Whether you’re searching for work because you need money or social interaction, here’s what you need to know about finding part time jobs for seniors and retirees. I was compelled to compile this list of job opportunities for a retired reader, who said…
“I’ve always dreamed of being a writer, and getting published in national magazines and newspapers,” says Debbie on Freelance Writing Pay Rates – Newspaper and Magazine Articles. “But I love reading more than writing, so I’m happy to let my writing dream be a warm happy feeling. But now that I’m retired (I’m 62) I’m thinking that it might be a good time to get a job I’m actually excited to work at. I love to be around people, and I want to find a part time job that gets me out of the house. Can you point me towards jobs that combine my love for reading and writing with my desire to get out of the house?”
I’m glad you asked this question about combining: 1) a paying job that involves something you’re passionate about; and 2) getting out of the house and socializing with people in the workplace!
Working after retirement can be a great way to stay healthy, involved, active, and challenged. and you’re not alone – hundreds of retirees are searching for jobs that allow them to work part time. But don’t let this get you down; the world is a big place; even if thousands of seniors are searching for part time jobs, only a tiny fraction of those retirees are in your city, town, or community.
And, your question hits close to home for me personally. My husband and I have been talking a lot about working after retirement. His retirement, not mine – my job is writing for my Blossom blogs, and I want to work until I can type no more! While my husband enjoys his job, he is looking forward to retiring. He just turned 50 and plans to retire at 55, but we both know that he’ll need to pull in some income after he officially leaves his job. So, we’ve already started talking about finding part time jobs for seniors more and more.
Help Finding Part Time Jobs for Seniors and Retirees
I’ve been asking my husband what type of work he’d like to do part time because I know he’s not going to want to “just” putter around the house and garage all day long (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). He’s not as lucky as Debbie, my reader who already knows that she wants to combine her love for reading with a paid job that gets her out of the house.
If you don’t know what type of job you’re looking for, keep reading.
Here, in this article, you won’t find a list of active part time jobs for seniors, for three reasons:
- There are dozens of online job boards and work search websites
- Online job opportunities are not the best way to find work because they’re too competitive and impersonal;
- You need to look for jobs that are in your area or community (unless you’re willing to move or telecommute)
Rather, I’m offering you pointers on how to find part time jobs for seniors that will help you combine your personal interests with your practical need to find work. My purpose is to help you think of the job search in new and different ways, so you don’t feel overwhelmed, afraid, or worried about your future.
Do you have a “dream job”? If you think you still have it in you, read How to Find Your Dream Job – No Matter How Old You Are.
Get a bead on your emotions
How do you feel about searching for a part-time job as a senior or retiree?
Maybe you’re excited because you been bored at home for a few years already, or maybe you’re ashamed because you’re pushing 70 years old and you need to find work to help pay the bills. Maybe you are confused about what kind of job to look for, or maybe you’re angry and grieving because you recently lost your spouse and you’re buried in bills and debt.
It’s important to get a handle on how you feel about searching for part time jobs for seniors. If you’re unaware of how you really feel – or if you’re suppressing, avoiding, or ignoring the feelings that keep bubbling to the surface – they will arise in unexpected and embarrassing ways. You might start crying in the middle of a job interview, or explode in anger if a receptionist isn’t eager or cheerful about accepting your resume. These things happen more often than you think.
So, what is your primary emotion? Do you feel scared, sad, angry, excited, or worried? Maybe you’re hungry because you haven’t paid the bills in four months. Feel free to share in the comments section below, or write in your own private journal. Regardless of how you explore your feelings, I encourage you to take time to face them.
Learn what to expect when you’re looking for a job
“Many employers are reluctant even to consider applicants aged 50+,” says Sarah Welstead of Retired Worker, a website for retired people who want to work on a part time or contract basis. “In many ways, looking for a job after retirement is a lot like looking for your first real job right out of school: you have to work a little harder to get your foot in the door and tell employers why they should hire you.”
But don’t let this get you down! You simply have to search for part time jobs for seniors that smart way, that’s all. Here are a five tips to help you:
- Be patient. Finding a job can be hard work at any age. As a senior or retiree, you need to be even more patient and diligent when you’re looking for work. Sometimes older workers assume that because they’ve been working for more than 35 years, it “should” be easy to get a job. However, many employers are reluctant to hire seniors or retirees.
- Update your appearance. Remember that old saying, “clothes make the man”? Take it seriously. If your clothing and hairstyle aren’t current, many employers will assume your skills are also out of date. This doesn’t mean you need to wear a power suit, especially since offices and work environments are much more casual than they used to be. But, you can’t look frumpy or old-fashioned. Unless, of course, you’re looking for part time jobs for seniors who are role playing at historical villages or vintage stores.
- Be confident and humble. What are your strengths and weaknesses? What accomplishments are you proud of? What mistakes have you made – and what did you learn from them? Be real with your employees. Real humble, and real proud.
- Ask your friends, family and colleagues for job leads. When you’re searching for part time jobs for seniors, you can’t be too proud! Tell everyone you know that you’re looking for work. Have you always wanted to work at the library? Ask the librarian what their hiring policies are. Do you love gardening? Talk to the folks at the garden center. And, take some time to search for part time jobs online – but don’t rely on the internet. You might find work opportunities on employment websites, job boards, corporate websites, temporary agencies, networking and job clubs, career fairs and LinkedIn…but in-person job searches are more effective.
- Focus on your experience, not your age. Fight negative age stereotypes by focusing on your knowledge and real-world experience. Take pride in your achievements, maturity, and wisdom. When it comes to updating your resume, some experts advise focusing on the most relevant experience of the past 10 to 20 years and when listing university or college degrees. Consider leaving off the year you graduated from university or high school.
The previous five tips on how to search for part time jobs for seniors are adapted from 7 Job Search Tips for Older Workers, from the online Zoomer magazine.
Look at your personality traits – are you introverted or extroverted?
The older I get, the more real and authentic I am with people around me. I don’t worry as much about saying and doing the right things, and I care a lot less about what people think of me. I know that I’d much rather be alone than in a group of people – I’m introverted for sure! That’s why I’d much rather spend my days, weeks, and life working at home alone then even in an office with only one other person.
What about you? Are you an introvert who would rather work alone, or are you an extrovert who prefers to be surrounded by people? I’m encouraging you to think about that when you’re looking for work. If you’re introverted retiree surrounded by a noisy crowd of people at work, you may feel uncomfortable and even aggravated. You may be less inclined to bite your tongue and hold back your true thoughts and feelings. While it is important to be authentic, it’s also important not to create unnecessary friction and trauma on the job! That’s why I urge you to consider your personality traits while you’re researching the possible job opportunity for seniors.
Read Best Jobs for Introverts and People Who Like to Be Alone if you know you’re happier working in environments that offer independence and solitude.
Take a little (or long) look at your past work history
I told you that my husband is considering working part time after he retires, but he doesn’t know what type of job to look for. So, helpful wife that I am, I’ve been suggesting possible job opportunities. But they seemed a little dull and boring, even to me. For example, I encouraged him to apply at a gardening center because I know he loves to garden. Plus, he volunteers at a botanical garden. He was “meh” every time I suggested gardening as a possible part time job (and a little more “meh” all the time, I must admit).
So he came up with a brilliant plan for working after retirement – and I’m not being sarcastic. I think it’s a great idea! The other night my husband told me that he’s thinking about doing contract work after he retires. He’s a geologist, and he often travels and works in the field for months-long stints. So his plan is to work for a couple of weeks or months here and there throughout the year, and be at home the rest of the time. I’m a bit of a dope sometimes – it hadn’t even occurred to me that he could do that! I think temporary contract assignments is a great idea…although I’m not a big fan of being on my own for weeks or months at a time, and then having him home for months at a time. It’s a constant adjustment. I don’t mind being alone, but I get into my habits and routines when he is gone. Then, when he comes home I have to adjust all my habits and routines. But still, I like the idea of temporary contract work.
Does your past occupation or work history lend itself to contract jobs here and there? Maybe you don’t need a part time job that ties you down. Maybe you’d be happier taking full time temporary work contracts for a few weeks or months, then nestling back at home for a few weeks or months.
Consider my reader’s question about finding part time jobs for seniors…
When I read Debbie’s question – “I love to be around people, and I want to find a part time job that gets me out of the house. Can you point me towards jobs that combine my love for reading and writing with my desire to get out of the house?” – my first thought was that she might look for work at the local library, bookstore, or coffee shops that also have neighborhood libraries.
What about you – what are your passions and interests? What did you love doing as a child? What career did you always wish you had – and is there any way you can work on the fringes of it now, as a retiree?
I welcome your thoughts on these tips for finding short term jobs for seniors and retirees. And I’m curious: what is the biggest obstacle holding you back from finding work? Are you dealing with health issues, financial constraints, or family struggles that make it more difficult to find the right job? Please feel free to share below. I can’t offer career advice or job tips, but you may find it helpful to share your experience.
If you’re looking for practical job search tips and ideas, read 10 Highest Paying Jobs for College Students.
Help Finding Part Time Jobs for Seniors
In Reinvention Roadmap: Break the Rules to Get the Job You Want and Career You Deserve, Liz Ryan tells us that the traditional job search approaches just don’t work anymore. The days of trusting your career to your employer are long over (I’ve never experienced those days, myself!).
The new-millennium workplace requires all of us to rewrite the rules and start treating our careers like we’re running a business — which means understanding the markets for our talents, knowing our value, and looking out over the horizon to plot our paths going forward. Learning about this age and culture is critically important to finding the best part time jobs for seniors and retirees.
In Reinvent Yourself, James Altucher says, “I’ve reinvented my career, my interests, my life, many times over the past twenty years. This is the book I wish I had at the beginning of that long and often volatile journey. I found when I outsourced my self-esteem to only one outcome, disaster resulted. Reinvention was the key to ensuring that the outcomes in life were positive ones.”
In this book, he describes how to deal with change – and accept the fact that change is the only constant. Companies decay, technologies disappear, governments change, relationships change and opportunity is a shifting landscape. Read the stories and learn the critical skills in Reinvent Yourself, and you will find your way through the chaos of change and uncertainty – even when you’re searching for part time jobs for seniors and retirees!
May you find the right job. May you be strong and courageous – or, better you, may you act despite whatever fears, insecurities, or obstacles you’re facing. May you rise to the occasion, and find a workplace that inspires and encourages you.
Take good care of yourself, for you are worth taking good care of.
Your thoughts are welcome below! I don't give advice, but you can get free relationship help from marriage coach Mort Fertel.