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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

A Retiree’s Guide To Choosing Part-Time Work

Active Aging Presented by Public Health Seattle-King County

Although retirement is a goal for most people, it doesn’t come without challenges. Once you’ve left the workplace, you might feel more socially isolated and disconnected from mental stimulation. You may also notice that you’re not as physically active since sitting at home is your only “required” activity!

Having a part-time job is an excellent way to combat these challenges since it means you’ll have a new group of coworkers, tasks that require mental attention, and a reason to leave the house. The extra spending money is also a bonus since many retirees have to adjust to a fixed income that’s lower than their previous earnings. Be sure to check the tax and benefit implications of getting a part-time job, but you won’t run into any conflicts in most cases. If you’ve been considering a part-time job in your golden years, here are a few tips about what to consider and where you might find your fit.

Be Honest About Your Abilities

Before you pursue a part-time job, it’s essential to be honest with yourself about your abilities, requirements, and constraints. If you have mobility restrictions, look for jobs that don’t require physical labor. Similarly, if you don’t have access to long-distance transportation, seek out opportunities close to home or on the local bus route. Making a list of your constraints alongside your interests will help narrow down your options when you start browsing for opportunities.

Pursue Your Hobbies

One of the best ways to find a part-time job as a senior is to combine it with one of your hobbies. Since you’re already interested in the content, you’ll enjoy your time at work and build upon your current skills. If you’re passionate about reading, try working part-time at the local library or bookstore to brush up on your knowledge in between customers. If gardening has always been a favorite pastime, work at the local nursery or botanic gardens as a docent. Musically inclined? Teach lessons out of your home in the afternoons when school-aged kids can attend. You’ll enrich the lives of others while making a little money doing something you love.

Try Something New

If you’ve been on the same career path for decades, you might look to a part-time job during retirement as a way to try something new! Even a simple position, like working the front desk at a museum in town, can introduce you to new technology and ideas, not to mention new people! Consider a new environment, too. If you previously worked in an office, try an outdoor job like being a dog walker for neighborhood families. This is a unique opportunity to explore different paths!

Share Your Wisdom

Even when you’re ready to retire from a full-time position, that doesn’t mean you’ve lost all interest in that field! The wisdom you’ve gained in an industry over the years can translate well into part-time work that’s adjacent to your old career. If you were an accountant or office manager, consider a bookkeeping position for a small business in your community. If your previous career was in construction, offer your part-time assistance as a home inspector in the local real estate market. If you’ve left a demanding career as a nurse or teacher, you’ll find that part-time jobs in these fields are abundant—you can work as a nurse at on-site health fairs or sign up as a substitute teacher in the local district. These positions are ideal because they combine your knowledge with jobs that can have flexible hours and limited commitments.

Take Advantage of Your Unique Situation

Seniors may have more flexibility in their schedules than other working-age employees. Are you always up early, ready to start the day? Take advantage of this morning energy by looking for work earlier than many others would prefer. You can gladly take the opening shift for a local café, be a school bus driver for the morning route, or work as a nanny for a family with small children who need that 6:30 a.m. breakfast. Similarly, most seniors aren’t on a “career-track,” looking for jobs that scaffold to higher levels. Take this opportunity to fill temporary or seasonal positions that other workers may avoid. Your lifestyle can more easily adjust to changes in scheduling, tasks, and opportunities. Plus, you’ll get to experience new jobs repeatedly, thus broadening your horizons! A local “temp” agency can connect you with these short-term positions and will take into consideration your part-time status.

Retirement doesn’t have to mean the end of your working life. It can signal the beginning of a new chapter full of exciting part-time opportunities!

Active Aging is presented by Public Health-Seattle & King County. Public Health- Seattle & King County recognizes the important and untold stories of innovation, service, and sacrifice by the Black community and supports efforts to improve equity and achieve social justice. We want everyone to get health insurance and access health care. Visit www.kingcounty.gov/health for health insurance, flu and COVID-19 testing locations.

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