Did you spend years dreaming of retirement… only to get there and realize you miss having a job? For previous generations, retirement was considered the end of your working years, but today’s seniors are redefining what it means to live life to the fullest in retirement. In some cases, the need to earn extra money drives retirees to work, while for others, it’s the desire to find a meaningful pursuit or meet other people. Whatever it is that’s driving you to look for work, start your search by asking yourself these questions, provided courtesy of HR Consulting Services. There are limitless opportunities out there (you can even create your own!).
Where do you want to work?
We don’t mean where in terms of specific jobs, but instead, ask yourself the type of work setting you want. Do you want to be in an office that’s fast-paced and exciting, or maybe somewhere low-key and chill? Maybe you love art and would enjoy working in a local museum, or if you love the outdoors, spending your time as a trail guide might be fun.
On the other hand, you may be ready to spend some time at home after years of going into work. When you first started your career, working from home wasn’t nearly as popular or as feasible as it is today. Now you can find remote work opportunities in all kinds of fields, whether you want a role that was traditionally office-bound, such as sales, marketing, or customer service, or you want to branch out on your own in a freelance role like writing. Most remote positions offer flexible hours, and you get to do something you enjoy from the comfort of home. Best of all, these jobs are easy to find with online job boards, plus most of these search sites also have their own app that you can use from a mobile device.
How important is pay?
Wanting to be compensated fairly for your time is a given, but it’s a simple fact that some jobs pay better than others. The question is – how much weight do you give to the pay compared to other factors like how enjoyable and rewarding a job is? If you’re looking for work because your budget is tight, finding a job that offers higher pay may be a top priority. However, you may be ready for a job that’s less demanding or that involves service, which may not pay as well as other opportunities.
Pay certainly isn’t the only factor involved, but it’s worth knowing what to expect when you start your job search. Some of the best-paying jobs for seniors are often found in professional arenas, such as being an adjunct professor or a consultant in your field. If you have something else in mind, check out AARP’s top jobs for retirees, which are broken down by average salary.
What skills can you offer?
If you aren’t sure where to start with your job search, think about the skills you have from your career – or even skills you gained while raising children or volunteering. You can often turn those skills into an opportunity that’s similar to your previous job but that’s also more flexible. For example, someone who is good with numbers could become a bookkeeper or tax preparer. If you retired from education, you could be a tutor or a substitute teacher.
Are you willing to learn a new skill?
Relying on the skills you have is an obvious choice, but what if you want to give something different a try? If you’re willing to learn new skills, there’s no time like the present to start gaining the knowledge you need for a second career. You can boost your skills with continuing education courses, online classes, and certification programs. Many community colleges and public libraries also offer coursework and classes that will help you prepare for a new job.
Do you want to travel?
If you dream of spending retirement as a jet-setter, there’s no better way to fund your travels than to find travel-related work. One option is to use the talents you already have while looking for opportunities abroad. For example, if you have experience working with children, you can find jobs in other countries as a nanny or teaching English as a second language.
Another option is to get into the travel industry. These opportunities can include everything from traditional jobs, such as being a travel agent, to more creative roles like becoming a travel blogger. Many seniors also get jobs working for cruise lines, resorts, or campgrounds. If there’s a locale where you would love to be, chances are there’s an opportunity to live and work there.
Is starting your own business the right move?
More and more retirees are enjoying the benefits of launching their own small businesses. And the perks are pretty compelling. You get to set your schedule, be your own boss, use skills you’ve built up, and do something you really enjoy. There are definitely a lot of pros to starting a business, but there are also some drawbacks.
You’ll need to have a worthwhile service or product that customers want that can pay the bills. You’ll also need to create a solid business plan, and prepare for potentially high startup costs, as well as steel yourself for long days. This is only the tip of the iceberg. There’s also a possible learning curve that can elicit all kinds of questions like “What is payroll?”, “Do I need an accountant?”, “What type of compliance laws do I need to understand?” It’s a lot. However, if you have the means and the energy, this could be a great way to generate income in retirement.
The bottom line is that, whatever you choose, this next job should be one you’re excited to go to. That may mean working from your home office… or traveling halfway around the world. The choice is yours – and the options are endless.
Written by guest blogger, Sharon Wagner