• Timothy McKennaTimothy McKenna, over 3 years ago

    I'm 34 and I have been working in the industry for 13 years at this point. I currently am a design director for a tech company that works solely for state government. I have had a pretty varied career from practitioner to manager in a variety of fields from publishing, academia, healthcare, technology, financial services, and marketing. For me, I want to continue to move up in management roles and take on more strategic/business/leadership functions as I feel that I have the most impact. I'll be honest, I am not the greatest designer...but I feel like I am pretty good at working with designers. I feel best working with and learning from my team...and I try to give them all of the support, resources, and confidence to do the best work they can.

    While I'd love to do this forever...I'm building a safety net retirement plan that hopefully ease a lot of financial considerations in the future. I have a 401k and a Roth IRA that I have been contributing to since I started (parents raised me to always save as a mantra that a company pays you, from that paycheck...pay yourself first, then do your bills, etc). I have bought a house a few years ago and the value continues to raise. So financially, if I wanted to, I could retire at 67 pretty comfortably if all things currently stay the same with savings and whatnot.

    Ideally, I'd like to transition into a consultant later in my career like Jose Coronado. But who knows? Half of the fun for me is seeing what opportunities arise for me to learn and grow and marry that knowledge back to design.

    2 points
    • andreis .andreis ., over 3 years ago

      Thank you for sharing! Would you say that working for the government is a safer choice when it comes to ageism/layoffs?

      0 points
      • Timothy McKennaTimothy McKenna, over 3 years ago

        I don't actually work for government (meaning I am not a government employee). I work for a company that only does work for state government, so it's a private company with a singular client if you will...but I can speak layoffs/ageism with my counterparts in government.

        If you are unionized, it's harder to get laid off. If you aren't part of a union, you're just as likely to get laid off when government agency budgets are slashed.

        Ageism though...government is slow...and when you have been part of the state government and kept your nose clean, you can stick around for 30 some years, collect your state pension. I have found that ageism actually affects more younger employees. Government can be entrenched, bureaucratic, and monolithic...so if you are young with aspirations of making huge strides....you're going to have a bad time. Older employees don't want to change anything as it could affect their pension and younger employees tend to get pushed out...so when the older employees retire..there is a huge vacuum where skilled people are needed, but not many want to work because of the culture/legacy. This has been my typical observation, but each state and state agency is different.

        1 point