Older workers who are age 50 to 65 are a lot like millennials when it comes to jobs, says Becky Frankiewicz, president of staffing firm ManpowerGroup North America.
“Millennials are just boomers 30 years ago,” she says.
When it comes to flexible work arrangements such as gig employment or freelancing, 92% of younger people between ages 18 and 24 are open to pursuing these types of jobs while 95% of boomers say the same. That’s according to ManpowerGroup’s 2017 #GigResponsibly: The Rise of NextGen Work report which surveyed 9,500 workers worldwide. What’s more, both groups have similar motivations when it comes to work: They want to be paid well and balance their work and home lives. Another study from BMO Wealth Management in 2018 found 59% of self-employed boomers say they voluntarily choose to be their own boss.
Michael Gretczko, a principal with Deloitte Consulting LLP, says his firm’s research shows workers of all ages have similar priorities. They want meaningful work in a positive environment with leadership they trust. However, older workers in particular want jobs that are flexible and offer a sense of purpose.
Given those priorities, the following jobs may be the most enjoyable for workers age 50 and older:
- Administrative supervisor.
- Landscaper or handyman.
- Health care worker.
- A job that captures your imagination.
Here’s why these occupations are among the most enjoyable to older workers looking for their next act.
A top concern for older workers is having a job that provides meaning. “Retirement hits and while it was fun playing golf for a while, (people) want that sense of purpose,” says Amanda Augustine, a career expert for resume writing service TopResume. A 2017 survey of older workers by the think tank Urban Institute found no job scored as more enjoyable than that of clergy. Nearly two-thirds of seniors in this profession say they really enjoy what they do. This career ticks off a lot of boxes when it comes to what older workers like about employment. It provides social connections, offers a meaningful line of work, can be flexible and provides opportunities to help others.
Counseling is another field that lets older workers share their wisdom while helping others. “What they like best is feeling like they are making a difference,” says Reem Yared, CEO of HelpAroundTown Inc., a free online jobs marketplace that connects neighbors with others in the community who can complete errands, odd jobs or other tasks. Many counselors provide emotional support to individuals and families dealing with a variety of personal issues. However, there are also financial counselors and business coaches, which can be an option for those with experience in those areas.
Administrative supervisor is another that made the Urban Institute’s list of most enjoyable jobs for older workers. Of those in this profession, 46% say they like their line of work. This job provides social interaction without being physically demanding, two attributes that can be appealing to those who have passed age 50. “(Older workers can) use all those pearls of wisdom they’ve built up through their career,” Augustine says.
Schools value experienced educators and are often willing to accommodate their work needs, Frankiewicz says. “We’re seeing a lot of activity around providing opportunities and flexibility,” she says. Retired teachers are often welcomed back as substitutes while postsecondary schools may looking for experienced professionals to teach on a part-time basis. With the advent of online education, some teaching jobs may not even require instructors to travel to campus.
Landscaper or Handyman
Grounds maintenance and handyman workers have jobs that can be physically demanding. However, they can also be flexible and low-pressure ways to earn extra money using existing skills. “On my site, I have people who were managing big construction jobs,” Yared says. “In retirement, all they want to do are the handyman-type jobs.”
Health Care Worker
While not a specific occupation, the health care field is another sector to which seniors may gravitate toward. Nursing and caregiver positions can be a good fit for older workers who want to help others and have meaningful jobs. Even those who don’t have a health care background can be ready to work as medical assistants, physical therapy aides and other occupations after completing short-term training programs. When it comes to pivoting to a new career later in life, “it’s much more about what you can do than what you have done,” Frankiewicz says.
A Job That Captures Your Imagination
There’s a wide range of jobs that might be enjoyable for those age 50 and older. “The right job in the right organization is maybe more important than a particular occupation,” Gretczko says. Rather than limit yourself to the jobs that welcome older workers, consider your personal goals and needs. If you love your current career, you may be able to work part time or as a consultant. Retirement also provides an opportunity to move into a new field if you want to try something new. Any job can be an enjoyable job for older workers, and everyone needs to figure out what that occupation is for him or herself.
Source: U.S. & World Report News
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