Reinventing a career overnight is impossible but staying within a competing distance is possible. The answer is the same old boring strategy, planning. One has to define a flexible framework to tackle changing times. On the other hand, the efforts to get a great professional life might cost personal space. Is this trade-off mandatory?
No. Understanding the skill set, market fit, and opportunity cost can help develop a practical career plan that doesn’t overwhelm the personal life. A good career plan is a key to peace of mind in the chaotic universe of software. One doesn’t have to plan every day of their career. One cannot keep boosting skills with certifications. However, having periodic checkpoints and a set of goals to look forward to is a great start.
Loans, pandemics, recessions, and many other factors will impede progress. A simple Plan B will ensure you have enough to start again. Not all plans need to work; just the fallback shouldn’t fail.
Software engineering is more about being human than about machines!