Are you in 40s and afraid?

Globalisation and liberalisation of Indian Economy threw lot of opportunities for Indians in terms of jobs, lifestyle, products, overseas opportunities etc., which they could only dream decade back.

Some benefited from this, and had salaries and positions they had never imagined before, while others found this change disturbing. In case of second category, this change was something they were not prepared for. They have to face two fears

  1. Fear of losing existing job to someone who could do his job better, faster and at lower cost.
  2. Fear of not getting another job after losing earlier job.

Some factors that contributed to this were

  1. New generation that is hungry for more- This generation is willing to work harder and faster. Armed with management degrees they are willing to work harder, at lower salaries and at faster speed. “Tenure creep” i.e. staying in same position for long time has made those in 40s costlier, without significant change in skills.
  2. Many of those in 40s and older felt that it was organisation’s duty to update their skills, with organisations delegating the responsibility of skill up gradation to employees, these managers felt betrayed. If removed from job, they will have to compromise on their salary if they were to do job of same value in another organisation.
  3. Job opportunities cropped up in sectors like retail, telecom, IT and ITES which went for younger workforce, the CEOs of these organisations were in their 40s.
  4. World has changed for those in 40s- children’s education, real estate, medical care etc. is costlier. EMIs eat half of salary. Lifestyle diseases like diabetics, heart problems now affect you in 30s instead of 50s, and bosses are more demanding. All this makes managers desperate to stick to their jobs, while management is more interested in axing these jobs. This fear of losing job prevents them from looking for alternatives like part time jobs, changing career track,becoming consultants etc.

Sooner the managers accept the reality that days of job security/ company loyalty are over, better it is for them- because only then will they go for new cheese.


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