At Gen Plus we have a new feature, “Ask Wendy” where 50 plussers and HR professionals can ask us questions and we’ll give you targeted answers based on our experience.
Here is a question from LS, in Los Angeles, CA.
“I don’t want to retire, but would like to find part-time work. I am very well qualified in my field but am finding that most employers in my field want full-time people. What would you suggest? Thanks.”
You are experiencing the challenge facing many 50 plussers in this decade. While I don’t know your specifics, I assume you are either being forced into retirement, or are no longer able to work full time. In either case, 50 plussers are experiencing ageism before any other consideration. While you may be highly qualified in your field, it is possible that your field is not ready to accomodate the reality of our aging population. You have a few options:
- If you have an interested employer, you need to provide them with a proposal showing them the cost-effectiveness of bringing you on part time. As with any business it is always about the WIFM (What’s In It For Me?)
- You may try to sell your services as an independant contractor (consultant, self-employed.) You will not be eligible for any employee benefits, but you may be able to command an hourly wage.
- You may have to look at entering a different field. Fields that are hurting for want of skilled workers are: medical assistance and allied health professions, teaching (serious shortages and 50 plussers are considered highly reliable in this field), pharmacy, retail sales (think WalMart, Home Depot, but realize that managers are in hot demand as well), and banking. Even though you may not have the specific skill, you can translate your resume to address the skills these fields are looking for. You may need to follow a short certification, and you will likely be looking at a cut in pay, but this is a great area to get a renewed foot in the door.
- Get yourself visible. You MUST use all venues at your disposal to be seen. Use all online niched (www.genplususa.com) and non-niched (e.g. www.monster.com, www.careerbuilder.com) job search programs, make as many contacts as you can, send resumes to companies you are targeting and make your job search a full time job. If you have the opportunity to post your resume, do so. Often, HR professionals, facing a tough posting, will mine online resumes to try to identify suitable candidates. Don’t lose that opportunity.
Best of success,