New Trends in Retirement Jobs

Nov 09, 2011

New Trends in Retirement Jobs

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After making the life-defining decision to retire, seniors are returning to work, and some are even staying at work past retirement age. These seniors are defining the term “retirement jobs” and simultaneously creating a unique level of quality in the workforce. Never before have such experienced and historically productive workers been part of an extended career opportunity. Recent data from the Labor Department shows that in the first half of 2010 the number of people over 65 in the labor force was as high as 6.6 million (compared to 4.1 million in 2001).

Tips to job searching at 50+

1) Focus on the positive.
Think about the wealth of experience you have, the challenges you've faced and overcome, and the skill set you've built up over the years. Seniors can draw upon past experiences and contributions, unlike younger applicants. 2) Present a positive, can-do attitude.
Stress the fact that you are willing to try new things, possess the required technical knowledge, and are flexible to meet the goals of the organization. In addition, mature workers make wonderful mentors for younger workers. Offer to teach valuable techniques and tools as a mentor contributing to the ongoing success for the organization. 3) Know your skill set.
Be able to describe your skill set in three categories: transferrable skills – what skills have you acquired in previous positions that can benefit the new position; personal qualities – why are you unique, what value you can add that no one else can; and education – do you have specific training that speaks to the new position? 4) Present yourself well on paper.
Resumes are generally the key to opening the door for the interview. Make sure yours is in top-notch shape. Make it reader friendly with a lot of white space and bullet points, customize it to address the position’s requirements and to highlight your capabilities, and back up your skills and claims of company improvement with specific examples or stories of your accomplishments. 5) Ace the interview.
This is showtime and the best opportunity you will have to sell yourself. Show confidence with a firm handshake, eye contact, and a pleasant and professional demeanor. Follow up with a thank you note or email. As the mainstay of your marketing strategy, remember that age does have its privileges! You know your stuff, you've got experience, you come with life skills and a mature work ethic, and you'll be a valuable asset to any team or organization that has a need for someone with your talents.

“Employing older workers can unlock the purchasing and creative power of millions of trainable employees and eager consumers," says AARP Board Chairman, Charles Leven. "As people age, they continue to create demand for goods and services. This, in turn, creates jobs for people to produce those products and services. In the United States, people aged 50-plus control 75 percent of the nation's disposable income and own 77 percent of all personal financial assets." Companies are changing their views about senior workers
An increasing number of today’s employers are including 50-plus workers in their workforce plans and are actually developing hiring strategies focused on attracting this demographic. "Older workers are recognized and valued for having a good work ethic and for providing experience, knowledge, and job stability in the workplace," Leven says. "They are viewed as loyal workers who can be counted on in a crisis. All of these attributes make them desirable workers in our service-oriented economies." How adult children can help
Adult children are a valuable job search resource for their retired parents, even more so than it appears at first glance. Because of the Internet, job searching today is dramatically different than it was 20 years ago. Help a senior compose a resume that highlights transferrable skills and experience. If the senior could benefit from taking a computer class, find one in the community that the senior can attend to expand their skill set. Public libraries often offer free introductory computer and computer software classes, and community colleges offer adult computer classes for a relatively low cost. Empower the senior with mastering online job-hunting techniques. From searching for postings to applying for positions and uploading a resume, this kind of guidance is crucial if a senior is to connect in today’s job market. How about helping your senior loved one meet and network with people you know in the business world? Oftentimes it is who you know that creates the advantage in landing the perfect job. Whereas online job postings are flooded with respondents, a face-to-face meeting or email introducing a senior to your colleague gives the senior an advantage over other applicants. Why do seniors and baby boomers want retirement jobs?
People gravitate back to work for various reasons. The most common reasons that seniors give for wanting retirement jobs fall into three basic categories: Money – Earning supplemental income has been a main driver for getting seniors back to work during retirement or for keeping them at work longer. This helps to stretch out savings accounts, pensions, and Medicare dollars and increase or maintain healthcare benefits. Love to work – Some people want retirement jobs because they just love to work. Whether it’s because their work is creative and autonomous or because they want to try something new, work is often a source of personal satisfaction. Social – Seniors who are retired can feel a sense of isolation after leaving an interactive work situation. For most people, an opportunity to regularly interact with others at a retirement job is a natural way to maintain an active social life. Assistance in locating the right retirement job AARP – Because of the rising numbers of seniors headed back to work, AARP developed a job training and placement program called Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). The program offers an online skills assessment and career match tool, a Training Assistance Program (TAP), and a job-searching tool. Click here to see a video about the SCSEP program. SCSEP helps unemployed people age 55 and over whose income is below 125% of the federal poverty level, and who live in a county that is served by an AARP SCSEP office, become more successful at finding a job by improving job skills, gaining work experience, and increasing their self-confidence. Based on a person’s eligibility for services, SCSEP provides:

  • Assessment of existing job skills and interests
  • Assistance with setting job goals
  • An individual employment plan
  • Help with locating job training for new skills
  • Resume assistance
  • Job interview tips
  • Information about job clubs and workshops
  • Job leads, and follow-ups to check progress
  • Worker's compensation insurance
  • A yearly physical exam
  • A free one-year membership in AARP

For more information on the AARP Foundation SCSEP program for job training and job placement, see the AARP Website for Job Seekers. Environmental Protection Agency’s(EPA) Senior Environmental Employment (SEE) Program – Seniors are assigned to assist the EPA in various roles across the country. Click here to see a video about this program. Call them at 202-479-1200. Area Agencies on Aging is also a good job searching resource. Many local offices provide assistance and guidance for getting seniors to back to work in a well-aligned position. It may be difficult for a senior to find a job similar to one previously held, which may be a good or bad difficulty. Either way, try not to pigeonhole yourself into the same type of position you always had, because that might not be the opportunity that is available to you. Open your mind to the possibilities of new work experiences and think about where you can contribute your same skills in a different environment. Talk with your adult children about how they can assist you in your search for a great retirement job. Make a list of your skills and interests, and then figure out how to bring the two lists together to locate a job that will provide income and personal fulfillment for you during your retirement years. These jobs can actually be hidden opportunities for satisfaction that you hadn’t anticipated for your retirement years. Unique Job Alert
Seniors are working as monitors of college athletes to make sure they attend classes. Click here to read the whole article. Do you like the beach? An estimated 10 percent of New York’s public beach lifeguards are over age 50. Click here to read the whole article. More interesting jobs for seniors: Tour Guide
Consider providing local expertise to individuals or groups who visit your town or city. Museums often employ tour guides, or if you’re interested in traveling abroad, international tour groups also use guides. Classroom Assistant
As a classroom assistant, you’ll be able to help both teachers and students. If you have a gift for working with children who have special needs, there are usually ample opportunities to do so.

Originally published by Society of Certified Senior Advisors -