Your article Over 45 in a 25 zone (NCE 28 March) raised some important and interesting points.
I started in the profession as a consultant in 1962 and formed my own firm in 1969. Since then I have seen many employment patterns - from high demand to recessions. There are a number of common factors which should be recognised.
The first mistake many senior engineers make is not realising that they have become administrators not managers.
Administration is tea and biscuits, management is sweat and blood!
Most vulnerable are those who have never maintained their technical engineering skills. It always intrigued me as a young engineer how so many of my peers sought to get off the drawing board and into management.
During the 1985 recession I had numerous unsolicited applications from middle to senior managers who had been dumped by large organisations. They were desperate for work, but not for lower salaries than they had previously enjoyed. They could not understand that they were too expensive.
If you are about to be made redundant from a reasonably good firm, try to hang on in. Lower your salary, offer to move location - whatever it takes. . Better times will return.
In the meantime try to re-skill. If you think you are too old for that then you deserve to be fired!
This may sound harsh, but it is life.
I have just picked myself up after such an experience and I feel much sharper for the ride. I'm 61 and still fighting - it is tough but worth the effort!
Brian Clancy (F), brian. clancy@btinternet. com