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Part-Time Job Hunting Tips for Retirees


Retirement isn’t what it used to be. Longer life expectancies and the ever-rising cost of living—to say nothing of prime-of-life retirees’ skyrocketing expectations—have made life after work a much more expensive proposition. Yet many who are approaching their golden years don’t have sufficient savings to pay for three decades of total leisure, especially after the 2008 market fallout.

But where will older workers find gainful employment? In many cases, it may be with the same employer they’ve known for years. According to a recent report by Deloitte, “It’s 2008: Do You Know Where Your Talent Is?”, there’s a labor crunch on the horizon (once the current downturn passes) particularly in the executive suite, as baby boomers prepare to depart en masse. Often enough, however, those who are leaving wouldn’t mind a little part-time work to finance retirement lifestyles, and some are returning to their old positions, though with more flexibility, and fewer hours.

A recent survey by Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business found that 85% of corporations plan to expand recruiting strategies to include temporary professionals (for project-based work) and those who have left the work force.

That will represent quite a change from the current situation, in which only one in three employers is open to hiring older employees who want flexible hours or the option to telecommute, among other perks.

Yet big companies won’t hire just any retiree. In the Tuck survey, six in 10 employers listed updated, fresh skills as a make-or-break attribute for job hunters.

Already, opportunities for seniors are becoming easier to find, even if the economic downturn makes applying for them more competitive. Major online job boards such as Monster, CareerBuilder, and HotJobs have launched special contract employment sections featuring the kinds of part-time positions many retirees will want. Other sites—Seniors4Hire, Retirementjobs, and AARP—target retirees specifically with full-time, part-time, and contract opportunities covering a broad range of professional skills. Guru.com and Elance.com offer freelance, contract, and temporary opportunities through online marketplaces that not only help place workers but handle invoicing and payment as well. These services even offer consolidated tax reporting to simplify the administration that comes with working part-time during retirement.

Of course, as useful as such online services may be, they’ll never be as effective as personal networking. If you’re approaching or already in retirement and would like to work part-time, the best place to start is with people you know. So ask around the company about temporary or part-time consulting work, and contact former colleagues who’ve moved on to other ventures. Chances are, even if they don’t immediately need someone with your skills and experience, they’ll know someone who does, and the personal connection could help put you ahead of the many other applicants looking for work.

 


This article was written by a professional financial journalist for Legend Financial Advisors, Inc. and is not intended as legal or investment advice.




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