Ageism doesn’t apply

I’m Going Back to Work

I wasn’t looking for consulting work when I retired in April 2010 at the age of seventy. I was intent on working as a creative writer rather than a technical writer and proposal manager. For me it was either now or never. And I succeeded. In the last four and a half years I had my memoir published, I’ve written for several websites, I’ve written poems for two books of photography, and co-edited three poetry anthologies. Now I’m knee deep in revising my first novel.

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So really I have no time to work a day job, as they like to say.

Actually, in the last couple of years I worked a couple of short-term consulting jobs – helping a group of engineers write proposals to the U.S. government. And it was easy-going back. I found that once I walked in the door I got into the swing of the work immediately. It was like I’d never been gone. Of course after doing the kind of work I did for almost thirty years, I shouldn’t have had any doubt that I could still perform.

Now, I’m about to embark on another consulting job. My husband – who is  78-years old – was asked by a large aerospace corporation (the same company we both retired from) to lead a proposal to win a government contract worth many millions of dollars. And he persuaded me to work with him. You probably think that’s a recipe for disaster, but not for us. Since we’ve led many winning proposals together in the past, the company was very willing to bring me on board as well.

This is long and tedious work.

He has been working with the team doing preliminary proposal work for the last several months. I will start in mid to late February when the government releases its draft proposal instructions. And I expect we’ll be at it for about three months – the time it takes to plan, write, produce, and deliver the proposal. If post proposal activities that could include oral presentations are necessary, my job could last as long as a year.

work hard

I hope not in this case. Even though I’m willing to take on this assignment I don’t want to put all of my creative writing activities aside – including my blog posts, my contributions to my various websites, and my poetry writing – for such a long time. However, no matter how busy I get on the proposal, I’m intent on journaling as usual every day – it’s my prescription for venting any problems that go on in a day – and working bit by bit on my novel. I’m determined to find the time to do my day job and my creative writing.

My skills are still needed

The nice thing about this whole situation is that I still have skills very much-needed in the aerospace industry. And it’s great that they don’t consider age when they are searching for experts. In the past I’ve mentored many young folks whom I’ve worked with, and I’m hoping I can do the same on this job. It would be wonderful if I can teach others to do the kind of work I’ve done for so many years. However, until then, I’m willing to keep going back to work in an environment where ageism doesn’t apply. Besides I earn a lot more as technical writer than I’ve ever earned as a creative writer. I urge all my writing friends out there to consider it.

 

 

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