Okay, a 50 year old middle manager (MM) in information services is let go. Their skills have not diminished but they have been passed by more savvy younger generation workers. Other MM positions would likely put the candidate in similar situations.
Do you counsel them to transition into a different career path, take a lesser position for less pay, encourage them to start their own business, become a consultant or ?
The industries don’t matter really. The question is:
What do you do with the ‘older’ individual who losses their job 5, 10, 15 years before retirement?
If we are competing on Skills: i.e. the ability to carry out a number of processes, over time we are likely to be beat out by younger, faster, more efficient, cheaper versions of ourself, be it a graduate, an outsourced overseas employee, or a computer application.
However when we compete on Outcomes within a specific Niche the result can be very different. Here it is the tangible Value we provide to a client with a specific Problem or Need that our Specialist Expertise can address.
Here it is our Experience, Achievements and special way of Delivering a Solution that makes us unique when focused on the Outcome we can provide and addressing a Specific Problem for a particular Type of client.
Once you clearly identify these things for yourself then you are in a position to go back to the market as a Specialist. Vital rather than Functional.
Whether that’s as an employee, freelancer or entrepreneur will depend on you and the nature of your clients and their buying behaviour.
The most important thing is that once you Reposition yourself you can actually charge more rather less, based on the Value of the Outcomes you deliver rather than the cost of the time you spend in their employ.