Top Five Transition Tips for Seniors Who are Going Back to Work

old seniors

In the last few years, a large number of senior citizens have decided to re-enter the workplace. In fact, 39 percent of workers over the age of 65 were once retired.


There are a number of reasons why seniors choose to start working again.

Some retirees go back to work to keep up with a spouse who’s still employed, while others find that they need to in order to maintain the lifestyle they were living prior to retirement.

Whatever your reason for going back to work, these five tips can help make the transition easier, especially if you’ve been out of the workplace for several years.

1. Consider Freelancing

Most people think of freelancing as something millennials do when they can’t find a “real” job. It’s true that there are a lot of young freelancers out there. But, freelance work is also one of the best options for seniors who want to go back to work but still have some of the flexibility that retirement offers.

When you do freelance work, you can usually set your own schedule and choose the number of hours you want to work each week.

Not sure what kind of freelance work you should do? Start by thinking about the work you were doing before you retired. Then, look to see if there are similar freelance jobs available.

There are also lots of freelance writing and editing jobs that you can try. You can tutor students in your area, too, or work as a driver for a company like Lyft or Uber. These jobs are especially good for seniors who want to be able to socialize regularly.

2. Focus on Your Core Competencies

It’s easy to feel unprepared for the workplace when you’ve been out of it for a few years. Remember, though, that even though times have changed, many of your core competencies likely still matter and make you a viable candidate for most jobs.

Things like analytical skills, leadership, and sales ability are always valuable, no matter which decade it is.

Remind yourself that there are lots of things you can do that make you a good candidate, and don’t get down on yourself because you’re not as tech-savvy as you might like to be.

3. Make Your Health and Comfort Top Priorities

When they take on a new job, some seniors make the mistake of throwing themselves into it a little too forcefully. Sometimes, it’s because they want to prove that they can compete with younger workers. Other times, they’re just highly enthusiastic and don’t realize the toll working too many hours can take on them.

Don’t neglect your health in order to bring home a larger paycheck. You can be a good employee without putting your wellness at risk.

Take breaks as you need, stay on top of any medications you’re taking, and be sure to let your employer know if you struggle with any health conditions. If you’re working at a job that requires you to stand for long periods of time, be sure to wear insoles or shoes with arch support to ease discomfort.

4. Do Your Research

Before any interview, be sure to do some research into the company and the specific position for which you are applying. Learn about the company’s mission and the type of work they do. If they have a blog, it’s also helpful to check it out and see what you can learn from their content and writing style.

Pay attention to the type of skills they want you to possess for your specific position, too. Then, do your homework to make sure you can demonstrate these skills. If they want a working knowledge of social media platforms, for example, be sure you can navigate these sites with ease.

5. Be Patient and Ask for Help

Finally, be patient with yourself and don’t be discouraged if it takes time for you to get hired. It may take a few tries before you find a company that’s a good fit for you. Eventually, though, you will find a company that you’re happy to call your employer.

If you do get turned down for a job, try to find out why. Take the criticism in stride, then work on specific skills or responses to interview questions and apply the changes to your next interview.

Final Thoughts

Going back to work after retirement, no matter what your reason for doing so, can be difficult.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the new skills you need to learn or changes in the way the typical office runs. But, you can still succeed.

Keep these transition tips in mind, and you’ll find that getting back into the groove of being a working professional comes much easier.

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