Older IT Workers: A Survival Guide: Page 2

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Downsizing, Flexibility, and Uncle Sam

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When the dreaded downsizing hits, don’t view it as the end of the world. “People think, ‘Oh my God, it’s such a disaster if I get downsized or I lose my job,’” Koch notes.

However, “It’s happened to everyone. And you can’t be embarrassed about it and think you’re some kind of pariah. Everybody’s been through it, and everybody appreciates help.”

The sooner you start working the phone, the better. That’s especially true in IT, she says. “We’ve all helped one another – and we like to help one another.”

As you look around at your job options, don’t limit yourself to traditional IT firms. Instead, be flexible in considering new directions.

“ I think a lot of older IT workers think, ‘If I want to work in IT, I have to work in an IT company.’ But we all know it’s ubiquitous. It’s in every single industry, every single business, large, small, in between.” So finding another job in IT might mean going into banking, healthcare, entertainment, advertising, or any number of other industries.

And whatever you do, don’t forget those job openings in government. Over the next several years, many government agencies will see waves of retiring workers – all of whom will need replacing. While government pay levels aren’t top dollar, the pension and healthcare packages are outstanding.

“State, local and federal governments are just going to be huge opportunities in IT,” Koch says. “They’ll need workers up the wazoo.”

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