Financial journalist and best selling author Kerry Hannon is a renowned expert on career transitions and retirement, and recently authored the bestselling book titled “AARP’s Great Jobs for Everyone 50+. She joined me this week to discuss how retirees can find rewarding profitable jobs, share tips for riding the age wave, talk about how those who are afraid of making a career change can find meaningful employment, and much more!
Candace Rose: Why are people who may have retired choosing to look for work?
Kerry Hannon: “Well, I think you see a couple of things that play here, Candace. Number one is there’s this fear that we’re going to outlive our money. There’s this economic incentive to keep working and to keep bringing in income. Even if you have retirement savings, it’s sort of having a safety net; having that extra pillar to lean on. So I think the longer you can keep working and you continue to save for retirement, and you hold off dipping into that money, that’s a real win.
The second reason we’re seeing people working longer and it’s very much to the core of who we are. We want to be engaged, we want to give back, we want to do work with purpose. We don’t want to sit back and do nothing at this stage in our lives. It’s a time to stay involved.”
Candace Rose: What are the best types of jobs to ride the age wave?
Kerry Hannon: “I think there’s some wonderful opportunities in the healthcare field. I think in the medical area you’re finding a variety from being a caregiver to being a patient advocate for someone, helping them wind their way through the healthcare system. Even something in terms of being a nutritionist helping people with their diets or staying physically fit, so you have that area. You also have opportunities even as a financial planner. If you can help someone handle their expenses and their bills. And back again to those hospital bills. You can really offer service to an aging population that needs help with this kind of thing.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any strategies to help those who are 50+ get hired?
Kerry Hannon: “Absolutely. I think number one- use your network, get out there and find out where there are some opportunities. Stretch wide and far to do that. Get involved. Don’t just sit around and do nothing, keep your resume alive. If you’re not working right now and you want to be working, don’t just sit at home and fire off those resumes online. Volunteer, go out and apprentice, moonlight, do some things to stay part of the workforce. And in fact if you find an opportunity to do some contract work, consulting work, it’s often a really great way to get your foot in the door.”
Candace Rose: What advice do you have for those who may be afraid of a career change?
Kerry Hannon: “I say really take your time. Do your homework, be confident in what you want to do, but make sure there’s an opportunity and a need for what it is you’re going to do. And get out there and do the job first. It might sound like it’s something so incredibly romantic- opening an Italian restaurant, or becoming a chocolatier; but when you’re doing that on a daily basis it might not be so romantic. So you need to do the job first and get your finances in order. I think debt can be a real dream killer, so if you want to start over in a new career it might be at a slightly lower income initially or starting a new business, you really need to be financially fit.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share?
Kerry Hannon: “Well, another thing that’s important is to keep your lifelong learning. Keep adding to your skill sets. You need to be relevant in today’s economy and today’s job market and you may need to add some new skills. So look around and see if there’s any certificate you might be able to add to just make you a little more attractive in the job market. And also, I recommend people go to our website: AARP.org/WORK, and there’s all kinds of opportunities to help you find out about interview skills, resume skills, and also what some great jobs are out there.