5 tips for finding meaningful part-time work in retirement


This article is reprinted with permission from NextAvenue.org.

Recently, a reader asked how to find a significant part-time job after retiring in a couple of years. “I don’t know where to look for meaningful part-time work,” he wrote. “Next to that is how to get there. Who and how? How to get started?”

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While 2.6 million more Americans than expected retired early during the pandemic, many are looking to return to the workforce, preferably in their conditions. As of March 2022, 3.2% of workers who retired a year earlier were back in employment, according to an analysis by Index.com of the Department of Labor data. And with inflation rising and stocks losing strength, it is likely that more retirees will want, or need, to return to work, at least part-time.

So how do you begin to find meaningful part-time work after retirement? Here are five steps to help you focus and move forward:

1. Be clear about why you want to work in retirement. Whether your main goal is to earn a living or to find meaningful employment, defining your “essentials,” “pleasant to have,” and “discussion of agreements” will guide your decisions in the future. Think about how, why and when you want to work. Ask yourself how much you want or need to earn. Think about whether you need a job that challenges you creatively or intellectually. Consider what kind of work schedule would work best for you. Want to try to turn a hobby into a source of income? You may prefer to continue in your old line of work, but more flexibly, perhaps as a trainer, coach, or consultant.

2. Research flexible opportunities in your target industries. If you haven’t been looking for a job in a long time, please discover that flexible, virtual, and high-quality project work options have increased dramatically in recent years.

Here are three ways to learn more about your industry options:

  • Explore industry associations. Many sponsors webinars, newsletters, job boards, and conferences that are invaluable to both newcomers and industry veterans. They can alert you to industry growth niches, as well as certification programs that can help you become a new function quickly and cost-effectively. To locate an industry association in your area of ​​interest, simply search Google or consult the Gale Encyclopedia of Associations, which can be found online or in the reference section of your library.

  • Check out job boards that focus on flexible and concert work. There are a growing number of online platforms, such as FlexJobs.com, Freelancer.com or SideHusl.com, that specialize in flexible working. In addition to job offers, they have useful tips for navigating the world of flexible work.

  • Find jobs with temporary or professional service companies. Today, many companies rely on temporary agencies for professional-level jobs. To find a business in your target industry, ask for referrals from your colleagues or search on Google with terms such as “interim executive”, “staffing agency” or “professional services company”.

3. Fill in the gaps in your background. If you are moving to a new field or function, consider taking an online course, workshop, or certification program to improve your chances of getting a new concert quickly. You can find thousands of free or near-free training classes offered through platforms like Coursera, LinkedIn Learning, and EdX. Also, check out the many certification classes and programs offered through community colleges or industry groups, many of which are already available online.

4. Update your LinkedIn profile or create one if you haven’t already. Once you have clarity about your desired direction, update your profile to reflect your professional aspirations.

Some key suggestions:

  • Replace your old title with one that summarizes the role you want to play below, because your title is the first thing potential connections or employers see. For example, “Retail industry financial analyst seeking consulting and self-employment” or “Helping non-profit environmental organizations attract more donations and volunteers. Open to consulting or advice opportunities.”

  • Update the other sections of your LinkedIn profile (About, Experience, etc.) to include training, volunteering, or consulting experience related to your new job.

  • If you’re looking for a virtual job, highlight keywords that demonstrate your mastery of technology and the skills you need to work remotely.

  • Once you’ve updated your LinkedIn profile, review your resume so that it is also in line with your new goals.

5. Tell your network that you are available to work. Networking is the best way to get a meaningful job in retirement, just as it was when you were looking for a “real” job. After informing your current employer of your retirement plan, let your colleagues and friends know that you are interested in working part-time. To make it easier for people to help you, be clear about the type of work and the hours you want to work.

Also read: Most workers trust Social Security. You should?

And don’t forget to end all network conversations by asking who else you should talk to. You never know who might end up being the key link for your next consulting role, temporary, board, or part-time.

Nancy Collamer, MS, is a semi-retirement coach, speaker, and author of “Second-Career Careers: More Than 50 Ways to Benefit From Your Passions During Half-Retirement.” You can now download her free workbook, “25 Ways to Help You Identify Your Second Ideal Act” on her website at MyLifestyleCareer.com (and you’ll also receive her free bimonthly newsletter).

This article is reprinted with permission from NextAvenue.org© 2022 Twin Cities Public Television, Inc. All rights reserved.

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