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Reinhold Kiebart

Starting a new career at 50+

Deutsche Telekom doesn't want to miss out on the experience that older people bring, which is why the company is offering new career opportunities and prospects for the 50+ generation, too. One example: Last October, Reinhold Kiebart joined T-Systems as a senior IT developer. At the age of 61.
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Reinhold Kiebart
Reinhold Kiebart: „Starting a new career at 50+“
Congratulations, you are making a fresh new start at T-Systems at an age where others would be looking forward to their pension!
Reinhold Kiebart: I was really excited to get this opportunity. I have been with T-Systems as a senior IT developer since fall. The job comes with a lot of territory that is unfamiliar to me, for example, we are currently developing an IT archiving solution for long-term unemployment benefits (Arbeitslosengeld II), so I for the first time in my life I had to get to grips with the German Social Security Code. But it's interesting and exciting. Before that, I was unemployed for a year after leaving my previous employer on an early retirement scheme. But I'm not ready to be a pensioner yet. Even as a senior citizen, I need prospects.
Be honest, does it get harder to learn the older you get?
Reinhold Kiebart: I wouldn't say so. Learning keeps you fit, and a sense of achievement is positive reinforcement. I have always kept learning, throughout my entire working life. I spent many years involved in training and skills development at the same time as programming, and I have won programming competitions. I have worked for big companies and small firms, was self-employed for a time, and then found another job. To put it in a nutshell, I'm inquisitive and flexible. These qualities are not something you simply lose as you get older. But of course I have a different approach to learning now, and concentrate much more closely on the key aspects.
Think back to your induction period. Who at T-Systems sticks out as supporting you particularly well at the start?
Reinhold Kiebart: All of my colleagues were extremely helpful. But I benefited the most from my mentor who was there to answer all my questions. Irrespective of whether they were job-related or to do with organizational matters. She was - and is - my first point of contact. I appreciate the fact that she is a lot younger than me as she has a different bank of knowledge to call on. She studied new technologies at university that I have never used. So I can't help but learn an awful lot from her.
Do teams of mixed ages work better together?
Reinhold Kiebart: Yes, absolutely. I am a senior IT developer and one of the oldest in my team. We are a very diverse team, and that's something I really like. A lot of young colleagues come to us straight from university and are at the forefront when it comes to innovative topics. They are happy to pass on what they know to us in the 50+ generation. I think it's great that we have a give-and-take of expertise. But we 'oldies' are just as valuable, as we often find it easier to see the whole picture or keep track of major projects. My many years of experience mean I can spot programming errors quickly. It goes without saying that I share my know-how, too. Every one of us can take advantage of the training opportunities at T-Systems, irrespective of age.
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