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Winding down in career

  • 22-04-2022 5:19pm
    Registered Users Posts: 1,035 ✭✭✭

    I'm 54 and working in a multinational IT company as a Senior Software Engineering Manager. The pay and benefits are really, really good but I am no longer enjoying the job.

    The company is young, dynamic and fast-paced. I am not anymore.

    I'm really starting to become overwhelmed by the stress and thinking that I should not really have this constant level of pressure and long hours at this age. I have been financing my retirement for some time but I am not in a position to retire and not work. I still have a mortgage and 2 kids in college.

    I would like to see if I could step down to a 9-5 job that I could simply feel some satisfaction through getting the job done. I obviously don't expect the kind of package thatI am on now but don't want to work for minimum wage.

    Has anyone else had a similar experience where they took a step down?

    Would recruiters just laugh at you thinking you are looking for a handy number?



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,885 ✭✭✭downtheroad

    Look at working as head of IT for a charity I would suggest. Or ask your employer about dropping a day and doing a 4 day week. A 20% reduction in your work week will not result in a 20% reduction in take home pay.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,035 ✭✭✭BraveDonut

    A 4 day week would be a non-runner in my company. Also it would just compress 5 days stress into 4

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,787 ✭✭✭✭Mrs OBumble

    Do not try to work for a charity: it will need skills in a whole lot of areas you know little about, and be lot more stressful - charities are some of the hardest places to work.

    OP are you hands on enough to consider contracting? Or consultancy?

    Post edited by Mrs OBumble on

  • Registered Users Posts: 668 ✭✭✭PeaSea

    I'm 53 and also in IT (databases).

    I know exactly what you mean.

    Have you considered contracting ? The uncertainty of it doesn't suit everyone, but you could earn a years salary in 6 months and have long Summers.

  • Registered Users Posts: 376 ✭✭Madeoface

    Certain front line government departments rely heavily on contracted IT staff as their internal payscales are so low. You could look at joining such contractors (large places) and work less hours on contract wages and not pissy civil service salary.

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  • Posts: 1,010 ✭✭✭ [Deleted User]

    Have you considered industrial espionage. The right info to the right competitor will set you up for life

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,624 ✭✭✭victor8600

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,249 ✭✭✭✭Bass Reeves

    Very hard to downscale when you are at such a career skill level. I was in a kind of similar situation it was not the stress but the workload that was catching me. I had outside investments that added to the workload. I was lucky enough to get a redundancy package that made it viable for me to go three years ago. You never miss the work you miss the camraradie and the challenges. Finiancially you can live on a lot less than you think. I am lucky to be busy enough with by other investment mainly farming.

    Not sure what way recruiters look at things. if you have the skill set then its a matter of selling youself. But there is no such thing as a decent job without some stress. Its often a matter delegating and letting the sh!t flow up and down without getting too involved. How long more do you need to work for. You can bang a lot of money into a pension tax free at your age. It might allow you to exit in 3-4 years time. Really you need to plan

    Slava Ukrainii

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,113 ✭✭✭homer911

    In 2019 I lost both my parents and was suffering with a new boss who seemed to have stand-up arguments with everyone. My stress levels were through the roof and I was on medication. I was managing a team of 10 in a well paid job but wasn't really enjoying it. I quit for a 30% pay cut and a hands-on job with no management responsibilities. I'm 57, have no mortgage, my kids have finished college.

    There are plenty of times when I ask myself if this is the job I want to retire from, and have applied for a few roles that would have given me limited management responsibilities, but I keep coming back to the stress that I went through and that there are more important things in life...

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,310 ✭✭✭BrianD3

    Sounds like the OP's salary expectations are not particularly high - he mentions not wanting to work for minimum wage. No sh1t!

    Have you thought about the public service? I regularly see ads for IT positions in County Councils etc. Seem to be mainly network admin and desktop support but also some developer positions IIRC.

    I also hear anecdotal evidence that the public service has great difficulty filling such positions as young hotshots scoff at the pay. But the positions might be ideal for an experienced person looking to wind down and who is old enough where getting stuck in a rut/becoming institutionalised is not a concern.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,325 ✭✭✭cuttingtimber22

    Good point. It may also be the case that someone coming in can make a big difference. In some PS orgs, there are many people looking for change and management want to also. I should add that I was doing some consultancy in the PS at the start of COVID and the willingness to find solutions in living from analogue to digital processes was really encouraging.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,717 ✭✭✭SuperBowserWorld


    Maybe move from management to e.g. development role ?

    Post edited by SuperBowserWorld on

  • Registered Users Posts: 28,647 ✭✭✭✭AndrewJRenko

    Big difference between managing web development projects and managing overall IT services for any organisation. They are not interchangeable roles.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,215 ✭✭✭black & white

    I worked in recruitment for years and the stress was killing me (literally) left and started in the voluntary sector on 40% of what I was earning. Took a while to adjust to the new budget but am fine with it now and have almost no stress in my life. I was lucky in that my mortgage was manageable but I’m glad I did it.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    the big contracting firms are absolutely crying out for tech candidates across all levels and roles, you should make a few calls.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,764 ✭✭✭✭Flinty997

    PS is one option but it would depend where you get working. Not all PS is stress free.

    Contracting is an option, often worked with contractors who only work a few days a week for a better work life balance. But you need discipline to not let it roll over into your time, or be talked into taking on more work.

    Also can take time to build up the contacts and a contracting business.

  • Registered Users Posts: 28,964 ✭✭✭✭Wanderer78

    stepping back makes a lot of sense, your health definitely is your wealth, there must be many opportunities out there for you due to your wealth of experience, go for it and enjoy life more, best of luck op

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,035 ✭✭✭BraveDonut

    Thanks for all of the responses here.

    Just to note that my focus has always been on building and leading teams. I have never actually been an engineer or a developer

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,764 ✭✭✭✭Flinty997

    Maybe consulting in business mentoring and management then?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,402 ✭✭✭914

    Sounds like money isn't a deal breaker with OP and that OP is just done with the tech sector.

    I'll have a guess you're in tech a number of years and now just want a job where you can rock up, do your work and go home.

    Plenty of jobs out there for 30-35k which would provide what you are looking for.

    There would also be factory work but I would presume in your 50's you would not want to be doing shift work.

    Why not look at something like becoming a postman or delivery person. Out and about in the air all day, away from a screen, meeting people, decent pay, weekends off.

    I think something like this is the way to go.

    Really just depends on your financial situation.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,035 ✭✭✭BraveDonut

    @914 Postman is something that I have been seriously considering

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,717 ✭✭✭SuperBowserWorld

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,035 ✭✭✭BraveDonut

    Just to update this thread - I handed in my notice last week and am currently looking for new opportunities.

    I simply couldn't take it anymore

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,215 ✭✭✭black & white

    Good luck to you, well done.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,764 ✭✭✭✭Flinty997

    Public Sector will give you 9-5 and quiet life. But can be hard to get things done, or an endless grind and thus job satisfaction can be a problem. Also some places have a lot of internal politics. Lots of meetings. Some don't. Contracting in the PS is an option you might get a 4 day week etc. But Contracting in general tends be more pressure.

    Consider some micro incomes. Do you need to make big money or enough to get back. Might be an option.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,035 ✭✭✭BraveDonut

    I don't need to make big money. I will clear my mortgage as part of leaving my current job and will be debt free

  • Registered Users Posts: 443 ✭✭eastie17

    How will you clear your mortgage, are they giving you a package or something?

    Best of luck, will be interesting to see how you get on

  • Registered Users Posts: 121 ✭✭DefinitelyMarc

    I can refer you for a department job via my consulting company if you'd like? Located in Dublin and maybe Wexford depending on how projects go forward.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,102 ✭✭✭✭retalivity

    Go contracting - flexible, defined role, most are really get-in-and-get-out positions. No requirement to deal with internal politics, HR crap etc. and can leave the job at the door at 5 o clock. You said you were a senior manager, no need to go at the same level again, can go for something you are overqualified for and take it handy, with a decent takehome at the end of the week/month

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,035 ✭✭✭BraveDonut

    Yes - this would seem ideal

    What are the best companies to register with that manage contract positions?