Age 65. For many years, this magic number was the sign for people to say goodbye to the workforce and hello to a leisurely life of retirement. This is hardly the case today. The average American is living longer, and that trend is prompting a retirement revolution. Those in their 50s, 60s, and beyond aren’t ready to settle into a traditional retirement lifestyle; they desire new challenges, social connections, or extra income—all of which they can find through employment.
While employment certainly delivers many of the benefits the 50-plus population seeks, it’s not without challenges. Mature workers face a host of decisions when considering employment prospects. Before beginning a job search, those considering work during retirement years should conduct a brief personal assessment to determine exactly what it is they need and want from a work experience. Following are some important areas to consider and questions to ask before applying for jobs and interviewing:
• Are you seeking a steady job or seasonal employment?
• Is part- or full-time work best for your lifestyle?
• Do you want to work occasionally, when the timing suits you, or do you want to commit to a regular schedule?
Area of Interest/Skill Set
• Do you want to continue working in a field where you already have experience?
• Is there a profession or industry you’ve always wanted to explore?
• Would you need on-the-job training or more intensive preparation to pursue a job in your desired field?
• Is a large or small business a more attractive work setting?
• Would you prefer to take on a specific role with a single employer, or would you like the option to move around to different jobs and employers?
• Is health insurance a requirement?
• Do you need a regular paycheck, or are there just certain times you’d like to earn extra income?
• Are paid holidays and vacations important?
• Would you like the opportunity to pursue free training to enhance and build your skill set?
Finding the Right Employer
For those who decide working in retirement is the right choice, the next step is to begin the job search. A great place to start is AARP. The group recently launched a Workforce Initiative Program and named 13 Featured Employers—including many staffing companies—that offer attractive career options for 50-plus job seekers. Staffing firms can help these qualified applicants hone in on the qualities that define the ideal job, provide any necessary training, and secure employment opportunities—all at no cost to the job seeker.
More people are deciding whether working in retirement is right for them. If your answer is “yes,” a small investment of time and planning will yield big rewards in the area of job satisfaction. IBI