Returning to Work on Your Own Terms

Safe to say that the pandemic has upended working life for the workforce and the employers looking to hire employees who can keep their company humming. Retired workers aren’t being ignored as potential valuable assets who can return to work. According to a recent study conducted by the job search platform Resume Builder, twenty percent of retirees say past employers have asked them to return because of the labor shortage. Concepts such as working from home and work with flexible hours have moved from the fringes closer to the mainstream. This means that retirees who have decided that they might like to come back to work – perhaps full-time, perhaps part-time — have an advantage. The market for reliable, experienced workers is on the upswing and now those who wish to return to work in their chosen field are in the driver’s seat. If you are one of the ones who would like to unretire or cut back to partial retirement and return to the workforce, there are some things to consider as you prepare to make the leap back to employment. 

Use Your Work Capital

Just as interest accrues over time, your experience and knowledge gathered at your particular vocation become more valuable with every year you’ve worked. So when you are ready to unretire and interview with potential employers, you need to review your entire working life and catalog all the skills you have at the ready. If you haven’t interviewed in years – decades, even – then you might not be familiar with your own history. You may have experience in a particular aspect of your chosen profession that you simply have forgotten. Be sure you and your possible employer know your complete history and full abilities.

No More 9 to 5

When you were young and just entering the workforce, it was easy to understand that your schedule would have to bend to the needs of the company that hired you. Work weekends? Spend some time on a project during the holidays? Par for the course. Now that you are older and returning to work, you are going to have more of a say on the amount of work you will be doing. One of the great benefits of gig work is schedules are flexible and employers are willing to bend to you. Don’t want to work Mondays? Make that part of your negotiations in your discussions about returning to work. 

Be Honest – with Yourself

Going back to work on your own terms means that you will have to be honest with yourself about how much time you want to spend at work and how much work you are physically and mentally capable of doing. To expect that you can be the same kind of worker at 67 that you were at 27 is to set you and your employer up for a dissatisfying experience. Finding the right amount of work will require you to set realistic expectations. 

Accept the Challenge

Years of valuable work experience – a resume stacked with credits and plaudits – means you have more power at this stage of the game. You can use that power to put yourself in a position and a job that is challenging and, as a result, invigorating. Share your expertise but be willing to learn so that you can grow. Because you are setting the terms, you can explore different areas of your profession that might have been out of reach to you earlier in your career. Accepting that challenge can lead you to a really rewarding place – a great balance of work and home life. 

Are you looking to unretire and return to work? Here at Gentry Professional Services we provide workforce solutions for companies seeking to further utilize senior talent and manage knowledge transfer. Our well-respected partnerships with industry leaders have created many succession plans for valuable, senior-level employees. We pride ourselves on developing and providing solutions that achieve the goals of both the company and employee to ensure a smooth and simple transition for all parties involved. Learn more about how it works here.

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