This article was originally published on May 8, 2014.
If you are a recent retiree you may feel a bit restless. Even though you may have been dreaming of a relaxing retired lifestyle for years, you may have the feeling that you retired too soon. People are living longer and healthier lives, and it is becoming the norm to retire later in life — even if you are financially ready to call it a career.
If you have already retired there is good news: retirement doesn’t mean that your career is over. Baby boomers nationwide are discovering meaningful second careers by banking on their lifetime of experience.
Why go back to work?
Why would you jump into a second act for your career so soon after retiring? There are many reasons to do so. Maybe you miss feeling connected to the workplace and using the skills that you honed over a lifetime. Perhaps you have a burning desire to do something different and more meaningful with your life. Maybe you didn’t want the demands of a full-time position, but employers who need your experience still have a place for you in their workplace.
As baby boomers retire, companies are forced to make tough decisions about promoting unqualified employees or looking for outside hires. You have a lifetime of skills and a knowledge base that is still in demand. As a retiree, you have more flexibility to decide when and where you want to work. Taking a part-time or consulting position can help smooth these transitions, benefiting both the company and yourself.
Is a second career right for you?
So, what is holding you back? The problem may be that you are trapped in an old mindset. For decades, workers were judged on stability of their employment history, and you may feel that you will be judged in this way. If you came from a company where seniority ensured security and a decent paycheck, you may be reluctant to start in a new company because you will be the low man on the totem pole. Today’s corporate culture is undergoing a profound transformation. Job changing and career shifts are becoming the norm, and today’s companies are learning to value life experience and knowledge more than time spent in one place. This is manifested through arrangements where employers benefit from your expertise for short-term or project-based employment opportunities.
Tips for a successful second act
There are many things that you can do before deciding to go back to work on your own terms. Follow these tips, and you will find that it is not as difficult as you think.
Do your research: Read the latest info about your career field, or if you want to try a enter a new field, research it extensively. If retirement is leaving a lot of time on your hands, use it well.
Build a social network: Social networking sites such as LinkedIn are an excellent place to announce your return to the fold. Social networking support can make all the difference.
Embrace change: The working world is dynamic and may have changed since the last time you walked into an office. Make the most of these changes and integrate yourself into the culture of your new position.
If you are a seasoned professional with managerial or executive experience there is no reason why you can’t have a successful career in your second act. Don’t hesitate to look into an online service that specializes in matching qualified candidates, such as yourself, with employers seeking this experienced talent. Boomers can create meaning from their lifetime of career experience, and you can start that journey today.