Here’s what you need to survive the brutal tech industry in Silicon Valley

Are you in the tech industry, over 40 and worried about hot having the skills to be the tech industry 10 years from now?

Well, that was a topic of discussion that I was in with one of my friends recently. He and I are both in tech industry and live in the area and are both 40. So, maybe this discussion was a result of us living a mid-life crisis. 😉

Regardless, we were discussing what skills do we need to acquire now to be marketable a few years from now. Would we lose our marketability in the workplace, given the ever evolving nature of the tech industry?

Would we be able to cope up with the twenty somethings?

Those, twenty somethings are fresh out of college, roaring to go, and quite frankly, can pick up some skills way faster than an average 40 yr old. Not to mention that they are fine putting in 80 hours a week, whereas, I have come to understand that I can’t let my life pass me by if I think too much about my professional career. I want to be able to remember this time when my kids are little, my wife and I are (relatively) young and my parents are still around.

But, the discussion with him got me thinking. Why have I never worried about this? Is this something that I should worry about? I mean, he is right on a lot of levels. 

and this is what I told him,

“I really don’t think about it that way. I have been able to stay on top of technology and whatever I do and have never felt threatened by others displacing me in the marketplace”

But, still, why don’t I think about it that way?

So, after talking to him, I have been thinking, really thinking about this. And pondering a lot… and that pondering over this subject has led me back to a recent TED video that I watched which pretty much sums it up.

It is all about self-efficacy…. as this TED video reminds me

As I watch this, I couldn’t agree more with this one particular piece…

“…. self-efficacy, which is a really fundamental tenet of the human psyche, far more important than that self-esteem….”

You have got to have the attitude of someone who will see something that needs to be done and will take it upon themselves to “Just do it”. Don’t look at the others to do what you could do yourself. Don’t think about doing it tomorrow when you can do it now. And having had the fortune of growing up in a third world country and now living in developed country, I have come to realize how lucky I have been. There are way too many people I see in this country who feel too entitled to do something. “It’s not their job”, they say. Someone else will do and it makes me worried about the country that I have chosen to live in and be a citizen of. There is so much opportunity and yet so many people who let it pass them by. So many are too eager to talk about gender and race discrimination and use it as an excuse (please read this in the spirit I wrote this in, I am not saying biases and discrimination doesn’t exist, I am just saying don’t use it as an excuse)

Anyhow, I digress. That’s topic for another day when I really want to attract a lot of attention towards my blog.

For now, let’s get back to the point.

If you live in tech, live in the bay area and see so much happening around you, it can be quite distracting, self questioning and downright dis-satisfying, at times. But, if you think how I think, believe in rolling up your sleeves, you will find that “experience is the best teacher and there’s no substitute for that”

I have added the link to the TED video here which is a great one to watch for parents and professionals alike…

Published by

Lovekesh Babbar

Speaker on topics related to data, analytics and digital transformation