It is very common nowadays to see talented people getting out of work or losing a job and having very few options as far as work and business is concerned. Even people in early & late forties are becoming part of this phenomenon which was earlier restricted to people in their fifties. Why are educated and “qualified” people seeing difficult days like these? Is it that they were bad in their work ? The answer is NO. What does one do to avoid this situation, where so called educated & qualified people are in over supply and techno savvy younger people are taking over jobs of the older people at lesser salaries ?
As one matures in his work in any organization, and goes up the hierarchy, his contribution shifts into delegating , directing and guiding younger people in their work. His work becomes less of a “hands on” execution of a task, but more of extracting work from other skilled persons. He soon assumes leadership and a team building role to achieve results rather than involving himself in the finer details.
At this higher level, your confidence, leadership skills, communication skills, other soft skills, motivational abilities, and general team building abilities count a lot. Not all managers are leaders, but leaders could become great managers. To move beyond a particular level in any organization you do need a wide range of skills and not just be an expert in your area of work.
These skills also matter a lot while interacting with clients, and while handling client facing roles. Your top management is certainly keeping a close look into all your abilities.
The higher level positions thus need an excellent personality and good soft skills.
As and when you grow up in stature in a Company, you move from being a skilled specialist into a skilled supervisor, and then a leader, a motivator & a guide. In short you have started mentoring people. If you do not go through these phases gradually , you perhaps are not really a senior management person.
Do look at the following age related progress expected from your side if you are to really succeed well in your career on a long term. It is also assumed that you know your core work well , such as Engineering, Supply Chain, Sales, Accounts, Finance, etc.
Age 23- 25 Trainee ( Learner )
Age 26-30 Asst. Manager / Manager ( Hard working, ground level operative , delivering results)
Age 30-40 A mature “senior manager / head of a department” with 5 to 20 people reporting to you. You play a detailed business role, supervising a team to deliver results. You do a part of the work, and oversee others doing the same for overall results. You build networks. You are improving very fast in your soft skills as well, and also on the way to become a better personality.
Age 40-45 Leader, motivator, team builder. You start having an overall control of the operations. You direct managers and future leaders . You have developed excellent presentation skills, meeting co-ordination skills by this time, and you have good soft skills at this stage. You have excellent networking skills by this time. Sr. GM / VP level designations.
Age 50-58 Leader, Motivator, Team Builder, Advisor, Guide / All aspects of mentoring …here you start being an important pillar of the company. Here you guide the senior managers . The positions that you normally are in :President/ COO/ CEO .
In this modern and competitive world, perhaps many people will be out of the Rat Race or will not be “in sync” with the requirements/ or will not really progress well in their career beginning their 40’s. This is not due to not having technical / professional skills, but because falling short of leadership , personality & soft skills. Even those with very good technical / professional skills may get stuck in their careers at this stage and find that they are not progressing.
For this survival , the senior managers/ top management personnel must have developed in them- by the time they are 40 , several essential aspects of a great personality, have excellent soft skills and more importantly great leadership skills. You have to accept that whatever specific technical work you can do, perhaps a much younger person can do it (do better as well ) – at a much lesser cost. Hence you need to contribute in a much different way with your work experience. which much younger people just cannot. At the higher level of management you need to be business oriented, people oriented, client oriented, have excellent contacts – business & social, have excellent networking skills and have great directional skills. You should not be doing too much work much yourself – ( you are not expected to do that ) and you need not be a specialist of more than one areas, but you need to get the work done from others as there are a lot many things to accomplish in a short time. This is the time you are “Creating Managers” in your organization from a long term perspective of your Company. In short, you must be a great personality yourself by this time, a leader and a motivator first. When you get elevated to top level management positions, ask yourself if you have these qualities.
When you lose a job , keep in mind you will get a better one with your personality and leadership abilities rather than one particular skill- because just that skill will be with many younger people, working at half your cost. Also while moving from one career to another or from one type of job to another- you will need to be a good leader with good personality traits and soft skills. It’s a very competitive world that we are living in. While technology can be a game changer, it can close down some businesses and wipe out many roles and positions, also competition can destroy your company. BUT nothing can affect your ability to make a come back or find another job if you have wide ranging qualities. It’s not so easy to be a specialist till you are 58, but it is possible to be a leader, a team builder, a great supervisor and a great motivator guiding other managers and specialists.
Director Persona Academy