Dear Experts, My husband and I are both in our 50s, have worked in the hi-tech industry for over 20 years, and need to continue to work. We’re dissatisfied, due to constant stress from outsourcing, layoffs, reorgs, flat-to-negative wage growth, relentless overtime, and overly aggressive deadlines set by management. We feel like Lucy and Ethel in that famous I Love Lucy episode where the assembly line gets cranked up faster and faster, but they are expected to keep up no matter what. So we’ve been investigating alternative careers. We’ve taken career tests, skill assessments, and personality tests, plus read several career-change books. I even worked with a professional career counselor recently. One things keeps nagging us, though: None of these resources addresses how the work environment fits into the picture. After all our research and soul searching, it appears that we are well-suited to our professions, as far as our interests, skills, and personalities go. And the truth is we both used to love our jobs, but the industry has changed out from under us. Why don’t the career resources take into account the impact that the environment has on a job? And how can we determine what an industry’s typical environment is really like? How do I make sure a work environment isn't toxic? We fear making a career change that sounds good on paper, but ends up trapping us in the same toxic environment. Our Twitter Advice Project (T.A.P.) is no longer an active campaign. To find an answer to the above question, please use the "Search" box in the right-hand column of this website.
March 24, 2009