Encore Careers for Seniors: Finding Job Satisfaction…Again
Posted on June 15, 2018
According to a 2013 survey by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, approximately 80 percent of people in the U.S. workforce who are
over age 50 say they plan to work after “retirement.” For some, it is a necessity in order to stay afloat financially. For others, it is a choice borne out of
a desire to stay active and engaged, both mentally and physically.
Retirees make attractive job candidates for many companies. They have decades of experience to bring to the table for prospective employers, they are
dependable and hardworking, and many are working by choice because they want to find a meaningful way to continue to contribute to the world around them
(versus someone who just wants a paycheck).
Among the seniors who remain in the workforce after retirement, some are looking for ways to continue to apply the education, experience, and skills they
acquired over their career, but many are opting to pursue a completely new line of work from what they did for a large portion of their adult life.
Tapping seniors’ skills
The so-called “encore career” movement is gaining popularity as many Baby Boomers who reach retirement realize they still have a lot of living left to do.
An organization called Civic Ventures, founded in San Francisco in 1997, coined the term “encore career,” and they have since renamed themselves Encore.org.
The organization looks for ways to harness seniors’ talents and vast experience to improve society. They offer resources to help connect seniors who are
interested in finding meaningful employment with companies and organizations in need of high-quality, experienced employees.
“While many see our aging society as a problem, we view it as a solution,” Encore.org’s mission statement explains. “Those in and beyond midlife represent a
powerful source of talent with the accumulated skills, experience, and wisdom to tackle some of society’s most urgent challenges. By embracing this unique
opportunity, we can transform a zero-sum prediction into a win-win strategy, creating a better future for generations to come.”
Great options for your encore career
An article in Forbes highlighted three areas that are ripe for those seeking an encore career.
Not-for-profits: With 1.4 million non-profits operating in the U.S., it is easy for retirees to find an organization representing a cause that they are
passionate about. While just about any non-profit would welcome volunteer assistance, many also have paid administrative positions and are looking for
talented, dedicated employees to fill those roles. While they may not be high-paying jobs, working for a non-profit can make for an exciting, meaningful
Health care: As the population grows older, the health care sector is growing larger. Yes, there are boundless opportunities for retirees with career
experience in the medical field, but there are also many roles that don’t require you to have an M.D. or R.N. after your name that can still allow you to help
others and contribute to a vital industry.
Coaching: No, this isn’t referring to sports. Coaching in this context is about helping others discover ways to live their best, most productive life, and
it’s a fast-growing industry. Becoming a life or career coach typically does require training and credentialing from an organization like the International
Coach Federation (ICF), but it can be a great option for an encore career. Retirees are able to take their lifetime’s worth of experience and translate it
into practical steps to help their clients find their own success.
Adventure at any age
Interestingly, a study conducted by Encore.org in 2014 found that among soon-to-be retirees interested in pursuing an encore career, a majority were
interested in a new type of role (instead of continuing in their current profession). So, while more traditional job roles can definitely offer immense
satisfaction, some retirees are choosing to look for an even more unique line of work for their encore career.
CoolWorks.com is a job board connecting adventurous job seekers with employers around the world. When the site originally launched in 1995, founder Bill Berg
assumed he’d be attracting young adults in the market for a fun summer job during college or who were looking for an adventure before entering the “real
world.” But much to Berg’s surprise, a large portion of his site’s job seekers were in fact retirement age!
From working on a dude ranch in Wyoming to bartending in Costa Rica, more and more seniors are looking to begin a new adventurous chapter in their life as
they enter their retirement years, and websites like CoolWorks can facilitate that quest. Many of the jobs are entry level, i.e., pay little more than minimum
wage, but some employers do provide perks like low-cost or free housing or food discounts.
How CCRCs are accommodating working seniors
There was a great article in Senior Housing News on the growing popularity of encore careers among residents of continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs,
also known as life plan communities). The article, entitled Providers Prepare for the Next Big Thing: Working in Retirement, explores three of the key ways
that CCRCs are encouraging and facilitating this trend
Providing residents with transportation to off-site workplaces
Offering job opportunities within the organization for residents
Creating shared as well as private workspaces within the CCRC campus (complete with secure Wi-Fi access)
These types of initiatives and accommodations by CCRCs facilitate residents’ pursuit of an encore career, contributing to their overall personal happiness and
satisfaction with their senior living community.
Closer to Home
At Friends Homes, we encourage our residents to continue to live a life they love. Whether or not this involves working or volunteering, we are here to
support you. Our team and wonderful residents are happy to pair you with an opportunity that is rewarding and fulfilling whenever you would like whether
you’re looking to mentor children off-campus or want to help our community right at home.
The above article was written by Brad Breeding of myLifeSite and is legally licensed for use.