Conquering The Over-60 Job Search
Take Jill Engle, for example. After spending years as an office manager and a short stint in retirement, she wanted to get back into the workforce. But when she started looking, she said, she found that at 66-years-old there were few desk jobs available. Instead, she took a different route, opting to work for the county as a school crossing guard.
This is a common tale told by many seniors looking for work. Much of the time, the rough economy, which took a toll on retirement savings and pensions, has brought people out of retirement and looking for stable positions. But finding this job, many say, is more difficult than it seems.
According to the media outlet, AARP recently listed the top jobs for seniors around the country. Many of these, however, aren't found in the smaller towns in various pockets of the nation. Officials from Brevard County, Florida, for example, say the city has limited opportunities for seniors.
The work is out there
This isn't to say they don't exist, though. The over-60 job search should include looking at a broad view of the job market, and identifying what skills you have to offer. A physical work-intensive position probably wouldn't be good for a 65-year-old, but a customer service or call center position, on the other hand, is a good option.
"A job-seeker has to be personally honest and realistic about what they're able and not able to do," said Cindy Flachmeier, president and CEO of Aging Matters in Brevard. "If it's a little bit of money they're trying to earn, it could turn into thousands of dollars they're paying if they fall and have an injury or a heart attack, something that in the end is going to cost them more money than they'd make."
Engle's crossing guard position, she says, has been exactly what she needed.
"At my age, nobody wants me working in an office anymore," she said. "So when I heard about this, I thought, 'I like kids. I like being outside. You know what? Go for it.' And you don't find the kind of benefits we have, like paid holidays, at just any job."
According to AARP's Five Jobs In Demand for 2013, a crossing guard position actually came in at one of the top positions for anyone over 50. With a median pay of $12.44 per hour, it can be a great way to spend time in the mornings and afternoons. If you take a job at a construction site or highway work zone, this can rise to more than $17 per hour.
The organization also noted that becoming an hospice chaplain has become a strong choice for people over 50. Because there is virtually no language that specifies what qualification is needed for such a position, many have found that it is a rewarding - and well-paying - over-50 career.
Home health and personal care aide specialists also make a great job for senior citizens, and both are ranked as some of the fastest-growing occupations in the country.
According to the news source, a senior move manager is also expected to be an in-demand position in 2013, which entails helping seniors move from their private home into an assisted living center.
Although it may be difficult to break back into the jobs market after years away, with the right attitude and an understanding of the best jobs, you can greatly increase your chances of getting back to work.