Record numbers of Americans are working past 65, with one in five seniors either working or looking for work in 2019, according to AARP. While remaining in the workforce can be a good move for seniors who want to stay engaged and financially stable, many find that traditional jobs don’t offer the flexibility they need to enjoy their retirement years.
If you aren't ready to stop working but also don't want to spend 40 hours a week in an office, you have options for a flexible career.
Preparing for a Flexible Job
"Flexible" can mean many things when it comes to your job. A flexible job could be one that allows flex hours, telecommuting, or part-time or alternative schedules. It could also be a freelance or contract position where all you have is a deadline, and it’s up to you to decide how to meet it.
No matter what type of flexible job you pursue, you won't be sitting in the same room as your colleagues for 40 hours per week. Without the ability to lean over a cubicle to ask questions, you need tools that let you stay in communication no matter where or when you're working.
There are a lot of tools designed for flexible workplaces, including chat and video conferencing apps, cloud file storage solutions, and project management software. In order to take advantage of these tools, you need the right technology. A capable computer or laptop is a must, but since you may need to communicate with clients and colleagues while away from your desk, a quality smartphone is equally important.
Your cell phone doesn’t need to be top-of-the-line, but it should be new enough that it's compatible with the latest operating systems and apps and come with a plan that has you covered no matter where you’re working or how much data you need.
5 Flexible Jobs for Seniors
1. An insurance career
Despite being a conventional industry, the insurance sector is surprisingly flexible. Not only are there plenty of opportunities due to a retiring workforce, but an increasing number of insurance companies are embracing flexible work arrangements in order to attract new talent. Of course, not all companies are keeping up with the times. If you're seeking a flexible job, research companies to hear what other people say about working there.
2. Adjunct teaching
If you have a master's degree and a love for teaching, consider becoming an adjunct professor. Unlike tenure-track professors, adjunct professors are hired on a contract basis to teach college courses. Adjunct contracts are awarded on a semester-by-semester basis, so you can teach year-round or seasonally depending on your preferences.
Number crunchers can put their financial acumen to use as a part-time bookkeeper. Whether you contract with a bookkeeping agency or market your services to a couple of local businesses, bookkeeping is a job that you can do on your own schedule -- and often in your own home.
4. Medical coding
Medical coders play a key role in billing for hospitals and outpatient healthcare clinics. While some coders work in a medical setting, many institutions are transitioning to remote employees for medical billing and coding. Keep in mind that you'll need specialized training to qualify for a medical coding career and many companies prefer to hire people with experience working in medical offices.
5. Service-based gigs
Seniors who are serious about flexibility should look into the gig economy. Whether you want to become a pet sitter, deliver food/ groceries, or a rideshare driver, the gig economy is ideal for people who want opportunities to earn income on their own terms.
You've spent decades working nine-to-five and sacrificing your free time in exchange for stable employment. Now that you're past retirement age, you want a job that works for you. Whether you choose one of these flexible career options or another job that suits your lifestyle, you'll be glad you made the effort to find flexible work for the senior years.
Article courtesy of Sharon Wagner