Some retirees go back to work because they have to—their retirement savings aren’t enough to make ends meet, and they need a full-time income to make ends meet. Others go back because they want to—because work gives them a sense of joy and purpose. Some seniors want to feel needed, and will seek out caretaking jobs. Others want to share their expertise and help guide the next generation. Still others love the social interaction that comes with working with the public.
No matter what you love about work, though, there are certain job characteristics that make a position friendlier to seniors. Seniors should look for jobs that are not physically demanding and don’t require standing for long periods of time or lifting heavy objects. For some seniors, a flexible schedule and some degree of control over schedule is key. Here are a few jobs that are ideal for retirees interested in a fun, fulfilling part-time job. Retirement does’t have to mean giving up on work entirely. There are plenty of ways you can give back as a senior worker without giving up the relaxation of a retirement lifestyle.
Caring for kids can help you to stay young—and it can be a flexible and fun job for seniors who love the caretaking role. However, it can also be physically demanding. If you’d love to care for others but can’t handle the physical demands, consider pet sitting instead. You can start your own business, specialize in certain types of pets, and work part-time under your own schedule. If you’re not sure about going solo, check in with local pet-sitting services—there’s probably one in your area that could use a good sitter. Also, if you are living in any type of retirement community make sure that it is a senior community that is pet-friendly.
When it comes to customer service, retailers tend to prefer seniors—who typically have more patience with customer requests and more knowledge about company products, based on years of service. In addition, seniors aren’t likely to leave or drastically cut back on hours once the school year starts—they’re more dependable workers than high school or college-age students. If your community has a store you’ve always loved, check in to see if they could use some help.
Whether you have a background in teaching, love kids or just need a fairly accommodating part-time job, a teaching aide position could be perfect for you. As a teacher’s aide, you’ll probably be working with younger children. Check with your local public school district, but don’t neglect private schools in your area.
Love books? Then you’ll probably love working in a library. If your local public library already has a librarian, check for opportunities as a librarian’s assistant—but bear in mind that these positions are sometimes unpaid. While you may need a Master’s degree in library science for some librarian positions, particularly in academic libraries, many public municipal and school libraries don’t require a specific degree.
Want to share your expertise on a part-time basis? Many seniors have a wealth of experience in certain sectors—as well as the contacts to make a second career as a consultant possible. Consider consulting with local companies in your community—or setting your sights larger. Leverage your existing contacts to find opportunities. Consulting can be an ideal flexible job for seniors, allowing you to choose your gigs and set your own hours. Retirement doesn’t have to mean giving up on work entirely. There are plenty of ways you can give back as a senior worker—without giving up the relaxation of a retirement lifestyle. Choose a job that isn’t physically demanding, and that offers a flexible or part-time schedule. And choose something that will put you in an environment that makes you happy—whether that’s helping customers in a store, being surrounded by books in a library, or taking care of kids or pets. Choose your retirement job with care, and hopefully it should keep you busy and happy well into your retirement.