Retirement or Re-HIRE-ment?
Tips for Mature Adults Entering or Re-entering the Workforce
Many of our readers are mature adults who have been forced into career changes due to caregiving responsibilities for aging or disabled loved ones. Or, you may be thinking about getting your first job or going back to work after retirement. Either way, you’re not alone. According to a recent AARP study, nearly 80 percent of baby boomers will work well beyond the traditional retirement age of 65.
Job hunting can be challenging at any age, especially if you haven’t been in the workplace for an extended period of time. If you have a plan, however, you are much more likely to succeed.
Below is a list of tips for mature adults who are looking to enter or re-enter the workforce:
EVALUATE WHAT YOU WANT TO DO
- Is there anything you wanted to do when you were younger but never did?
- Are you interested in returning to a former field?
- What motivates you? What don’t you like to do?
- Invite family or friends to get together to talk about your work dreams. What type of position do they see you doing or enjoying?
- Still unsure of what you want to do? Consider setting up a meeting with a career consultant or coach.
FIND OUT WHAT JOBS ARE AVAILABLE
- Research companies that embrace mature workers. A good place to start is with AARP. They have developed the AARP National Employer Team which is comprised of 24 companies who have made a commitment to aggressively recruit, hire and retain mature workers.
- Job seekers can visit AARP’s Web site, www.aarp.org/employerteam, to learn about each National Employer Team company, including types of skilled and non-skilled jobs available on the employers’ websites, benefits, and how to apply. The website provides a link to applications, instructions and additional information on each company.
- Employers include Right at Home In Home Care, Borders, CVS/Pharmacy, The Home Depot, Cingular Wireless and more.
- Find a job networking group in your area or find the local chapter or trade association for a business you might be interested in.
- Check out industries that are in high-demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some of the top growth occupations include senior home care services (home health aides, personal care assistants), postsecondary teachers, retail associates and customer service representatives.
- Consider going into work for yourself. Think about opening your own small business or becoming a franchise owner.
ASSESS YOUR SKILLS
- Evaluate your own skills. Are you good at juggling multiple tasks? Do you enjoy writing reports or collecting data? Do you like helping others?
- Are you behind on the latest technology? Or, do you need a degree for the career path you are looking to pursue? Consider continuing education classes or training programs.
- Decide if your skill set matches the needs of a prospective employer.
- When applying for a job, refer to actual experiences that demonstrate your skill level.
PREPARE A RESUME
- Do you have a resume? It is important to have a professional resume on hand when applying for a job.
- Keep it relevant and know what type of employee and skills the prospective employer is looking for.
- Highlight your accomplishments and achievements.
- Keep your resume brief – no more then two pages long.
- If you need help preparing your resume, there are numerous articles, books, and websites that can lend assistance.
Remember, entering or re-entering the workforce might not happen overnight. But, with a bit of perseverance and planning, your goal of finding a job will be within reach.
Helpful websites and organizations available for seniors who are looking to enter or re-enter the workplace:
Right at Home is a national organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for those we serve. We fulfill that mission through a dedicated network of locally owned, franchised providers of in-home care and assistance services.