Retirement plans often include dreams of warmer climates, cozier homes and days of leisure. However, today’s retirement plans for many may include finding a different job. According to a new CareerBuilder study, 60 percent of workers age 60-plus surveyed say they would look for a new job after retiring from their current company, up from 57 percent last year.
“We’re seeing more than three quarters of mature workers putting off retirement, largely due to financial concerns, but also as a personal decision made by people who enjoy their work,” says Brent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder North America. No matter the motivation, as the workforce changes to accommodate mature workers, employers and human resources professionals are welcoming the wealth of knowledge these seasoned workers can bring to the job.
Working through retirement
For those putting off retirement, speaking to your employer about your career plans can ensure that your needs are met and you’re still valued by the company. “The majority of workers who have talked with their bosses about staying on past retirement found their companies to be open to retaining them,” Rasmussen says. “If you’re approaching retirement age but hope to continue working, an open line of communication is very important.”
For those looking to make a career change or try something different, there’s good news. Employers are open to hiring more seasoned staff, with 48 percent of employers planning to hire workers age 50-plus this year, according to the survey. Forty-four percent say they hired workers age 50-plus in 2012. Seventy-six percent would consider an application from an overqualified worker who is 50-plus, with 59 percent of employers saying mature candidates bring a wealth of knowledge to an organization and can mentor others.
Staying on the job
While many workers have a countdown to their last day on the job, not everybody knows how quickly that day will come. Of the more than 680 U.S. workers age 60 and older who were surveyed, when asked how soon they think they can retire from their current job, 12 percent of respondents say they don’t think they’ll ever be able to retire. Other responses included:
- 1-2 years – 27 percent
- 3-4 years – 20 percent
- 5-6 years – 27 percent
- 7-8 years – 6 percent
- 9-10 years – 5 percent
- More than 10 years – 4 percent
Looking for new work
Mature workers can find job-search success by emphasizing the qualities that set them apart from other workers. Here are some tips for finding new work after retirement:
- Highlight professional and personal experience: When updating your résumé or interviewing for a job, think about your experience in terms of both work-related and life skills. Whether it’s your strong leadership skills or your wherewithal to weather a tough economy, use your age to your advantage and play up the strengths that come with having more years under your belt.
- Stay current: Workers of all ages are going back to school to increase their marketability. Attending seminars and workshops or taking formal courses is a great way to keep your skills up to date and can come in handy during an interview.
- Find new ways to benefit the company: If you’re looking to stay with your current company beyond retirement, come up new ways to contribute to the organization outside of your day-to-day tasks. Running mentorship programs or training new hires are examples of how some mature workers have reinvented themselves within their organizations.
- Utilize your network: Being in the workforce for an extended time gives you the advantage of a broad professional network. Whether it’s offline or online, reach out to former colleagues, vendors, clients, etc. to see where opportunities may arise.
- Consider part-time or freelance work: Fifty-two percent of workers age 60-plus say they’ll most likely work part time once retired. If that’s you, check out job boards, staffing firms and other resources for part-time, freelance or temporary work.