Sunday, November 18, 2012

Age is no guarantee of efficiency!

I turned 38 recently. Well, some say 40 is the new 30, so by that standard I am yet to begin. But, there are others (including me) who want Sachin (39) to retire. For those, who are about to tell me the difference between physical vis a vis mental condition, you didn't hear about 100 year old Fauja Singh yet.  Won't be surprised if he is Sachin's inspiration. 

Till now there was at least one vocation where even being 40+ was considered to be youth or good enough to begin, yes, politics. Alas! even there, we see some 30+ making waves and reducing the average "youthful" age. Sigh.

We even saw 'young' SRK (47) playing 25 year old Samar Anand in Jab Tak Hai Jan, but if I discuss Bollywood here, we'll digress.

My point is what's the professional shelf life of a human in an average corporate job? These days corporates start hiring directly from the campus and one may start his/her professional career at as young as 20. Now if Gladwell is to be believed all it takes is 10000 hrs to be be an expert - that makes around 4-5 years of practice. So, 5-6 years in a job are good enough to make you expert. 

I very well know that in corporates there isn't a specific task to be performed, yet, even if one does "Boss Management" for 5 years, he gonna master it by 26-27. So, who needs a 35+ or a 40+ guy in any new job!

Ok, every thing else being same, if you have to hire a 28 year old guy with 8 years of relevant experience and 38 year with 18 years, why would you hire a 38 years old guy? What extra benefit that experienced guy would bring to you?

Somehow, I think, after a point, age (read experience) doesn't bring much value, rather, it makes people difficult to unlearn. Forget the new job, even in the existing job, times are changing and 'being young' is no more a disadvantage for that promotion or getting a corner office.

I agree that there are ways and means to Botox yourself by continuous learning, up-skilling and being the 'known devil' yet, it's like Rani Mukherjee learning bike-racing and other stunts to compete with Deepika Padukone for a role in Dhoom 3. (Apologies to Rani's fans, if any).

Even that 20 something Quartermaster in Skyfall (Q) told much older Bond, "Age is no guarantee of efficiency". 

Focus has changed, isn't it?
So, how many of you think that age brings a disadvantage in a corporate job?