Retirees can find right job

March 3, 2008


Q: What are your thoughts on part-time employment for older retirees? I'm in good health, and frankly, I'm bored. I have a B.S. in engineering, have taught automotive engineering, operated an automotive business, and am a certified auto technician. - Howard

Dale: Your question reminds me of a man I met who owned an engine-repair business. He needed part-time help and hired a retiree, and was so delighted with the result, that he went to the local senior center and put job ads on the bulletin board. My point is this: There are jobs waiting for you.

J.T.: But which one? Because you're motivated by boredom, we want you to find something enlivening. Start by asking yourself: "What jobs/tasks in my past have brought me great personal satisfaction?" Don't limit it to just your professional career. Also ask, "What things am I fascinated by and want to learn more about?" Once you have some answers together, visit the blog and click on the Career Resources page. There, you'll find a link to the Career Interests Game provided for free by the University of Missouri's Career Center, which will offer you insights on the jobs that will be most rewarding to you.

Dale: Next, you simply start researching companies online and sending e-mail inquiries, as well as networking with your friends. You might suppose that networking will be useless; after all, your old colleagues are probably retired. But those retired colleagues have working children - so, over time, your network was expanding, all by itself.

J.T.: I had a client who was retired and going crazy with boredom. He loved the time he had spent training employees; and he enjoyed using a computer. We came up with the idea that he could teach a computer class to fellow retirees. He posted a notice and started giving lessons. He now teaches at the local community college.

Dale: Here's the upshot, for you and other bored retirees. You have time and knowledge. You probably don't need a lot of benefits, and you don't need a career. Thus, in the eyes of the right employer, what you are offering is pure help, no strings attached. There is someone out there who's overworked, but who isn't ready for, or can't afford, a full-time person, who needs that help. You are needed.


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