Mid-Career Blues – Getting More Red than Ever

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Mid-Career Blues - Getting More Red than Ever

Why the mindset is becoming more important than skills in the fast-changing technology market

When I recall my early days, getting into a job was a lifelong affair and assured ticket for permanent security. Job losses were treated as the worst crisis of life and fueled many Bollywood blockbusters showcasing the company owners as villains responsible for company closure and job losses. Proximity to powerful bosses was seen as the ticket to success instead of hard work, and that ensured that every work environment had a greater share of favoritism than true merits. A change was frowned upon, and the status quo was the way of life while opportunities remained highly limited.

Fast forward twenty-five years and we see an entirely new world. Opportunities have increased manifold and so have job losses. Merit has long surpassed favoritism while the pace of change has become faster than most of us can take. The GenY is demonstrating better productivity and ability to change than the older GenX.  This has come hard on the GenX workforce mainly in the IT sectors who were brought up in the old slow paced environment and were taught to be conservative in every approach.

The old times IT companies generally received low-end jobs from the global market and created a mechanism where coders were moved quickly to become managers. Limited technology knowledge and more of people management exposure was the way to go. It created a whole generation of people and program managers with low technology exposure. Things changed slowly and then suddenly. Digital transformation and startup culture created demand for technology experts, risk takers and fast learners leaving most of the GenX vulnerable.

The SCIKEY research analyzed more than 600 technology industry professionals who have more than twenty years of experience and found that while a small group has become pioneers and led the change from the front, but the mid-career blues are fast growing red for the majority of GenX.

56% of the GenX is under stress due to the need for change and will find themselves challenged professionally. Their learning abilities are limited, and their resistance to change is high. Only 39% of the GenX has adapted to the switch and play along with the time. However, they appear to adjust and compromise by intelligently following the move. They are termed as “Survivors” by   SCIKEY research.

A small number of 5% GenX have been able to not only change but thrive with the opportunities changes have brought. On the ground, many of them might have lost their jobs or subjected to difficult situations professionally, but their ability to fight back and emerge, winners, is demonstrated.  SCIKEY mapped several such positive mind-set GenX professionals and found that every one of them has grown faster with the change while the larger groups have struggled to remain relevant.

It is high time, GenX adopts a positive attitude towards change and find ways to lead rather than struggle to keep pace. Time will not change, nor will the circumstances. The only thing that can change is the mindset of the majority of GenX that is within their control.

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A widely acclaimed corporate leader in India, Alok has been in senior IT management positions in Fortune 500 companies. With his unique people-oriented transformational leadership style, Alok is creating waves in the IT industry. His 24 years of professional experience is taking SRKay Consulting Group to new heights.