My Dad retired a couple of years ago. Long time readers might remember my Dad worked for one of the big three U.S. auto manufacturers. I often quote him and use his extensive knowledge when I write about saving money on cars, auto repairs and auto insurance. Since he retired he’s been a typical retiree. He moved to Florida. He plays golf multiple times a week. He likes to travel the country visiting family, friends and places he’s never been.
He’s also a typical retiree because he wants to get a job again. Many people view retirement as a time to do all the things they never had the time for while working. They imagine sleeping in, making time to pursue hobbies, taking vacations and seeing their children more. Others look at retirement and see an opportunity to change careers. My Dad is one of the latter.
My Dad is someone who needs a purpose. He is not content to sit on the couch at his condo trading stories with other senior folks waiting for 4 o’clock to roll around so he can get his early bird discounted dinner. He wants to work. He just doesn’t know what kind of job he wants after retirement and how to go about getting that job.
My Dad is not alone. A whopping 70 percent of workers report that they too plan to get a job after they retire, according to the annual retirement expectations survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute.
Finding a new job after retiring is not the easiest of tasks. That same survey also reported that more than half of retirees (54 percent) are not at all confident that they can find paid employment in retirement. And unfortunately those sentiments are backed up by hard data. On average, it takes an older worker twice as long as a younger counterpart to land a job. Last year, the average time it took baby boomers to find gainful employment was 47 weeks.
Despite the fact that it may be harder to find employment after retirement that does not mean jobs for baby boomers don’t exist. In fact workers 55 and older are the fastest-growing part of the workforce, actively pursued and recruited by many companies. Many companies site older workers as having a vast array of skills that younger workers simply don’t possess: reliability, good work ethic, emotional intelligence, experience, loyalty, flexibility and expertise.
Like many who have been out of the workforce for some time it can be intimidating figuring out how to get back into the job market. You’re likely scared, nervous and excited about the possibility of re-entering the workforce. And like most you probably have more going for you than you realize that can benefit your re-entry.
The first thing you need to realize is that your lifetime of experience is a helper, not a hindrance. You’ve spent the last thirty to forty years gaining expertise in a particular field. Your know-how is one of if not your biggest asset. Most likely you are considered an expert in your field which can open a lot of doors for you.
Use your knowledge base to expand into other jobs in your field. For example a former police officer could find new job opportunities in security consulting or how about writing an e-book on how to get out of a ticket. Why not lend support to criminal defense attorneys for detective work or as an expert in police procedures? The point is to look for ways your knowledge could benefit other people related to your former profession. While job searching think about how your assets could be useful to employers.
The second thing you need to do is to update your resume. You likely haven’t done this in a number of years. Or your current one might be so outdated you need to simply throw it out and start fresh. Whatever the status of your resume, remember to keep it short, simple and to the point. Your work experience could likely fill up two to three pages, but its best to keep your resume to one page. Only include information from the last ten years. And fill in details about any achievements or accomplishments you’ve had at your employer. Make sure the information showcases your expertise and skill set, not job duties.
Thirdly, you need to start networking. Most people get jobs through friends, former colleagues and their contacts in the industry. If you’re like most retirees you’ve been out of the loop for some time and may have lost contact with the kinds of people that can help you get a job.
To help get you back in the job market you need to use online resources like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. If you don’t have an account on all of those social media platforms, open one immediately. LinkedIn is of particular importance because you can post your resume and search for job openings in your desired field. You can also connect or link to others in your field and former co-workers. Facebook and Twitter can help you by “liking” or following companies that are potential employers. Oftentimes companies post open positions on these sites. If you follow or “like” them online you’ll be one of the first people to know about the opportunity.
The fourth thing you need to do is forget everything I just told you about getting a job and start your own business. Seriously, why go to work for another jerky boss who will try to get the most out of you while paying you the lowest wage possible! You’ve been there, done that. It’s time to try something new, something you’ve always wanted–to be your own boss, control your own destiny, work the hours you choose and put every dime you earn into your own wallet instead of someone else’s.
An online business is great for people who want to work only a few hours a week. You can work as much or as little as you want. What’s even better is that you can choose which hours you want to work. Have a golf outing planned for Wednesday morning? That’s fine. You can take the day off completely or put in a few hours later that afternoon.
Internet businesses are also great for retirees because of their expertise in a particular field. Remember when I mentioned your knowledge base being one of your greatest assets…you can sell your expertise and make great money doing it. Start a consulting business or sell information about topics in your field. If you were in human resources during your working years sell information on how to write resumes or offer services to help people get better at interviewing.
You can certainly start an online business on your own. You don’t need to buy something to get into the business. But if you want help Patrick Coffey has been helping people start their own internet businesses for the last decade. If you want to supplement your income while only working a few hours a week then I recommend you check out The Hidden Secret to Internet Wealth.
Keeping Money in Your Pocket,