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Midlife crisis? Set me straight please

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New post 12 Sep 2016, 12:17
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Hello Everyone,

Thank you for taking the time to read my 1st post. I found this great site via Google and greatly appreciate the very valuable information in the discussions here. I am hoping someone can help me with my education and career planning.

I'm 40 now with about 15 years of career experience which has mostly been focused on engineering and consulting including project management, contract negotiation, and leading small teams. I started out at a small, but world renowned firm with about 50 people and I now work for a Fortune500 joint with about 10k employees. Both work well for me and both have their pros and cons. I have a solid education background with an M.S. in Engineering from Berkeley, but I am painfully bored and starting to worry about my future and certainly the lack of growth opportunities that I face in my current position. I seem to have become "pigeon-holed" with engineering as I am quite good at it, but I am looking to move to a business-oriented/management position. I just "seems" much more interesting, but I honestly don't know for sure. If I do finish an MBA, I foresee that I'd have to look for a new company to work for.

At the risk of sounding like a complainer, I do not look forward to going to work though I have a decent salary (~$220k+ which spreads very thin in Silicon Valley). I am always intrigued by the sales and senior business managers who seem to enjoy their life and careers more and they certainly make significantly more money than I do. Of course, they are typically 10 to 20 years older than I am so that may be expected to some extent.

I am not sure what to do - maybe it's just a midlife crisis, so I am reaching out to you. Are there folks here who have moved from engineering into management by getting their MBA and was it worth it? I cannot quit my job while in school, so I was considering an online MBA. Is that a good idea? Please set me straight here. I am feeling very depressed and can't think of spending another 30 years doing what I am doing. I'm about to just give it all up and start a small business in a much more affordable area and move my entire family. I am very interested in your feedback and I sincerely thank you.
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New post 16 Sep 2016, 03:09
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I'm sorry you're going through this I'm sure it's quite complicated with a family and everything and it probably leads to many sleepless nights. I'm sorry no one has responded up to this point.

The fact is I'm not quite certain that an MBA is going to be the solution. That might be sort of a Band-Aid situation there. I think the most important thing for you to do is to get some clarity on what's going to fulfill you and at the same time sustain you and your family.

I would recommend that you work with a very talented career coach. I'm a career coach myself, however you might want to work with someone in Silicon Valley who has been in your shoes or has more experience with your particular industry.

I would recommend going to the ICF directory and finding someone from their who is a career coach. Just Google ICF directory career coach and you'll probably get to it that way. ICF chapter Silicon Valley might also get there.

Encourage you to get some support and think through this before making any rash decisions.

There could very well be a way for you to repurpose the knowledge you've gained in a way that would be fulfilling to you, such as coaching/mentoring people that are in positions Junior to you or something like that.

It might not be a matter of throwing the baby out with the bathwater, and then again it might be, but I think it will be best for you to Mastermind with somebody who is experience in this area before making any choices.

That said I do believe in going with your gut :-) best to you!!

Farrell Dyan Hehn, MBA
Admissions Consultant & Verbal Strategist MBAPrepCoach.com
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New post 13 Oct 2016, 07:20
Hi

Sharing a bit of my experience and maybe you will find something in that.

I recently completed a one year full time MBA from India. Prior to that, I was working in Australia and had close to 11 years experience in IT ( IT Consulting, Project and Program Management, Business Analysis etc). I was a bit like you, good at tech and was architecting solutions , but by sheer luck ended up as an Internal Business Consultant for an Australian Bank and loved it.

The exposure that I got working with Business sort of made me rethink about my future in the industry, so I get it when you are saying that you are worried about what's next? Anyway, post MBA, I am working as a Product Manager and I think it's a fantastic career opportunity because 1) it allows me to be close to the system where I am interacting with the developers and the designers on a daily basis. 2) Work with stakeholders and business on a day to day basis, so getting the exposure to the other side of the things as well 3) doing things like market research, building a Product Roadmap by talking to stakeholders and Delivery Managers etc is giving me a very different kind of work experience.

The Product Manager role gives you a chance to satisfy both sides of your requirement and I think it is something you could explore. Though, an MBA would help in securing that position, it is not a deal breaker. You can certainly leverage your experience and make a transition to that role.
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New post 14 Oct 2016, 10:17
sonicman wrote:
Hello Everyone,

Thank you for taking the time to read my 1st post. I found this great site via Google and greatly appreciate the very valuable information in the discussions here. I am hoping someone can help me with my education and career planning.

I'm 40 now with about 15 years of career experience which has mostly been focused on engineering and consulting including project management, contract negotiation, and leading small teams. I started out at a small, but world renowned firm with about 50 people and I now work for a Fortune500 joint with about 10k employees. Both work well for me and both have their pros and cons. I have a solid education background with an M.S. in Engineering from Berkeley, but I am painfully bored and starting to worry about my future and certainly the lack of growth opportunities that I face in my current position. I seem to have become "pigeon-holed" with engineering as I am quite good at it, but I am looking to move to a business-oriented/management position. I just "seems" much more interesting, but I honestly don't know for sure. If I do finish an MBA, I foresee that I'd have to look for a new company to work for.

At the risk of sounding like a complainer, I do not look forward to going to work though I have a decent salary (~$220k+ which spreads very thin in Silicon Valley). I am always intrigued by the sales and senior business managers who seem to enjoy their life and careers more and they certainly make significantly more money than I do. Of course, they are typically 10 to 20 years older than I am so that may be expected to some extent.

I am not sure what to do - maybe it's just a midlife crisis, so I am reaching out to you. Are there folks here who have moved from engineering into management by getting their MBA and was it worth it? I cannot quit my job while in school, so I was considering an online MBA. Is that a good idea? Please set me straight here. I am feeling very depressed and can't think of spending another 30 years doing what I am doing. I'm about to just give it all up and start a small business in a much more affordable area and move my entire family. I am very interested in your feedback and I sincerely thank you.



Hi,
I think that such a crisis does not exist, it is a myth. Just you're tired, but I believe that you can fight it.
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New post 16 Oct 2016, 21:10
I don't think an MBA is necessary for someone like you with your years of experience. How about just reaching out to someone in your company or a network that is in charge of their company's sales division and asking them to give you a shot? Plenty of people jump into Sales at all levels and are very successful as long as they work hard. I have a friend that was a research scientist with a PhD but now works in Sales because he just got sick of sitting in the lab all day. I see no reason why you wouldn't be able to just jump over to the sales team. Your experience would actually give you a huge advantage!
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New post 15 May 2017, 06:18
I am not sure about the midlife crisis, as I hardly ever had it, but I had several occasions to meet the people who had such state of mind. What I know for sure, you certainly have to surround yourself with the best people, who will help you cope the crisis. One of the cases and possible helpful solutions that I witnessed was the career change: my colleague from Resumes Centre, where I work now, simply changed his work from the chief editor to the agricultural specialist. He had some preparation before that, so he was up to this decision. However, he is one of the happiest people now.
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New post 13 Jun 2017, 09:33
i am bored to death with my job too. i work in health care and i want out from that sector. I work with patients.
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New post 14 Jun 2017, 02:49
i think online MBA is for someone who is already in position but lacks required knowledge for the position, whereas on campus MBA offers working with other bright people, networking and other fun stuff. I would not study online MBA
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New post 10 Jul 2017, 01:49
Hard for me to say if it’s a midlife crisis or not, I didn’t have one, but maybe the deal is you think that everything is bad when it isn’t? You compare yourself to older professionals or to the worth to young one. Ask yourself a few questions: do you love what you are doing? Do you receive enough for living? What career opportunities you have in your particular company?
Maybe you should talk to your boss about your career growth; you’ll get new job duties and more interesting projects to work on. Or make like one my friend from Skillroads did when he got tired of all this freelance staff, he just updated his resume and search for new opportunities. He likes to write but want to make it more work-like, more structured and steady. So he starts working as a full-time worker and become much happier, but generally he changed nothing, only his surroundings.
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New post 10 Jul 2017, 07:43
Once I lost my job in the middle of my career and that time was very stress ful for me.
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Re: Midlife crisis? Set me straight please   [#permalink] 10 Jul 2017, 07:43
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