The question: How do I move away from mainframes?

The solution: Retrain while you are seeking work

The question: At 44, I have been a mainframe operations manager for many years, having worked at two major banks in London. I am also ITIL qualified. However, I am now between contracts and, with the shortage of mainframe jobs, would like to move into server technology/networks or service delivery. I cannot find a role that does not demand experience in areas I haven't got. What would you suggest? Is my age counting against me? I am perfectly willing to pay for my own retraining.


The solution: Retrain while you are seeking work

An ITIL Foundation qualification should make the transition from mainframe work to server technology easier. But with a lack of skills in the PC/server environment, it will be a challenge to find the right role. 

As a contractor, you are expected to bear the cost of training. In fact, one of the main reasons for the elevated rate of pay achieved by contractors is to ensure you have the revenue to compensate for the lack of benefits an employee receives, one of which is training.

You should therefore retrain while you seek permanent work. This, alongside your current qualification and experience, should enable you to find the position you seek. 

I do not believe your age will be, nor should be, an issue. Your level of practical and business experience, which is critical in today's market, will stand you in good stead.

Solution by Jason D'Silva Williams, manager, commercial IT recruitment, Hudson

The panel: Plan-Net Services, Spring Group, E-Skills UK, British Computer Society, Computer Futures, Hudson, Elan, Reed Technology, Zarak Technology.

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