Jobs for retired seniors are absolutely possible but there is no doubt that this can sometimes be a long process to get one. I recently saw in my e-paper a guy who had been out of work for nine years after reaching 50. That for sure (hopefully) is a rare case but in my case it was definitely months.
I thought it would be good to analyse what are the difficulties in getting jobs for seniors here and how can we overcome them and suggest some of the best ways forward.
Retired/Redundant – so what?
Very often the fact is that you come out of a full-time, well paid job – retired – or worst-case like me you were made redundant and think at the age of 50+ you can easily get another full-time job, perhaps just like the one you’ve left. This is perfectly natural. At 50 you are not ready for the scrap heap as they say – right?
I had this approach when I left my last full-time job but for many months I got no responses to any applications that I made for a job. Of course it was my age as most people in the recruitment process are looking for a younger, cheaper person to do the job that you can do. So “many years of knowledge” now does not really have the significance that it might have had when we were starting out on our careers. The fact that there are so many people looking for jobs also means that you are competing in a heavily populated market place.
What’s the first step?
So how do you approach this problem in a way where you can at least get some money, and hopefully continue to earn money in the future.
I think it is all about a mindset shift. You know we have this view of our self that we are maybe on top of our tree, we have a good reputation we have knowledge and that this is instantly sale-able to other organisations. In my case I had been with my company for 19 years and I had never looked outside to see whether I was marketable. So when the breakfast meeting came along and I was told it was wait around for an opening or take early retirement this was a real shock to me I can tell you!
I soon found that I simply wasn’t marketable because organisations were not prepared to pay at my level. We leave a company perhaps with our own self importance and then to find that this is not something the other companies want can be brutal.
Usually folks like us either try to find a job immediately and get frustrated after the first month of no responses, or worst still take a break of (say) three months (otherwise known as the retirement/redundancy honeymoon), and then find out that the world has moved on. Emotionally this is often difficult to deal with. I really went down hill for a while as I knew I needed to get money and I could see that this might not be possible in the format I was pursuing, or might not even be possible at all – leads to social security right (wow)?
So it is necessary to look outside your comfort zone to see what else can be achieved. There were so many blockages put up against me in terms of being a full-time member of staff, and one of them of course was that it would only be a few years before I would be heading for retirement anyway so why would a person take me on? You soon find that your view of you is simply not the view the recruitment world has of you. This led me to look for a number of other possibilities. You know the scene, head against a brick wall for weeks/months hurts so how about a bit of brain storming?
Change your mindset (please)
The change of mindset is to change your way of thinking away from what must be possible and which you have now found out isn’t possible. One of the other key factors that I found was to change my mindset from looking for full time employment to any employment I could get!!
Looking back on that time I cannot believe that it took me so long to make this change, silly me you say. Perhaps at that time the market was slightly less advanced – at least that’s my excuse.
If you can change your mindset do so quickly. Don’t take ages like I did, do it now.
This led me to look at contract employment where temporary use of my knowledge and capabilities were acceptable to companies because there was no need to have pension contribution holiday pay, it was a straight payment for my services for a period of time.
Couple of my successes
One of the opportunities which I managed to use over time was to train people. The company that I worked for would organise a particular company, I would be sent the details in advance and I would show up for however many days of training were required by the company, deliver the training and get paid quite well for this including expenses. I had to be available at any time and prepared to travel. The fees were set by the company and non negotiable but these plus expenses were actually very reasonable. When you are at this stage you would take it anyway wouldn’t you?
Training people in a classroom mode is quite a good way of earning money. Of course you need to choose courses which you know or it can be challenging. If you have never done it do give it a try. If you need to practice at home beforehand. Always, Always prepare well in advance, this will pay dividends by the bucket load.
Well this gave me an income over a period of time. What it did not provide for me was a full-time income which I rapidly realised I was never going to get. So if you can get this type of work then certainly it’s worth going for. Make sure you have a contract which covers you in case you are sick when you’re required to work and also which clearly sets out what your income and expenses will be.
An issue with this type of contract work however can be that they can be sporadic. In my case I could be carrying out one training per month to lots of training per month or in some cases no training per month because the company was not able to engage their clients on a regular basis.
The second opportunity, on the same basis really was remote working. This is more available now especially in the United States and is perfectly acceptable in my view. I did this twice. The first time I was testing software being written in the UK for a product to be launched. Be careful though because in the end the developer in my case ran out of money and scrapped the project.
In the second case I was again managing software development for a small company in Australia who wanted to expand their app capability.
These two worked fine and there are remote work capabilities in many of the recruitment sites now. The great thing about this is that you get a reasonable rate, flexible working times, and something you are interested in.
So by changing your mindset you can find work which isn’t permanent but is doable. I have been doing this for 5 years, so it does work.
One Key Point
Let’s address one point though that happens with any of these types of work programs after the age of 50.
There is no security for this type of work as I found out. So you can be happily moving along and then find that you are no longer required. In my case one of these employers terminated me next day. So you get a feast and famine type of approach with this type of working.
One answer to this is to build a sustainable work program which can carry on in the background whilst you work on a contract basis and then be there in the famine times. What we are suggesting here is Affiliate Marketing which is more relevant and popular today than ever before. We do this as well and it does exactly that – it provides an income (passive income) working for you when you are at your job and if you don’t have one.
Build this and the feast and famine approach disappears or is lessened to a large degree depending on how much money you need. BUT beware there are a lot of what are known as shiny object companies out there who will promise you the ability to earn immediately a large sum if you pay the joining fee. First rule, don’t believe what you see, please.
Let me give you my advice please.
There are many types of affiliate marketing companies out there, but only a few companies that actually teach you how to go forward yourself. I spent a lot of time and money joining companies that were promising lots of money within a week or two and all I had to do was spend the joining fee. None of them materialised, some didn’t even respond to my emails and there was no way of getting my money back.
So instead of going through this horrific cycle, realise that 95% of these offers are scams and get yourself the knowledge to do it yourself. The key to this is to join a learning institution with a community. The learning institution we recommend unreservedly is Wealthy Affiliate which we have been with for six years. They teach you how to do your own affiliate marketing and make money. It takes time, effort, but the initial status is free and you can remain like that if you want to and make money.
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