As a senior, retired, you no longer need to have a full-time position, or you can choose to work part-time or start your own business. Know that being mentally actively engaged will keep your mind alert, increase your self-esteem by being an active producing member of society, all helping to stave off mental decline.
Did you know that job growth is happening with people over 55? https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/most-of-job-growth-is-happening-with-people-over-age-55-teresa-ghilarducci-210416056.html Wow! As a senior person, your skills, experience, talents and wisdom is appreciated and sought after. Don't let anyone tell you that you are washed up in the job market - unless you choose to be. Integrating part-time work or entrepreneurship with your retirement strategies and lifestyle goals is a wise idea.
Working provides many benefits, least of which is social interaction, making new friends, learning new skills and earning extra money. The pressure of holding down an 8 to 5 job you don't enjoy is gone. You are free to seek employment in your same former career industry or a totally new industry. https://money.usnews.com/money/retirement/second-careers/slideshows/15-in-demand-jobs-for-seniors
This is not to say that age discrimination is not rife in the labor market, truth be told, it is whether overtly or in a more stealthy way. https://www.aarp.org/work/working-at-50-plus/info-2019/age-discrimination-in-america.html But you can overcome this. Employers are seeking experienced staff with the ability to be successful in a teamwork environment, with good critical thinking and communication skills, flexible and technology savvy. Unless you are self-employed, you must be willing to work with a Manager that is, quite possibly, 30 years younger than yourself.
If you wish to work and have employers view you as talented and an asset to their company, you MUST be technologically savvy. Recently, at a local McDonald's I overheard this conversation between a teen employee and a senior who had paused in front of the self-serve kiosk:
Employee: "May I help you? You look like you need help."
Senior Customer: "Um, no, I was just thinking about what I'd like to order."
Employee: "Oh, OK, seniors are not that good at using technology so that is why I offered to
If you are not well versed in technology and use of computers in the business environment (no matter which - retail, hospitality, dining, office, whatever environment as technology is used everywhere), you must take steps to be. If you are not well versed in social media, take steps to be. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram are the major players. Learn about them.
The abacus is long outdated. You must be well versed in the use of smartphones, office technology (excel, Powerpoint, Microsoft Office and the like). You must be able to overcome employer misconceptions regarding salary expectations, educational achievements and experience that they may view as outdated. You should get assistance putting together a resume that is tailored to positions you are applying for. And, be ready to do online interviewing, this is the new way employers take first interview steps. Have a functioning computer at home, you can't afford to have your computer malfunction when you are doing an online interview. And you can't accept remote work if your computer is well over 5 years old. Take advantage of retraining opportunities through your local employment development department and the community college.
And, lastly, it is a known fact that employers hire like minded people that are physically and mentally in tune with our current society, culture and social media trends. You will need to "look" and act the part of an employee that an employer sees you as fitting in with its employees. Make sure your clothing and physical appearance is the best it can be. No ill-fitting outdated clothes, no using jargon from the '40s, and your personal appearance is the best it can be. You want to come across on camera and in person as someone employers will see as an asset along with your talents you bring to the table.
None of the above is difficult to overcome but one must be prepared to work in the labor industry of today.
Your working life after retiring can be anything you wish it to be, in any field filling any role. You can seek part-time or full-time positions, or only work during demand periods (during Holidays, Census and voting times, temporarily etc.) What you will need to do is decide how working will fit into your retirement lifestyle, how much time you can devote to a position, what your physical capabilities are (is lifting required? extended standing? outdoor working environment? etc.) , how much money you need to earn, commuting requirements, your skills, experience etc. Are you comfortable reporting to a Manager that may be 30 years younger than yourself? Before you start your job search, take a moment to consider the foregoing.
Once you have decided on the type and frequency of work in your retirement lifestyle, you will need to create a resume that meets today's highly automated online application process. Brush up on resume basics, formatting and application logistics. Then, get ready to interview if you are successful in reaching the interview stage. You may be called upon to complete an initial phone screen or an online interview. Practice how you will respond to initial phone screen questions. Is your computer and Internet connection capable of conducting the interview? If not, you may need to purchase a more recent machine and obtain better Internet capabilities. Perhaps you will need to do a round of online interviews using Go To Meeting, Zoom or other online multiple participant programs. Are you Internet and technology savvy to do so?
In person interviews are now reserved for applicant finalists. Consider that success right there if you get to this stage. But this is the hardest part. So far, your potential employer has not seen you face to face and now you will need to present yourself very well to be considered in today's young labor force. Choose your interview attire carefully, research the company and current interview attire trends. Make sure that your physical grooming is right up there with anyone younger than yourself that is also applying to the same position, as you don't want any age bias sneeking into your interviewer's impression of you. Do your research to arrive at the interview well presented. Just because the labor market is at an all-time low, it does not mean that employers are taking just anyone.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought forth new considerations for the workplace once "stay in place" restrictions have been lifted. Business has learned to work remotely and has seen the cost benefits of doing so. Workspaces will be redesigned to allow for social distancing in the workplace, and employees will, no doubt, need to provide evidence that they are not infected with the Virus via a blood test proving so prior to working in the office. Jobs will slowly return given business performance, maintaining the concept of social distance and responsibility for a healthy workspace on the part of employers will change the way business will employ and manage its workforce. The open space and hot desking office configurations will be replaced by remote work with rotating schedules in the office to provide a healthy environment.
Remote work will be more plentiful, but that also means remote employees need to be even more versed in technology, comfortable with the climate, social and business culture of a remote working environment. Retail and customer service occupations have been contracting even before the pandemic given online consumer stopping and the health concerns by employees working in those occupations being a detriment to accepting those positions. More inventory and fulfillment positions will be filled by robots and robotic fulfillment logistics.
Getting past the pandemic and returning to normalcy will take some time. The job market will not bounce back immediately, business having learned that remote working is cost effective, will focus on a lean labor force by amping up technology resources to accomplish more using less human capital. Health concerns will hover over and change the expectations of HR and employees.
In the near term, once stay in place restrictions are lifted, jobs will be available but there will a surge in applications for each position so that candidates must be at the top of their game to score an interview, much less be chosen for the position. Unemployment will remain at higher levels for a period of time until labor force logistics are returned to normal - although what was considered normal prior to the pandemic will not be the same normal after it. The job market will be tough at first and many positions may never return as business is cautious about hiring efforts, wanting to recoup financial losses sustained during the economic shutdown first. And, some businesses will never return, it is estimate that approximately 25% of all restaurants will not survive the pandemic closure.
All this means for the senior looking for work is that it will be even more important to be technologically savvy, at the top of your game skill-wise, guard your health, and mentally and physically be prepared to look and act the part of the employee business will desire after the pandemic.
As a mature worker in the COVID environment you must be very careful you do not accept a position that may place you in harm's way becoming infected with COVID. For those that do not need to work but wish to, it may be better to sit out the workforce until the pandemic has subsided. For those who must work to make ends meet, it's never been a better time to do so as a remote employee (or contractor).
Seek out remote/WFH positions as they are plentiful and WFH is now an accepted workplace function endorsed by employers.. Be sure you have the Internet and IT technology to be able to successfully WFH. It is worth upgrading your IT infrastructure as a means to be more competitive. Hone your skills, if necessary take courses or consider pivoting to a new type of position using already useful skills. Capitalize on what you do best and be prepared to put your best face forward on Zoom - the new interview methodology for interviewing that will become ingrained in hiring processes thanks to COVID.
Seek out a job coach if necessary to help you focus on YOUR workforce objectives, and do not rule out starting your own business that capitalizes on your skills and passions.
Wait, what? WFH burnout, how can that be? How can one be burned out working in one's home wearing comfy clothes with no daily commute? In fact, Job and lifestyle burnout is as much a problem in the WFH environment as it was/is working in an office. The only thing missing from WFH is the daily commute, but more complications have been added in the WFH environment. It's not all it's cracked up to be. WFH is starting to feel old with the social interaction with colleagues missing. Wearing the same scruffy clothes daily, little need to do more than sit down at a desk with little personal grooming and no colleague social interaction is getting old and mentally exhausting.
Many report WFH burnout, working harder than ever, balancing children and home responsibilities while trying to accomplish job tasks. Attending a Zoom meeting is difficult with children running throughout the home, your WFH pet companion barking, and concentration is difficult while distractions abound. It is difficult to get a quiet workspace in a WFH environment. Meanwhile the computer is ever-present luring employees to work longer hours tied to their home workspace with no break to wind down from the day and leave the office behind. The new trend is to do a daily "commute" to the WFH workspace. The idea of getting dressed in business/relaxed attire and commuting before and after a WFH day is taking hold to help gear up and wind down after a WFH day. Some actually get in their car and "commute" a short distance to create structure to the WFH day. More suggestions can be found here: https://thriveglobal.com/stories/7-tips-on-how-to-tackle-wfh-burnout-in-2021/
If you feel that you are having trouble coping with the WFH environment, consider a virtual meeting with a psychologist to help you avoid mental and emotional issues to cope with the WFH environment.
Whether you're returning to your position working in an office or have accepted a new position requiring working from an office location, it may or may not be a welcome life choice after over a year of WFH pandemic work logistics. Perhaps you may be offered a hybrid of WFH and in-office work making the transition from total WFH to office onsite easier. Perhaps you are relishing the opportunity to see work friends again in person, or perhaps you are dreading returning to that beige dull office cube farm you were once relegated to. However this shakes out, you will need to determine what best suits your work style now.
Think long and hard about your former or new position: Will it fulfill you once you are working in an office environment? Do you feel that you are able to stay energized and upbeat after the commute? Are you feeling that it will be a change that no longer suits your lifestyle?
You will need to consider all alternatives and options to find the answers to your new working situation, be it continuing to WFH, work in an office or work in a hybrid situation. Let this change be one for the better for you, your lifestyle and your mental and emotional health.