A growing percentage of Americans say their retirement will entail some paid work, either because they’re worried about their lack of savings or because they want to stay active. But that doesn’t mean retirees are yearning for a 50- or 60-hour workweek.
Sixty-nine percent of workers said they plan to work for pay after they retire, according to the 2013 Retirement Confidence Survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute.
And more workers said they plan to delay retirement: 36% of workers said they’ll wait until they’re 66 or older to retire (fully 26% said they’d wait until age 70 or older), up from 11% who said that in 1991. Read the study here.
Another 7% of workers said they don’t plan to retire at all.
If you’re among those who plan to continue working but you don’t want to keep going full-tilt, what’s the best way to find a good part-time or work-at-home gig?
The good news is that, anecdotally at least, there are employers out there looking to fill part-time jobs with experienced workers, and a number of websites aim to help people like you find those jobs.
And “part time” doesn’t have to mean a job at a fast-food restaurant or in retail.
“Some of the jobs employers are trying to fill are not what anyone would think of as an average telecommuting job,” said Sara Sutton Fell, founder and chief executive of FlexJobs, based in Boulder, Colo.
“These are high-level roles. They are very well suited to an older demographic who values flexibility and has the skills to bring to the table,” she said.
Some of the current openings on her site include “infrastructure management senior analyst,” firewall engineer, human-resources generalist and senior tax associate, Fell said. Some of the companies posting positions to the site include PwC (formerly PricewaterhouseCoopers), ADP and Xerox.
Tips for finding a job
Visit the job sites. You can search for part-time jobs onRetirementJobs.com, RetiredBrains.com, and Indeed.com, among others.
Meanwhile, FlexJobs only posts jobs that are part-time or flexible as well as professional (meaning they have opportunity for growth). The company vets each posting to make sure it’s legitimate (FlexJobs.com charges job seekers from $14.95 a month to $49.95 a year to see the listings).
Drop by. “If it’s an employer you know you want to work for, particularly if it’s a retail-based job, go in, meet with the manager,” said Kerry Hannon, a Washington-based career expert and author of “Great Jobs for Everyone 50+.” “Dress appropriately, drop off your resume and just say you’re available. Nothing beats a face-to-face meeting with somebody.”
Don’t rule out full-time job postings. For the right candidate, employers may consider alternative work arrangements. “Often, job-sharing arrangements and so forth come up,” said Tim Driver, chief executive of RetirementJobs.com and MatureCaregivers.com, in Boston. “It’s always worth exploring listings that are written as full time.”
Tap your network. Ask people you know whether they know of any part-time or telecommuting opportunities at their workplace—and whether they can put in a good word for you, Hannon said. “Employers love to hire people who they know or the people that work for them know,” she said.
Go beyond the big job websites. Interested in a nonprofit job, for example? “The Chronicle of Philanthropy has a great jobs board—that’s a good place to look for any kind of nonprofit job,” Hannon said, adding that “the nonprofits love part-time workers,” in part because those organizations often face budgetary constraints.
Ask your network about job boards, staffing companies and temp agencies that focus on your city or state. For example, a staffing agency called 10 til 2 focuses on part-time jobs in Colorado.
Hannon pointed to Flex Professionals, which lists jobs with flexible schedules in the Washington, D.C., area, and Special Counsel, which looks to place people in the legal profession.
Check with trade groups and your alumni association to see whether they know of or list flexible jobs. Also, college career centers often offer advice on career transitions, Hannon said. “A lot of them have great career coaches on staff who can help you with interviews and resumes.”
Visit universities’ online job boards. “Most of the big universities have job boards that you can check for part-time or full-time work,” Hannon said.
Avoid the scams
It’s no secret that many workers dream of working at home, and the idea is gaining acceptance among some employers, depending on the job type.
Still, “there’s been slower acceptance of that than even part-time work,” said Jill Ater, founder and chief operating officer of 10 til 2, the Denver-based staffing agency.
“Employers still want to see people, but sometimes you can start off in the office and transition once they learn to trust you,” Ater said. Job seekers might ask in the interview whether working at home is an option at some point. “See how the employer feels about it,” she said.
Unfortunately, the work-at-home dream is a target for scammers looking to separate you from your money, often by collecting fees upfront for equipment or information they say is necessary for their work-at-home “opportunity.”
As part of its premium service ($4.95 a month; you can cancel at any time), RetirementJobs.com offers a “Work at Home Guide” that lists organizations it considers legitimate, plus tips to stay safe.
Here are some other ways to steer clear of scams:
- Avoid ads that read like marketing copy. When looking for work, focus on ads that list a job title. “You want it to be a professional job posting and not marketing copy,” Fell said. “If it looks like they’re trying to get anybody to apply, that’s probably not a professional job posting.”
- Be wary of requests for money. Fell said the scam often goes like this: “We’re going to give you your own computer. We’ll mail that to you, but we do need to install some proprietary software on there, so you need to pay $400 for that.”
- Search for the company’s name on Google to make sure the website address given to you is legitimate. Sometimes scammers create fake websites that mimic real sites, to lure you to provide personal information or to send money. “They’ll mimic the names of the CEO, the director of HR, so the website really looks legit,” Fell said. “Unfortunately, they’re really good at it sometimes.”
- Search the company’s name with the word “scam” or “complaint” to see what others are saying.
- Be wary about sending personal information if the email address doesn't include the company name. “Make sure the job ad has the company domain name in it, rather than a general @hotmail or @gmail,” Fell said.
Here are some additional resources for finding part-time or flexible jobs:
Common Good Careers recruits for the nonprofit sector. Read more: Boomers: Get job recruiters on your side.
Idealist and Bridgespan also list jobs at nonprofit organizations.
Check out AARP’s page on working after retirement.
Encore.org offers a guide to finding work after 50.
Read more: Taxes, Social Security and your part-time job.
Andrea Coombes is a personal-finance writer and editor in San Francisco. She's on Twitter @andreacoombes.
This post originally appeared here:http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tips-for-boomers-to-find-flexible-jobs-2013-08-29