Job Searching After Retirement


Being “retired” looks a little different these days than it once did. Older people are taking the opportunity of not having to work for a living to do something they want to do for a living, and the options are endless.

Whether you are a retiree who is working for economic reasons or just for leisure, reentering the workforce can be tricky. Start with the following tips:“Because today’s seniors are healthier and more active, planning for retirement involves much more than just financial planning,” according to The Retirement Living Information Center website. “It involves thoughtful planning about what you want to do with the rest of your life, whether it’s starting your own business, part-time work, consulting, volunteering, mentoring, a variety of leisure activities or a unique combination tailored to your needs.”

Whether you are a retiree who is working for economic reasons or just for leisure, reentering the workforce can be tricky. Start with the following tips:

Try Mixing Business and Pleasure

If you are seeking work mainly to pass the time and explore life’s possibilities, use a part-time job to your advantage. “Be creative in seeking out jobs that dovetail with your interests,” said Jane Bennett Clark, senior editor of Kiplinger.com Personal Finance.

Have you always been interested in sports? Look for a job as an usher at the local stadium or arena, or as a cashier at a sporting goods store. Have you always wanted to try selling cosmetics from home? This is the perfect time to try it. It might also be the ideal time to try starting your own business, if that’s something you have been interested in and have the capital to invest up front.

Don’t Give Up

You may assume you are at a disadvantage being an older job candidate, but the opposite may actually be true. Many companies are looking for someone with a flexible schedule or someone to work during the daytime hours while many other potential employees may be at school or in class. Work your contacts to get an “in” at your desired place of employment — by retirement age, you likely have a plethora from whom to choose. Stress everything you bring to the table, including any technological fluency, especially if you are interviewing with a younger manager, but don’t ever mention ages — you should avoid calling attention to a large age gap so as to prevent feelings of insecurity, or worse, misinterpreting the comment as condescension.

Similarly, you don’t have to list on your resume every single job you’ve ever had; it should be a highlight reel of your relevant experience and accomplishments. Furthermore, assure your interviewer that you are not overqualified, which is a common reason retirees are often passed over for jobs.

In an interview with U.S. News & World Report, Associate Professor at Texas A&M Joanna Lahey explained how to help yourself stand out.

“Make sure your cover letter explains why you’re right for the job you’re applying to,” said Lahey. “Explain any gaps or why you’re applying for something for which it seems like you’re overqualified.”

Utilize the Resources Available to You

There are countless websites, books and other media out there — specifically aimed at older workers or retired people — that can help you get started in your job search, including RetirementJobs.com and Encore.org. These sites focus on nonprofit opportunities, another area in which adults like to delve after they retire. Relevant organizations also offer documents or websites as resources, such as AARP Career Support and the Service Corps of Retired Executives.

If you want to add yourself to the 7 million people age 55 and older who are currently working part time (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics), simply remember the general guidelines above for how to plan the next phase of your life.

 

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