Just a few generations ago people expected to work at the same company for most of their adult lives, pay into a retirement plan and once they turned sixty or sixty-two they’d head off into a comfortable retirement. But those times are essentially gone. According to a study recently performed by the AARP, around 60% of Americans are not as financially comfortably as they thought they would be upon reaching retirement age. Basically there are millions of baby boomers out there that cannot retire, and must contemplate continuing on. Yet others have retired a few years back and now realize they have to return to the workforce. That means contemplating a second or even a third career. But what work is there? It’s not like you can compete with the young and hungry ladder-climbers just getting started for those high-powered professions. Luckily, there is a wide range of options available to you that could be enormously fulfilling, both emotionally and financially. Here is a look at just a few of the best work options for older job seekers.
Probably the most seamless transition can be yours through working as a consultant. That gives you the opportunity to draw on the decades of experience you’ve accrued within an industry while keeping a handle on your own schedule. You could start looking for consulting opportunities with your previous employer, working with them on a part-time or project-by-project basis. If they don’t have any openings, pop open your contact list and start thinking outside the box. Perhaps you have some long time associates that now work elsewhere or run their own businesses. Maybe prior competitors can now become your employer. All you need is a simple website and some leads. If you’re having trouble generating this business on your own, consider registering with a temp agency. That should at least get you going while you continue to develop a list of clients.
Most of the larger national and international chain stores hire older workers regularly to staff their customer service positions. Head into any Walmart, CVS or Home Depot and you’ll probably be greeted by an older worker. Many of those chains target seniors because they can then receive the advantage of those decades of wisdom. For example, older customer service people at Home Depot often ran successful carpentry or contracting businesses for many years and now do this work to bring in some extra cash. That’s a huge benefit to the chain stores, and a real opportunity for you.
If you have a peaceful and patient temperament you might consider working in the healthcare field as some sort of caregiver. Sure, you’re at retirement age and might consider yourself as entering your twilight. But there are plenty of people in their 70’s, 80’s and 90’s that need assistance in their daily lives. Many of those people are more comfortable interacting with someone closer to their age. It’s consistent work and you’ll enjoy the satisfaction of helping someone who may not have many friends or any family to see to their needs.
Finally, don’t forget about those jobs you always wanted to try but were simply not ‘practical’ at various other times in your life. When you were raising your kids you probably didn’t want to work as a bartender or a cabdriver. You couldn’t spend weeks on the road managing a band or running travel tours. You needed to make a consistent living, and couldn’t moonlight with a replication manufacturing company or develop some new inventions to patent. Think outside the box at this point. You’ve earned the right to have some fun if you’re going to continue working. So remember all the things you’ve ever wanted to do and tackle that next challenge.