Working in Retirement: Part-Time Jobs for Active Adults


55 can be a magic number. For some, it means moving into an active adult community and living a life of leisure. Others make this move, but continue working full-time while enjoying more of the finer things in life.

Then again, there are some who want the best of both worlds: Work a bit, play a bit, and live life to the fullest. For these folks, a part-time job is the answer.

Talking to the Boss

If you are comfortable with your current employer, having an honest discussion about your future could lead to a great opportunity. In today’s business climate, many companies are choosing to switch employees to part-time, remote, or contract positions. Your boss may value your skills and experience more than you think. Before having the talk, do your research. Find out how much it would cost them to recruit a new hire for your position, then see how your talents can save them time and money rather than hiring someone new.

Prepare several options for the part-time discussion, including available hours, other work you could do for the company, and additional reasons as to why this move would benefit them. Also, be ready to negotiate. Your boss may have another solution, but it might not be exactly what you want. You need not answer right away; tell them you’ll have an answer within a day or two.

Update Your Resume

If you choose to look elsewhere your résumé may need an update depending on where you apply. Most professional-grade positions will require one and there is often much competition for good part-time jobs. There are professional résumé writing services which can be costly. Another option is to work on it yourself and get opinions from your business contacts and colleagues, old and new. You can prepare several résumés and cover letters, tailored to apply for different positions.

Creating an online network on sites like LinkedIn will let others know that you’re out there and that you are in the market for part-time work. Once you’ve posted your information, stay active by communicating with others in your network frequently. Joining local business and volunteer networking groups like the Rotary Club and attending meetings will also increase the likelihood of getting a job offer.

The Classifieds Are Old School

These days, checking the newspaper’s help wanted ads is passé. There are myriads of online job boards which are excellent job search resources. Websites like Indeed, Monster, ZipRecruiter, and Craigslist allow applicants to search by job title, category, and location. Searches can also be narrowed down by full-time, part-time, contract, and other parameters.

When applying, always double check your grammar and spelling before clicking “send.” There is nothing worse than that sinking feeling when you see a typo on that cover letter you just sent. It is also essential to keep track of your job applications. Use your computer to create a list that shows everywhere you have applied, which résumé and cover letter you used, follow up calls, and interviews.

Great Part Time Jobs for Active Adults

AARP and TheBalanceCareers have some helpful part-time job suggestions for retirees who want to keep busy and earn decent money working part-time hours:

Medical assistants wear many hats, including administrative work like answering phones and scheduling appointments, checking in patients, checking insurance information, and computer work. Applicants that have some medical training can provide some patient care, too.

Personal or home care aide jobs are good for compassionate, patient individuals who want the rewards that come from helping those impaired with errands, housekeeping, and other daily activities. These positions can be in an assisted living community or someone’s home, while some training may be required. 

Bookkeepers are in demand, and smaller companies use part-timers to manage their businesses’ payroll, databases, accounts payable and receivable, and banking.

A handyman (or woman) job requires home improvement skills, experience, physical stamina, and a good set of tools. These kinds of jobs can be short- or long-term and can include emergency repairs. Carpenters, electricians, plumbers, and painters can usually find plenty of part-time opportunities online.

Consultants with college degrees can search for part-time work in fields like business, IT, engineering, computer science, and more. The best consultants have seasoned problem-solving and analytical skills, are flexible with their time and are willing to travel if needed.

Tutoring and coaching work is perfect for semi-retired teachers and athletic coaches. Schools, colleges, tutoring companies and community groups employ part-time workers in these positions.

These are a sampling of the many opportunities out there for active adults. Finding a truly rewarding part-time career can require the same effort as searching for a full-time one. Once the decision to work part-time is made, forge ahead slowly and carefully and you may just end up with the best job of your life!

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