Instead of spending retirement on a sailboat, golf course, or beach, more and more baby boomers are launching encore careers. Whether it’s because you need the income or miss the daily work challenge, starting a second act can be the chance to pursue a dream or something new.
“Now that we’re living into our 80s, the thought of ending our careers in our mid-60s isn’t financially realistic [for most],” says Nicole Williams, connection director at LinkedIn.
Older workers tend to not only be looking for an income and benefits, but also to make a social impact. According to Amanda Augustine, job search expert at career website TheLadders, second careers tend to be in the social sector or public interest: education, environment, health, government, social service or other not-for-profit work. “It’s the feel good stuff.”
Since any career transition can take up to 18 months, experts advise having enough savings for living expenses during this time. “The key to any career change is that it doesn’t happen fast-it’s a marathon,” says Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, chief career writer and partner at Career Trend.
As you look for work during your retirement years, experts suggest being strategic with your job search and how you present yourself.
Be open minded and adventurous. To enter a new career, experts say you must have an open mind about today’s workplace. “The workforce today is ‘what you have done for me lately’ and not ‘what you did last year,'” says John Sumser, chief executive officer of HRExaminer.com.
Know your strengths. “In this second phase career, you have experience and maturity that others may not have,” says Williams. You’ll likely have the skills to work smarter and can offer a level of maturity to a young team-you just have play this up to fight off stigmas of being past your prime or not fresh.
Retool your skills. “We now live in a technical world,” says Sumser. “There’s no job that doesn’t have a technical component which means you have to find a way to get technical skills.” Experts recommend grey workers become proficient with technology, especially software like Microsoft Office, have an email account, and are very comfortable navigating the online world and social networks.