by Lisa McGrimmon
Increasing numbers of baby boomers and seniors are looking for retirement jobs. Instead of completely leaving paid employment, as was typical in the past, a significant number of people have chosen a form of phased retirement in which they take on jobs which allow people to phase down but not completely leave work and career responsibilities.
You may feel ready to retire from your current job, but by personal choice or necessity, you may not be ready to fully leave the world of work. There are several different options for phasing down your work responsibilities.
You may negotiate with your current employer to modify your full time work schedule and shift to part time work, or function as a consultant to your employer. Alternatively, you may leave your employer but take on a new part time job, or a job that is less demanding than your previous work. You may even decide to finally launch the small business that you have always dreamed of starting.
As you decide how to phase down your own career, it will first be important to determine what you need or want from continuing to work. Are you continuing to work because you value social interaction, day to day structure, keeping your mind active and engaged or having goals to achieve? Maybe you are looking at retirement jobs in order to meet financial needs and goals.
As you consider your next career choices, you'd be wise to also determine what you don't want as you continue to work into retirement. If you're retiring from a job, you're moving away from some things and moving toward some other things. If you're leaving a bad employer, you probably won't want to propose a consulting arrangement with him or her. On the other hand, if you have a great relationship with your employer but you want to leave the grind of the nine to five schedule, consulting for your employer or starting another type of business might be an ideal situation for you.
Think through your needs and goals related to retirement to ensure that any work or business activities you take on will not interfere with those goals. If, for example, you are retiring to care for and spend more time with aging parents, then any retirement jobs or businesses you consider will need to allow for flexibility in your schedule to meet your priorities. If you are retiring from a job that has been physically or emotionally demanding, it will be important to choose work or business options that are not demanding in the same ways.
Career planning after retirement does not have to be a difficult matter. Simply thinking through and understanding your needs and goals for retirement, the reasons why you need or want to work after retirement and the way those things are impacted by your next career decisions will help you to choose the next steps that are a good fit for your needs.