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Turning Your Pastime into a Job After Early Retirement

Being mature has its career advantages. You’ve developed a good sense of your own strengths and abilities and you know what you liked (and disliked) about jobs you’ve held in the past. You may also have developed – and become quite passionate about – a hobby, interest or commitment to helping others. Many seniors decide to change career direction after retirement to obtain flexibility, extra income, or simply to stay engaged and have social contacts. Whatever your goal, this is the perfect time to turn your favorite activity into a full time or part time job after retirement.

Hobbies make the Perfect Senior Part Time Jobs

Imagine a new career that is interesting, challenging and meaningful to you. A first step toward developing your new job search strategy is to take a personal inventory: what you enjoy and what tasks come naturally. This could come from a natural skill or personality strength, or an activity or cause you are passionate about, or enjoy participating in. What subjects do you read and enjoy researching? What organizations or social groups are you involved with? These are all great stepping stones toward discovering senior part time jobs that will be both satisfying and energizing.

Consider the list of hobbies and interests below (not in any particular order) as a starting point for researching potential jobs after retirement, and then finding employers who can benefit from your enthusiasm and experience. These companies may offer flexible, part time jobs that may be just what you’re looking for. But please be realistic! Many part time jobs after retirement will pay less – and require less skill – than you may have received in your previous career.

Popular Hobbies & Interests Possible Employers
Gardening/environment Garden centers, home supply chains, bird supply stores
Home repair/building/maintenance Hardware or home supply stores
Crafts/knitting Hobby/craft stores, knitting shops
Books/reading Library or bookstores
Visual arts Art framing shops
Food/wine/cooking Restaurants, bakeries, wine shops, catering services
Antiques/collectibles Antique and gift shops
Computers Libraries, office supply stores, senior centers
Shopping/clothes, jewelry, bargain hunting Retail stores, off-price merchandise
Home design/decorating Real estate sales, fabric stores, paint stores
Movies/entertainment Movie theaters, video stores
Cars/driving Auto service stations, delivery/courier services, school bus driver
Children Daycare centers, babysitting services, baby stores, schools
Communicating with people Retail, banking, customer service, survey takers
Helping others Healthcare, home heath and nurses aides
Giving back to the community Volunteer with non-profit organizations that serve the community
Leadership & management Volunteer with non-profits

Before you take the leap, be sure to do your homework. The Internet and job banks are great places to research jobs and companies (see related article, Finding Senior Friendly Companies). Whenever possible, visit your targeted company and see the jobs being performed. Develop a list of friends and contacts with whom you can network, to learn more about the company and job opportunities.

Career Assessment Tools for a Job after Retirement

What if you want to work, but do not have a hobby or particular passion? Consider utilizing some of the many excellent career assessment books and web sites written especially for mature workers. These will guide you through inventorying your skills, assessing your level of interest and help you identify ideal jobs after retirement or second career paths that will satisfy your personal goals in this new phase of your life.

Recommended Reading List (inset box)

  • Don't Retire, REWIRE! by Jeri Sedlar
  • How to Find a Job After 50: From Part-Time to Full-Time, from Career Moves to New Careers by Betsy Cummings
  • Second Acts: Creating the Life You Really Want, Building the Career You Truly Desire by Stephen M. Pollan
  • Second Careers: New Ways to Work after 50 by Caroline Bird
  • Too Young to Retire: 101 Ways to Start the Rest of Your Life by Marika Stone
  • Working After Retirement For Dummies by Lita, MBA Epstein

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