, gay, Christian, millennials, boomers, bikers, knitters, immigrants, gun owners, gun control proponents, pro lifers, pro choices, etc?? may be it is just your experience and you are in control of it a lot more than you think?

And being formerly in corporate world I also think people confuse resource optimization for anything else - if you are paid more for the same jobs as someone else is doing for us, company can and arguable should (as its duty for its stakeholders) fix that. the entitlement attitude is I deserve 2X for doing the exactly same job exactly the same as that next person because ... is just that entitlement attitude. solution - don't do the same job, do such a job with such value that they pay you completely differently and hold on to you tightly hoping to keep you happy.

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