Boomers bring experience and energy to hourly and part-time jobs
You go by many names: seniors, boomers and even the 55-plus crowd. But no matter what name you prefer to go by, one thing is certain - today’s savvy workplace vets are sticking around the water cooler a little longer, and if they’ve already retired, they’re often jumping back into the job market and saddling up once again.
Today’s 55+ population is healthier, hipper and making more money than ever before. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 20 percent of Americans 55 years and older will be working by 2015. In 2000, the figure was just 13 percent. And almost 70 percent of workers who have not yet retired recently told AARP that they plan to work well into the traditional retirement years - or they don’t plan on ever retiring!
Some 55-plusers need to work to pay the bills. Many pick up work for a little extra cash to fuel their leisure pursuits, while others simply want a productive outlet for their spare time. If you’re over 55 and looking to grab an hourly job , you’ve come to the right place. Here are a few tips for job seekers over 55 starting their job search:
Update your job profile
Re-entering the job market as a 55-pluser is a great opportunity to express what you might have perceived as weaknesses as strengths when applying for a job. For example, age translates to experience and maturity. While it may take some training to catch up on a few technological gaps if you’ve been absent from the marketplace for a while, other skills never need to be dusted off. Emphasize attributes such as communication skills, accountability and trustworthiness. In other words, don’t sell yourself short when back out on the job trail.
Target your comfort zone
Before you sign on for a 40-plus hour work week, ask yourself a few questions: Will taking on fewer hours - and balancing hobbies and a part-time job - lead to a more fulfilling life? Can you accept receiving a paycheck that may be substantially less than what you made in your most recent career? And what about the work environment itself - if the employees are mainly teens and 20-somethings, are you OK with that? There are no right and wrong answers to these questions; you just need to be sure you’re re-entering the workforce carefully and comfortably, and are aware of all the possibilities that may greet you in your new work environment.
Have a little patience
We’re actually stealing this bit of advice from Snagajob job seeker Cindy F. from Colorado . But rather than blabber on and on, we’ll let you hear it straight from her:
“I’ve been looking for work for over six months and was getting desperate. I received an alert from Snagajob directing me to apply online for a Home Depot sales associate position and, after an interview last week, I just got the word that I’m hired. I got a position at the Home Depot in Littleton, Co., just a 15-minute drive from my home. I requested a position in the gardening department and that’s where I’ll be working. It’s very difficult to be 56 and looking for work after my career had been eliminated by computers, and your website has been very helpful with job leads when I had given up all hope. Thanks again!”
If you’re a working boomer who has sound advice for finding and excelling on the job, please drop us an email like Cindy did. We’d love to hear from you!