Looking for a job that fits your schedule and matches up with your life/work experience? In general, focus your search on small businesses and non-profits. "That's who hires seniors in the worst economic times," says Susan Allan, executive director of Senior Employment Resources, an Annandale, Va.-based nonprofit group that helps workers 50+ to find jobs.
For more specific job ideas, consider this list of 10 positions suited for mature workers:
Teacher assistant. Like working with kids? The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes the demand for these positions at both public and private schools is increasing as classroom sizes grow. Many of the positions provide on-the-job training. Look to classified ads and local schools' websites to find openings for these positions.
Consultant. Consulting jobs are in demand by companies looking to outsource project management, marketing, business strategy and quality-control initiatives, says Bill Krutzen, operations manager for hirediversity.com, a website that specializes in helping seniors, minorities and other groups find work. Reach out to your past work contacts to see where your skills may fit in.
Bank teller. Banks like older workers because of the reliability, responsibility and customer-service skills that they bring to the job, explains a spokeswoman for Experience Works, a non-profit placement firm for mature workers. Teller positions are excellent opportunities for people who like to interact with others.
Floral assistant. These jobs typically offer flexible schedules with little experience required, and, as recent research from the Society of American Florists shows, flowers help decrease depression and enhance memory among older Americans. Charles Kremp, owner of Philadelphia-based Kremp Florists, likes older workers because of the care they bring to the job and their availability to work at peak holiday times when most floral shops are bustling. "The excitement of those days makes it fun," he says.
Customer greeter. While Wal-Mart and other retailers pioneered the concept and still look for older workers, other types of businesses are finding older workers to be a valuable addition to their employee base. Trade publication Car Dealer Insider notes that many car dealers are hiring greeters to cast a kinder, friendlier image with their customers as they arrive at a store. Look to local classifieds and car dealers' websites for these openings.
Tour guides. Museums, parks, ski resorts, casinos and other hospitality-focused businesses use older workers to explain attractions and acquaint customers with on-site amenities. Start your search for these positions at the websites of attractions near your home.
Security screener. Visit the Transportation Security Administration's website to learn about job fairs that the TSA is currently hosting in multiple cities to meet its duty to take over airport security functions across the nation. The agency offers full- and part-time positions and typically requires a high school diploma and at least a year of prior security-related work.
English instructor. Like to travel? Many programs—for example, the Central European Teaching Program at Beloit College—offer teaching positions (some training required) for older Americans interested in staying in a foreign country for an extended period to teach English.
Home care assistant. The position's perfect if you've already demonstrated an ability to provide care for an older spouse or relative. These positions typically require a moderate level of on-the-job training. Look to local classifieds and hospital websites' job boards for opportunities in your area.
Mystery shopper. Got an eye for excellent (or poor) customer service? More and more retailers—including fast-food restaurants, car dealers, property management firms and others—are using mystery shoppers to uncover shortcomings in the service that they offer to clients and customers in stores and on the phone. Typically, these positions pay about $10 or more an hour, with some positions offering larger project-based stipends. Check out firms such as SecretShopper.com, Service Intelligence, and Jancyn Evaluation Shops. (Warning: Watch out for companies that seem to tout mystery shopping jobs but, in reality, only offer catalogs of opportunities for fees of $20 or more.)