Now although I make good money, I'm a dreaded cube-dweller. I've got plenty of skills, experience and knowledge and am certain I could do the job of at least a director, but telecom ain't a happening place right now.
I'm in my mid-40's with my first kid about to start college, do I have to just hang my head and take it, or are there options for jumpstarting things that don't require me to go back to college or take a huge pay cut?
And please don't tell me to work my network or contact headhunters -- much of the network is in a similar state and the headhunters I've dealt with are nuts. Signed, Hoping Thoreau Wasn't Right About The Desperation Thing...
He was right for some people. I find, after a long time in business, that rather than do what Henry David suggested, and lead a life of "quiet desperation," I will lead a life of noisy desperation. It's more fun. And not quite so desperate.
That said, I feel for you. You had hope and beans and now you're stuffed into a Dilbert job with little chance of advancement in a challenged industry. What you may not know, my friend, is the your middle 40s are the best time to ramp up, think about alternatives, chart a course for the rest of your business career.
True players don't even hit stride until they are 50. If you're 45, smart, clean and not too atrocious to the eye, you have every chance, given the resume you have outlined, to make a step up. So at the risk of sounding like Dr. Phil here...Go For It. Do NOT sit there whining and puling about your sorry status, get out there and hit the street.
Keep your job. Make your money. But start reaching out NOW. What you need is the kind of reckless ambition that used to make you think you were going to conquer the world.
That's what gives young people their leg up on more mature folk. They're not smarter or more able. They don't even have more energy. They're just too callow and inexperienced to have felt self-doubt, defeat and spiritual exhaustion. Get rid of those three downers and you'll be amazed at how young you feel, and how many doors open for you.
Last updated December 20 2007: 1:13 PM ET