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You can't move up here, only move IN!

By olprof67 ·
Four years ago, a series of carrer convolutions led me back to the medium-sized city where I grew up, and the job market at the time encouraged me to cultivate an interest in IT. Starting with a well-known outsourcing firm. I learned the basics of high-speed internet troubleshooting and, after a lot of fits and starts, have advanced to a stable position at a call center.

The downside of this is that there aren't many opportunities here for a confirmed introvert who has absolutely no interest in what the management labels "teamwork", but this writer prefers to dismiss as corporate politics. Almost all the job postings here involve continued, and more stressful, contact with a simplistic public which expects far more personal attention than the system can deliver. And one thing you can't do is tell the simple truth.

Equally frustrating is what happens when business slows up; the temporaries are terminated, and front-liners who worked with broadband technology are put to work teaching disfunctionals how to program a TV remote or, worse yet, making sales pitches.

At age 55, I've completed most of life's major challenges; I have a strong work ethic, would feel lost without a job. I enjoy the company and respect of all the younger people I work with, and have broadened my knowledge of several IT basics such as HTML and A+ certification. But I need the insurance this place provides to protect my life's savings, and have little clue as to how to identify and cultivate specific skills in a market which seems intent on devaluing them as soon as they're mastered.

So until either the E-sweatshop closes, or some nameless actuary finds a way to prove I'm too expensive to keep, it looks like I'm stuck. Any observations from the floor are welcome.

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Where is UP??

by Black Panther In reply to You can't move up here, o ...

Where is up??
Usually up means more responsibility and pressure - is this what you want as you start to head towards retirement?
Can you do something other than IT as you said you were encouraged to take an interest in it?
What are life's major challenges?
Are you doing what you wanted to do?
Do you have to stay in this city where opportunities are few?

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What was the problem again?

by thelastword In reply to Where is UP??

SO what are you trying to do?

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Good Point...About Retirement....

by olprof67 In reply to Where is UP??

One of my goals has long been to approach retirement with the largest "tool kit" possible. because I believe that self-reliance, what Alvin Toffler has called "prosumption", will be a large ace-in-the-hole when the passsing of the "baby boom" generation tests the limits of our culture's ability to cope.

Unfortunately, it is clearly in the interests of all service-oriented businesses to keep their labor force interchangeable which translates to uniformly "dumbed down". Promotability depends upon neither the breadth nor the depth of one's expertise, but upon the willlingness to buy into the corporate point of view, usually well-sheathed in a veneer of political correctness which is unlikely to sit well with a person of strong convictions, be they conservative or liberal, spiritual or secular.

It's no wonder that many times, while on the call floor, I'll hear rookie reps struggling with internet issues I mastered months ago, while I try to explain the programming of a VCR (a device I don't own and have little need for) to a grandparent with a snootful.

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Work for yourself?

by mail In reply to Good Point...About Retire ...

Have you considered that you have gained some invaluable skills that the average home user needs?

Although you say you are an introvert, working in peoples homes, where you are using your knowledge in an area that you know well, you might find easy. Many 'retiredees' will prefer a 55 year old in their homes to an 18 year old who just wants to show them how to play Doom (whatever that is <G&gt. You can really help out here and they'd be very grateful that they can resume their e-mail correspondence with their grandchild who is about to disappear into the depths of New Zealand (or wherever)

You will aleady know most of the problems that they will encounter, and some make a great home made cake! It takes a while to get established and trusted, so your cash flow might suffer for the first year or so.
Greg

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