TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
On what do you base your estimate of employers wanting people around for
5-10 years? In my experience, it is only a very small fraction of
permanent staff who hit the 5 year mark, and if anything, younger folks
stay for a shorter time than older folks. Most people move on around the
2-3 year point, so if employers are discounting a 60 year old because they
probably won't be working until they are 70, that seems a bit
questionable. Consider that the age to retire with full social security
benefits is 65-67, and that 60 year old very likely has a number of working
years left in them. (My current employer is an exception to this, and it's
one of the reasons I like them. I think more than half the staff have been
around for more than 5 years, and people retire after many years of
service. It's quite different from the Silicon Valley youth-oriented
"don't trust a technical person over 35 to have a clue" culture.)
One thing that might be a concern -- because I've seen it in the industry
myself -- is that some folks getting up near retirement age do the
"pretirement downshift", where they cut back on responsibility and effort
at work, rather than maintaining the enthusiasm and drive they might have
had 10 years before. That type of person tends to not be a great fit for
energetic offices, places with lots of tight deadlines, high performing
documentation teams that expect everyone to shoulder their portion of the
load, etc. And that probably describes many companies hiring tech writers,
at least in the IT sector.
On Tue, Sep 13, 2016 at 9:16 AM, Jay Maechtlen <techwriter -at- laserpubs -dot- com>
> If an employer is looking for a perm position - that suggests they want
> the person around for a while - maybe 5-10 years?
> Why would they knowingly hire someone already at retirement age?
> Unless you can convince them that you love the field, are having a blast,
> and want to keep going for another 10 years+, why would they want you?
> Plan your pitch accordingly...
Visit TechWhirl for the latest on content technology, content strategy and content development | http://techwhirl.com