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May 28, 2017

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Resources for Seniors

Even though job searching gets harder with age—somehow you’d think it would get easier with practice, but it doesn’t—there are jobs available for every generation.

Start close to home and start small. Who’s hiring in your area? Local businesses are a leading source of job opportunities, and 97% of companies have fewer than 100 employees. So think about how your services can benefit someone small right in your neighborhood. This is a great way to familiarize yourself with a career field in the modern world without overwhelming your senses in a big company at a far commute.

  • Call the Chamber of Commerce to ask for leads of local businesses that may have openings.
  • Connect with the local branch of SCORE in your area to ask about opportunities to work for entrepreneurs.
  • Ask friends and neighbors to keep their eyes and ears open for you among their circles of influence.
  • Talk to your doctors, dentists and service providers. These are well-connected people who can often make introductions and referrals.
  • Make it known to your favorite stores and businesses that you’re looking for an opportunity and you’d appreciate their consideration or their referrals.

Consider working for care-giving services. Organizations are working overtime to recruit 50+ workers because they excel as personal and home care aides. It’s become the second-fastest growing occupation, focused on non-medical care: providing companionship, running errands, accompanying clients on doctor’s appointments, and preparing meals, especially when a family member isn’t available to do this stuff.

Pay ranges from $8 to $15 an hour. Some opportunities are available as an employee with benefits and others are for independent contractors. Check with various companies in your area to determine their needs and your availability.

Among the resources to pursue for this type of work:

Become a pet sitter. Maybe you don’t want to care for people, but you’d love to tend to their pets. Fetch! Pet Care, a nationwide provider of pet sitting and dog-walking services, says the company plans to add 2,400 sitters to its roster by the end of the year. Company CEO Paul Mann says, “Sitters typically earn 50% of the retail price that we charge our clients. For example, if they board a dog in their home overnight they will get half of the $55 per night fee. Two dogs boarded overnight for one week would produce $385 in added income. Sitters choose which assignments they wish to take based on their availability and comfort level with an assignment. Sitters who wish to take on a lot of assignments can easily generate $1,000 to $2,000 or more per month in income. The demand for sitters who can board pets in their home is extremely high so we find that seniors can really increase their income and have lots of assignments through this avenue. They can also do private walks, daycare or visit cats and other small pets.”

Explore temporary staffing options. Finance, accounting, administrative support and legal are some of the areas were temporary help is needed right now, which is good news for seniors. These roles are filled through national staffing firms like OfficeTeam, RobertHalf, Manpower and Kelly.

There are also staffing firms that understand the specific needs and strengths of older workers. Working with a staffing firm, especially with a qualified recruiter, is great because you get the added benefit of someone who can be your advocate, which is helpful at any age.

Take a job in retail sales: bookstores, drugstores and specialty chains. Retailers like seniors because they’re typically more patient with customers and provide a higher quality of service than teenagers who also look for retail positions. Seniors are also more likely to stay, which lessens the cost of high turnover. Stores like Borders, CVS, Crate & Barrel and Target like to hire people who know their merchandise, so apply to places you like to shop. Apply at in-store kiosks or online.

Consider a job in medical transcription. MedQuist, one of the largest medical transcription companies in the country, say there’s a shortage of talent in this industry. If you’re looking for something you can count on for the next five, 10, or even 20 years, this is a smart field to consider. You have to invest in training, which can take six to nine months, but there’s ample opportunity if you are skilled in this arena.

Teaching aides are another job alternative. Contact the local public school districts and private schools in your area now to ask about their staffing needs for the upcoming school year. Many hiring decisions are made six to eight months in advance.

Seek services catering to mature workers.

There are now Web sites and a range of local and national programs supported by direct employers and non-profit organizations that can connect mature workers with qualified leads and opportunities.

  • AARP has identified opportunities and advice for 50+ workers.
  • Experience Works is a national nonprofit, community-based organization that helps low-income older people get training and find jobs.
  • RetirementJobs.com is a job board with positions posted by “age-friendly” employers
  • Principal Financial offers a “Happy Returns” program.
  • CVS sponsors a seniors program.
  • For resources on working from home, click here.
  • For tips on avoiding scams, click here.

If you’d like to suggest valuable resources that we should consider adding to this page, please send us an email with details.


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