How to Extend You Career Beyond Retirement
Switch to Part-Time or Contract Work, Change Paths, Be Self-Employed Or Volunteer
By Mark Swartz
Monster Senior Contributing Writer
Do you dream of early retirement and years of relaxed leisure? Sleeping till noon. Golfing (or maybe shuffleboard) in the afternoon. Early bird specials for dinner at your restaurant of choice. Topped off by quiet evenings spent with friends.
For some this represents the ideal post-employment routine. But for others, especially those who retire young and healthy enough, staying active career-wise may be the preferred way to go.
Assuming that you are financially able to stop working full-time, you have interesting options if you want to stay employed. These include working part-time, taking interim (fixed-term or seasonal) assignments, changing careers, becoming self-employed, or volunteering.
Part-Time Work, Part-Time Play
Have you enjoyed the type of job (or jobs) you’ve held recently? If so, there’s no reason to abandon this. Instead you can consider shifting to part-time hours.
Part-time jobs tend to offer predictable hours, may be easier to find and compete for as a retiree, they free you up for other pursuits during the week, and may come with benefits.
You can find these types of jobs on Monster.ca. Go to our homepage and click on “Advanced Search.” From the “Job Type” drop-down list, simply select the ”Part-Time” checkmark box.
If you like the challenge of taking on different assignments in new work places regularly, then contract employment could be the ticket for you. Contract jobs are fixed-term or seasonal work stints. They range in duration and seniority.
At one end are the so-called “temp” jobs. These frequently encompass such positions as administrative assistant, accounts payable/receivable clerk, and related office jobs. They can last as short as one day (per diem assignments), or up to weeks and months.
Next are seasonal jobs. You’ll find quite a range of openings that are geared to a particular time of year. Summer brings ads for pool cleaners, camp administrators, parks and recreation staff, and lots of other outdoor jobs. Winter sees demand rise for snowplough drivers, skating rink staff, and retail work around Christmas time.
At the upper end of contract employment are “interim assignments.” These are usually geared toward middle and upper management. You may have seen this kind of posting advertised as a maternity leave fill-in. Assignments such as these can last up to 12 months. Or they can be project-based, as when a company needs a provisional Director of Finance to help implement a new financial control system, or an IT department requires someone to install updated hardware.
To access contract jobs, visit the Monster.ca homepage and click on “Advanced Search.” From the “Job Type” drop-down list, select either “Per Diem,” “Temporary/Contract/Project,” “Seasonal,” or a suitable combination of the three.
Possibly it’s the right time for you to consider switching to a new career altogether. Have you always wanted to try your hand at something different? Do you have hobbies, skills or interests you could see yourself pursuing on a paid basis?
Career change normally involves advance planning and research. It may require upgrading of knowledge and credentials. However the less money you must earn in your next career, the easier it should be to gradually shift into a new line of work.
You’ve spent the bulk of your adulthood in the workplace. Over the course of this period you’ve acquired specialized familiarity with your job and industry.
Do you have enough of it to turn yourself into a paid consultant? Or maybe you’re more inclined to start up a business and become an entrepreneur. If you’re less risk-oriented but still want to own your own business, check out franchise opportunities.
The joys of self-employment should be weighed against start-up costs, risks of failure, and time commitment necessary to get up and running. But if you’re the appropriate type of person and are prepared to make a go of things, leaving the world of structured jobs behind may be right for you.
Fight for a cause you support. Give back to society. Stay engaged. Whatever your reason might be for becoming a volunteer, you’re likely to get back even more than you put in.
The not-for-profit sector in Canada is enormous. There are over 20,000 non-profit organizations here in just about any field you can name. We have foundations, associations, advocacy groups, charities and unions to choose from.
An excellent starting point is Volunteer Canada. It guides you in your search for the most fitting volunteer opportunities. Then it connects you to volunteer centers in your province.
Keep On Growing
There’s no rule that says retirement has to be the final stage of your career. People work by choice well into their late 60’s, 70’s and beyond.
Your financial situation and health will greatly influence the scope of your employment options after you retire. Just remember that you may still have a decade or more of productive work ahead of you. Try to use all that wisdom you’ve accumulated over your lifetime and choose your next career phase wisely.