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Ask Slashdot: How do I stay employable?

illcar (2674323) writes | more than 2 years ago


illcar (2674323) writes "Hi, I am 40 year old working as a senior developer for one of the biggest investment banks. I have always worked as full time employee in my career. However the the last 5-6 years had been very tough for me because of office politics, outsourcing, and economic conditions. The financial industry is not doing well, and we maybe at the brink of another round of layoffs. My family is growing, my spouse does not work, and I still do not own a house yet. I am worried regarding my job security & career growth. Considering medicare does not kick in till 65, I am still looking at 25 long years of career. I am wondering what would be the best way for me to stay employable in the coming years?

1. Should I stay technical, and be ready to work as consultant/contractor? How does medical insurance work in that case?
2. Should I capitalize on the domain knowledge, and move onto business/managerial side?
3. Will the MBA degree or alternate career help?
4. Any other suggestions?


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No house is a plus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40512021)

Be glad that you don't have a mortgage hanging over your head -- an apartment is usually cheaper (once you add in property taxes, maintenance, etc). What you should be doing is figure out what it would take per month to own a house, and put the difference into a savings account.

Now for career -- the more you can relate your technical skills to the company goals, the better off you are. That is where the MBA may help, although just keeping your ears open and periodically having lunch with some higher-ups may work too. But basically, for certain types of organizations, you are best off making sure you move around every couple of years just so you don't get locked into a small niche (assuming your employer allows / encourages this -- if not, find another employer, even if it means re-settling in a different part of the country... easier said than done with a family and all, I know). Also see if you can start some open source projects, get involved with a community -- that will be your first asset if you get laid off. Imagine having a popular app, and being able to reach out on the mailing list (as the app primary developer) in order to network / secure future employment.

More questions needed (1)

Sesostris III (730910) | more than 2 years ago | (#40512461)

What's your technical skill set? Also, wasn't the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" meant to cover medical insurance for those not otherwise covered? (I'm not from the US). What is your preference? Do you want to get into management or would you rather stay in development? What is the current job market like where you live? Would you be willing to move (the advantage of not having a house!) What does your spouse think? Is your current work situation becoming really intolerable? Would you get any payout if laid off?

What is it that you want to to (rather than what it it that you think you ought to do)? Do you have a dream? Is this the time to think about trying to achieve it? Do you really want to be an MBA? Or have you always dreamt about being a farmer in Idaho?

If I were you (and I realise you're not!) I'd be keeping my dead down in my current job, trying to avoid the office politics, firming up on my technical skills, and possibly be on the lookout for a permanent job in another company (although I'd probably wait until I was laid off before taking anything unless it was truly desirable). Even if you have to take work as a contractor, you can still be on the lookout for for permanent positions.
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