Re: Aging out was RE: job-hunt weirdness

Subject: Re: Aging out was RE: job-hunt weirdness
From: "Rick Bishop" <rickbishop -at- austin -dot- rr -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 11 Jul 2009 17:08:25 -0500

A word of advice to older tech writers: look for the government contractor

Gov contracts run 1 to 5 yrs. They don't care how old you are, and in fact,
often look for the VERY experienced so they can list it on their proposal
documents. 30 yrs in the field is a plus on a gov contract.
There are thousands of awarded contracts listed on Doing an
"Advanced Search" with the words "technical writing" in quotes on contracts
awarded in the last 90 days produced 12 awards that require at least one
tech writer. Each award lists all companies that bid (interested vendors).
Contact all of them as they typically bid contracts that require technical
writing. This may be 2 companies or 50 per contract.
With a little more trouble, you can search for contracts that haven't been
awarded yet, where interested vendor companies are actively looking for
staff if they get the award.
Caution - you can restrict the search by zip code, but that will often
restrict it to a specific government office, Army base, etc. Most major
cities have some federal offices, but a dozen zip codes.
Good Luck from a very experienced tw!

> I watched my highly competent, smart, professional mother, with years of
> experience and business savvy, get involuntarily "retired" from
> technical writing for the sin of being older than the people she was
> interviewing with for a job. The last job she had, she was actually told
> by her manager that if he'd known her age he would never have considered
> her for the job. She did all the usual--wrote her resume to eliminate
> about ten years of experience, concealed the date of her graduation
> (even dropped a degree), dyed her hair, dressed younger. None of it
> worked. After she got laid off, she never again got past an initial
> interview.
> I figure I'm in my last or next to last job as an employee; if and when
> I leave this one, I have at best a 50/50 chance of being hired full time
> somewhere because I am too old. I'm keeping my freelance skills up, and
> hoping my husband keeps his job so that his benefits can cover us.


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