Age of part time employment?
Our friends at the Rest Less — the digital community and advocate for people in their 50s, 60s and beyond — share why many over 50s are swapping retirement for a part-time career.
When it comes to age, the goal posts are changing because we’re living longer, healthier lives than ever before. In 2000, the average life expectancy in the UK was 77 but in 2020, it rose to 81 (Statista 2022) – and health experts are now arguing that today’s midlifers are in their 60s.
This means that people in their 50s and 60s who may have once been looking to retire are now considering other options for how they could spend the next 20-30 years of their lives. Many people are swapping traditional retirement (which would typically involve winding down and resting up) for exciting new opportunities and ventures.
Part-time work has become a popular avenue for over 50s who are looking for a better work-life balance but don’t want to lose the benefits that come with having a job – such as the chance to develop and maintain new skills, top-up their pension, feel part of a community, stay active, and make social connections.
For example, on her 60th birthday, Rest Less member Sue French from Nottingham swapped full-time employment for a community-based role in her local convenience store.
She said, “Being able to fit my work around my very busy life as a new grandma is wonderful. I have the flexibility to work when I want and I have the support of my manager and the other coordinators.”
“Outside of work, I also have many varied interests. My two main hobbies are visiting the theatre (I’ve seen The Mousetrap five times now), and listening to live music […] But my favourite thing is spending time with my daughter and new grandson, who is of course the most beautiful baby ever born!”
The list of part-time opportunities on offer is wide-ranging, and other roles that Rest Les members have entered into in their 50s, 60s, and beyond include dog walking, tutoring, personal training, entrepreneurship, childcare, consulting, and hair and beauty.
It’s never too late to develop a career that you love – how to turn a hobby or passion into a day job.
Nowadays many people are using later life as a chance to reinvent themselves. After raising a family and/or being committed to a particular career, it can be a time to start thinking about the things you want to do, rather than the things you have to do. This might mean considering how you can turn your hobbies, interests, or passions into a job that pays.
Rest Less member Chris Calder from Leicester is someone who turned a creative hobby into a day job in his 70s. He started writing novels while recovering from an aggressive form of cancer – and now in his 80s, he’s written five novels and works as a full-time author.
Speaking about his journey to becoming an author, Chris said, “Writing that first book has taken me into a new profession, one that will last for as long as I choose. The rest of my life, probably.
“I now have a new career that I absolutely love, in a world previously unknown to me. The writing/publishing community is immense, worldwide, and supportive. My circle of friends now includes my readers and others who write. Not a bad result for someone who didn’t start until well into his 70s!”
So exactly how can you turn your passion or hobby into a day job? Here are our top tips…
— Consider whether you want to work for someone else or yourself – for example, if you’d love to work with animals then there’s a huge range of employed positions, such as veterinary nursing or dog training. Or for roles like writing or gardening, you might find it preferable to go self-employed.
— Do your homework – if you want to work for yourself, then are there any licenses or insurance policies that you need to apply for? And in both employed and self-employed roles, will you need to study or retrain first?
— Explore ways to promote your services – if you decide to go down the self-employed route, then how you advertise your services will often be the key to its success. Social media is a popular and powerful advertising tool that can help to spread the word about your business quickly.
— Be patient and persistent – building a career you love can time but you will get there if you keep chipping away. Chris is proof of that!
You can find out more about Rest Less here.
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