Mid-Career Crisis in India4 years ago Guest - Suresh Perugu
One day I got a call from a good friend who is in a very senior position in a bank heading one division in their IT services. He asked me question” Suresh how we can help people after 40s in IT”. I was stumped as by then I left my job with Microsoft and started looking for another one after some soul searching and dabbling in diagnostic centres, small medical clinics, a food place, and a few others. Essentially, I was one of the people he was referring to. It made me to think a lot.
Suddenly I remembered my time when I was in US and working for IBM, everyone around me was going for PMP exam. I went and asked another IBMer “Is It important to have PMP Certification in IBM?” Pat came the reply “Yes.. not only for survival to get in to Band 10 you need that”. Obviously by then I decided to return to India. I also learnt that if you want to work for Government in US or IBM you MUST be a PMP certified person. I decided I am not going to do anything as I was returning to India and it did work for me to survive without PMP. Can it work for everyone? Probably not.
Thinking back about the question from my Bank friend, what I realized is in India we have a taboo, at 40 plus (not a plus size) you MUST be a people manager or Technology team manager. You don’t like to be an Individual Contributor (IC) as people in your social circle look down upon you. So I started to think how the 40 plus can survive in Indian Landscape. I have a few thoughts not in the same order of preference but to evaluate and see what fits best for you. These are only suggestions based on what I saw in US and India, that will work
- Start a 40 plus club where only people above 40 years age are allowed. Play music from 80s etc. Seriously.. check the patrons IDs
- If you made enough money by then, do what your passion is: Travel, reading, writing, painting, sculpture, coaching, mentoring, and anything you love to do including teaching Yoga
- I personally think an MBA or PMP is not really good idea as it burns hole in pocket when you need the money the most. However if you think it will give you happiness be my guest and go spend money in a good MBA college
- On a serious note, I do suggest to think to be an employer by thinking of a start up business – anything you like. This must fill your passion and make you money. The employee turns an Employer
- One other suggestion is go and explore the world, if you can afford. Meeting people gives you ideas and changes your perspective a lot. In my case I left a note for a GM of a famous diagnostic centre in Banjara Hills saying I want to meet him. To my surprise, he called me and over a cup of coffee, discussed 30-45 min. good, bad and ugly of the business. Having an open mind opens doors. Go try it.
- If you are pressed for another job, don’t wait till you leave, start tapping into your network at least one year to 3 years before your dead line. You might need that time to land something you like
So my dear Mid-Career Crisis people, first there is a lot of hope, so don’t lose heart. Work on your next best strength. Get over the hill and do something you love to do. If you are in market – happy job hunting.