3 job-hunting tips for senior citizens


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Although retirement can be a time to rediscover interests, travel and spend time with grandchildren, the slower pace often has financial implications for senior citizens.

Augmenting Social Security may be something to consider.

A part-time job can be a way to supplement Social Security, discover new interests and keep busy.

Many seniors may not know where to even begin the job-hunting process.

“It’s easiest to start with the people they already know, explaining their current interests and needs for work, and then asking those people who they know who might be of help,” says Brie Reynolds, a career adviser and director of online content at the website FlexJobs.

Reach out of your comfort zone

You don’t necessarily have to stick to applying for part-time jobs that are in your former profession, but a network of contacts from your career days may help, says Jeff Adams, a career coach with Charlotte Works, the workforce development board for Charlotte and Mecklenburg County in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“Seniors shouldn’t discount the professional network they built up throughout their careers. Even though they’re pursuing part-time work that is not based on their previous work, their network can help them connect with lots of other people in other fields,” he says.

Use your social circle

Start the network approach through those closest to you. Adams says those who are job hunting after retirement should tell everyone — family, friends, church members, fellow Rotarians, even the teachers at your grandkids’ school.

He even suggests taking job hunting to a higher level. “Your bridge club or neighborhood association that goes on trips or to exercise class — any group of people that you meet and socialize with regularly becomes one of your networking groups,” Adams says.

“Start by asking someone things like, ‘You used to be in X field? That’s interesting, because I’m exploring that same field. Tell me about what you used to do,'” Adams says. This exchange can help you to learn about the field, the specific jobs, how the industry has changed or is changing, and the opportunities.

“Find out what contacts your source still has in the industry and/or in his or her former company,” Adams says.

Embrace social media

Social media is important in any part-time job search or career change, and a tactic that retirees or seniors can’t afford to ignore.

“Active social media profiles also demonstrate an aptitude to learn new skills, which is certainly important when switching careers or trying to break into a different industry,” FlexJobs’ Reynolds says.

“Knowing that a candidate isn’t afraid to venture into new territory, which social media is for many seniors, sends a great message to recruiters about willingness to take on and embrace new challenges,” she says.