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At age 61, and after a lifetime of work in Human Resources management and consulting, I finally have the best job of my life.
I’m the Director of Research and “Chief Career Counselor” for the leading online career service for people age 50+ - RetirementJobs.com.
I had 16 different jobs: paperboy, soda “jerk”, mailman, auto mechanic, landscaper, house painter, production line worker, computer operator, college instructor, plant supervisor, truck driver, soldier, warehousing manager, retail store clerk, customer service manager and accountant -- all before I turned 25! None of these prepared me for a career in Human Resources. But they did give me a clear view of what working for a living entailed and the variety of jobs was ideal preparation for what I do today.
I help age 50+ people determine how they can make a living or supplement their retirement income.
Do you remember the “good-old-days” when you worked for an employer for a lifetime and retired with a gold watch, pension check and health care costs weren’t the biggest issue on your mind? Within 10 years, this type of retirement will likely be forgotten. We’re healthier, living longer and caught up in high tech, exciting times. Studies indicate that more than 75% of us plan to work in some job beyond traditional retirement age. For some, we’ll work of necessity to pay bills and obtain health care coverage. Others will work because they choose to.
Regardless of the reason, the evidence is clear that continuing to work in some fashion is good for your well being – physically, emotionally and financially. Why not work at a job that is meaningful and rewarding? Exploring and securing such a job is the topic of my journal.
Are there obstacles to finding your “dream job?” Most certainly! The workplace has changed a great deal. Computer and communication technology has replaced paper, pens and stamps. Having a personal computer and cell phone are now essential. Skills, knowledge and capabilities that were unknown 20 years ago are now often considered fundamental. You must be open to continuous learning. And let’s not forget age bias. Worker surveys indicate that more than 90% of people believe that age bias is a “fact of life” and represents a major obstacle to job seekers and workers age 50+ (and even 40+ in some professions and occupations).
Still, work-- whether as a volunteer in some form of community engagement-- or for a regular paycheck, is in the future for the large majority of us. Why not be in a workplace that treats you with respect and dignity, provides competitive pay and benefits, and where the work can be meaningful, important – and even fun?
The job opportunities for older workers will blossom in coming years. We are an important segment of the workforce. We are capable, reliable, creative, diligent, productive and conscientious. This journal will be a gathering place to share ideas, resources and opportunities about working at 50+.
I hope you will join in.