Jobs for Seniors
More seniors are working because_____ Fill in the blank. Reaching retirement age doesn't mean you're going to sit back and watch the garden grow. Today's seniors work because it's a financial necessity.
Or because as one recent article says: "There are health benefits to remaining engaged in society. Some seniors just want to feel useful."
Whatever your reason and despite the economy, there are more jobs for seniors than ever before. But there also more seniors working now than ever.
Increasing Senior Work Force
Between 1995 and 2007, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, "the number of older workers on full-time work schedules nearly doubled while the number working part-time rose just 19 percent.
As a result, full-timers now account for a majority among older workers: 56 percent in 2007, up from 44 percent in 1995.
In addition, they predict that between 2006 and 2016, workers between 65 and 74 will increase by 74% and workers 75 and older will grow by 84%.
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Before diving into your job search, ask yourself what you want from a job. This helps focus your search from the start.
- Do you want to work? Or do you have to work because of financial reasons?
- Do you want or need a part-time or full-time job?
- How much do you need to earn?
- Do you need benefits?
- How flexible are you? Nights and weekends? On-call?
- Are you willing to learn a new industry or job type?
- What don't you want to do?
- Do you want to work with the public?
- Do you want to have a say in your job?
- Would you consider self-employment?
Also, when was the last time you worked? When was the last time you went on an interview? If you're a little rusty, that's ok. You can get ready in no time.
The senior workforce solutions website experienceworks.org has a useful questionnaire on preparing yourself for the job market: "Soft Skills, Character Traits and Personality Traits Desired By Most Employers!" Here's another great resource for assessing yourself.
These are great tools for evaluating yourself. You'll:
- Know what you like and don't like in a job
- Know what your skills and strengths are
- Know where you need improvement
Having thought through this information will help focus your search. Plus, you'll know yourself better and be able to articulate your answers in an interview.
Use the Web
Because you've landed here, you are at least comfortable using the internet. And that's a great thing, especially when job hunting. First, you're ahead of most of your peers. According to a Pew Research Center study,
"38% of U.S. adults age 65 and older go online, a significantly lower rate of internet adoption than the general population (74%) and even the next-oldest group (70% of adults age 50-64 years old go online).
And there are literally thousands of job resources online. It's a great place to start to see what's out there. Try usa.gov as a jumping off point. Also, www.aarp.com has some great information for senior job searchers.
The site RetiredBrains.com has senior job opportunities including starting your own business and working from home.
Since the internet can be overwhelming, you'll need to get off the computer and out of the house.
Temporary employment agencies such as Robert Half, Kelly, Adecco, and others are great places to look for senior jobs. These temp jobs can last from a day to six months to a year. And many times, they can turn into permanent employment. A "temp-to-hire position is where the employer agrees to hire the worker after a certain period, if it's a good fit.
Temp agencies specialize in anything from office work to labor to technology.
The advantage to working for a temp agency is that you can explore and experience different industries and jobs. Just remember the more flexible you are accepting job opportunities, the more opportunities will be thrown your way.
Call an agency to set up a face-to-face appointment. You'll likely take a computer test assessing your skills, which could include Microsoft Office products as these are most often used in business.
Now is the time to turn that hobby into a business. What do you like doing? What can you start up with little investment? For some, the investment may simply be their time. Others have a specific skill to offer. Here are some suggestions to get you thinking:
Are you good at fixing things? Consider being a handy man or woman. Start your business with friends and neighbors.
Are you a retired teacher who is good with words? Consider starting a blog. Find a topic you love, write about it, and sell advertising on the site. There are also opportunities for tutoring at home or on-line.
Do you like animals? Consider a pet sitting and/or dog walking business. People need their dogs walked during the day while they're working. And they need in-home care for the dogs when they're out of town.
Do you collect anything or simply like to shop? Start an eBay business.
Whether you're after a second career or just looking to work somewhere fun, the senior job for you is out there. And you have more resources than ever before. Assess yourself and your needs and then go for it!
Updated: Aug 26, 2011