Is age a constraint in Technical Writing Career ?
One of my friends who has been in the teaching field (Information Technology) for last 8 years is struggling to get into the Technical Writing field,he is 38 years old now, ...is age working against him? He is a BSc,Hons in Physics and has a MS in Information Technology.He has good knowledge of MS office and workable knowledge of Robohelp...but he is not being able to get through the interviews.He clears the first two rounds and after the technical round the company just keeps the result pending,finally he doesn't get any call.
He is getting demotivated and is not sure where he needs to improve.
Technical writing gurus please help me to help him .
Age is not a barrier in technical writing or any IT field as such.
The problem arises when assigning specific responsibilities, if selected for the post of technical writer. There are many points to consider during recruitment:
1. Will the candidate with substantial experience be able to work with a lesser salary, since the entry level salary may not match his expecatations.
2. Will the candidate be open to feedbacks from juniors, if selected.
3. Will the candidate lose interest in job, thinking that the management does not recognize his past experience.
While these are common factors considered during recruitment, it may vary from interviewer to interviewer. Hence, companies prefer to recruit fresh grads or grads less than 5 yrs experience, only that they can learn and also be open to feedbacks from seniors.
I dont say that it is the end of world for your friend, but these kind of obligations do arise in the real time scenario. If such factors does not matter much, definitely your friend can be a technical writer one day.
My initial suggestions are let him get enrolled to a technical writing institute, so that they will be able to understand his problems clearly and will give beneficial tips depending on his age/experience.
Hope my suggestion satisfies your query.
Thank you so much for analyzing the issue so well.Your suggestions are extremely helpful.He is not sure what the plan of action should be now, as he had invested and lost out some money in a Technical Writing institute.The institute could not help him much. He is now working as freelance content writer.He insists on a career in Technical Writing only.
Should he enroll in another Tech Writing Institute ? or should he keep going for interviews ?Is there any key factor (like knowing a particular skill or anything else) which will compel the employer to look beyond his age.
Advice in this regard would be a big help.
Thanks & Regrads
Absolutely, selection of a technical writing institute is a smart option one has to take. The problem with most technical writing institutes is that they only provide training on course material, but very few give career guidance. Basically, I can suggest few but I dont know in which city are you placed and it is not the best choice to mention the names of those institutes in an open discussion. However, it is no harm to publish your post to the forum members mentioning your capabilites and areas of concern. This will enable either the training institutes or the senior members of the forum to give your proper guidance.
Note: It is advisable to speak to the training institute before joining so that you can get the required assistance for your problem. If you think that does not help, do post your query in different technical writing user groups, so that the senior members of the group would be able to assist you.