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This was featured on CNN, in the Wall Street Journal, and US News & World Report.
Must read MarketWatch article 14 Tips and Resources for Finding Work in Retirement.
Very much appropriate for workers of all ages.
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According to a CareerBuilder survey forty-five percent said they will look for work post-retirement. Among those who do plan on working after retiring, consulting, retail and customer service work are the most popular disciplines.
The survey also provided good news for workers looking for employment at the end of their careers. Fifty-three percent of employers plan to hire mature workers (age 50+) in 2014.
The 4 Things Older Job Seekers Are Doing Wrong
By Kerry Hannon as seen in Forbes.
1. They’re not stepping up to the plate. If you genuinely want to land a job, you need to get in the game. The would-be job hunters AARP surveyed used the words “may” and “try.” That’s a tad tenuous and wishy-washy. To me, it doesn’t sound like a crew who is in it to win it. My advice: Don’t just noodle the idea. If you want a new job, get serious. Yes, it takes time — 10 months, on average, for someone over 55, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. But, like anything else, if you want to be successful, you’ve got to put your heart into it.
2. They’re setting their money expectations too high. A whopping 74% of job hunters in AARP’s survey said they want a new position to make more money. But the sad truth is that pay is one of the biggest roadblocks for job hunters over 50.My advice: Rather than accept a position where you will resent the pay or walk away from an offer that is not up to snuff, consider ways to negotiate.
See if you can bump up your benefits — more flextime or telecommuting, more vacation days, new workplace development and education opportunities and other perks. A flexible workday might be more vital to you now, giving you more time to do the things you value, such as travel or learning. Health insurance, retirement savings plans and paid time off can play a critical role in defining your ideal job more than base pay, too. Don’t get so caught up in prestige, salaries and titles that you become blind to prospects and great opportunities to move in new directions.
3. They’re not keeping their skills up to date. More than one in five of the job seekers AARP surveyed (21%) said their “need to update technology skills” may hinder them from getting a new job. I know: It’s hard to pull your head up from your current projects to find time, and, often, the money for skills training. But if you want to get hired elsewhere, you must prove to an employer that you can improve its business and bottom line, and that means having the necessary skills. Look at the precise requirements of the jobs you’re applying for. If you don’t have them, get them. A hiring manager who sees that you’re taking classes or working toward a professional certification knows that you’re not trapped in your ways and are willing to learn new things.
4. They’re not using the best job-search tool. The job seekers AARP surveyed said the tools they most commonly used in their search were: online listings (62%), personal contacts (40%) and company career listings (33%). It’s not that online and company listings aren’t a good place to start looking for a job. But most positions are filled either internally or through referrals. That’s why I urge job hunters to network, network and network. Those personal contacts can be gold. Make it a point to tap your friends, relatives, former coworkers, social media connections and anyone else who springs to mind.
If there’s a specific industry you’re interested in, join an association associated with it. Attend industry and professional meetings and conferences. College and university career centers help alumni, too, through networking events and workshops. Join a job seekers meet-up group in your town or launch your own. Get together with these people on a regular schedule to share contacts and leads and help each other stay confident, active and responsible for your job hunts.
To read the entire article as it appeared in Forbes click here
9 Tips How to Negotiate a Phased Retirement
By Kerry Hannon, from AARP Bulletin
How do you go from full-time employment to a phased retirement? Read these nine tips to keep both you and your employer happy.
1. Talk to coworkers. See if you can find someone at your workplace who is phasing into retirement, or someone who did so recently, Rix advises. "Ask them how they negotiated, what their experiences have been and what advice they can offer you."
2. Be clear about your vision. Do you want part-time rather than full-time work for a fixed period, say, scaling back to a four-day week, then maybe to a three-day week? What's your time frame? "Having an idea of when your phased retirement will likely end helps your employer to plan for your replacement and might make him or her more receptive to considering phased retirement for you," Rix points out.
3. Outline your exact duties in the new arrangement. Which of your job responsibilities would you continue to meet? Who would handle the other tasks? Think it through, from your employer's perspective, so you can identify advantages for the firm, says Rix: "Is there a promising subordinate or junior staffer who [with training from you] could fill your shoes eventually? This is another reason to have a departure date in mind — your successor needs to plan, too."
4. Set a salary expectation. What would you be comfortable with in terms of salary and benefits? Knowing what you're aiming for helps frame the discussion. But you can be pretty sure you'll have to take a haircut on pay.
5. Expand your definition of "phased retirement." Decide what matters to you. Do you want to work from home or come into the office? Do you want firm hours or a looser structure of just getting the job done?
6. Solve special problems. Cali Williams Yost, founder of Flex+Strategy Group, suggests that you ask yourself: "What's something my employer struggles with consistently, and how could retaining my talents through a phased retirement solve that issue?" You might, for instance, be assigned only to special projects that no one else has the time for.
7. Use mentoring as a bargaining chip. "We live in an era where managers are increasingly concerned about mentoring younger employees [or new employees] in the business," says Farrell. "Training budgets have typically been cut back in recent years. Every organization — nonprofit and for-profit — is running pretty hard, trying to do more with less." That makes mentoring an incredibly prized commodity. You're an experienced employee. You know the industry and how to get the job done. That can be a powerful tool to an employer to train replacements or welcome millennial employees into the department.
8. Start the conversation. Once you have your blueprint, schedule a meeting with your boss. Do this a year or more ahead of time, particularly if this is new territory at your workplace. But you don't want to raise any alarms. You don't want to give off the vibe that you're not fully engaged in your work and are pondering an exit. You need to assure your boss that you're not looking to abruptly jump ship, but rather trying to develop a smooth transition that will benefit the company in the long run.
9. Create regular checkpoints. Pitch your proposal on a trial basis with built-in periodic reviews to see whether it's working for the manager and working for you. "A regular conversation can help minimize any doubts and head off potential conflicts while maximizing the odds that you'll enjoy your phased retirement," Farrell says. "The phased retirement needs to work for you not just financially, but also keep you engaged with the work you're doing and around colleagues you like." After all, as the Bachman-Turner rockers sang, you don't want "to work at nothing all day."
Kerry Hannon, AARP's jobs expert, is an award-winning author and nationally recognized authority on career transitions and retirement. Her latest book is Getting the Job You Want After 50 for Dummies. She has also written Love Your Job: The New Rules for Career Happiness and Great Jobs for Everyone 50+: Finding Work That Keeps You Happy and Healthy… and Pays the Bills. Hannon has spent more than 25 years covering all aspects of personal finance for national media outlets. Find more from Kerry at Kerryhannon.com.
4 Ways to Keep Your Skills Current
From Next Avenue
By Kerry Hannon Money & Work Expert
1. Do some sleuthing to see which skills will boost your job prospects.
A few hard skills (specific, teachable abilities that may be required) likely to make the list: Social media, data analysis and sales. To find out which skills are required for the type of work you want, hit the job boards, pull up job descriptions you’re interested in and make a list.
“We encourage older workers to do their homework first to both identify the in-demand occupations and compare them to their particular interests,” says Paul Magnus, vice president for workforce development at Mature Services’ Employment & Training Solutions in Akron, Ohio. He recommends using AARP’s Virtual Career Network and My Skills My Future.
In recent years, “social media” has been a popular item in the “skills” section of many job seekers’ resumés. But what does it really mean to be skilled at social media? It’s more than simply having a LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook account. You need to be able to show an interviewer that you’re active on these networks and understand the nuances of each one’s distinct community.
Some of the fastest-growing occupations between now and 2022 will be information security analysts, operations research analysts and statisticians, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This means that candidates with a strong background in data science and analytics will have a real advantage in the job market. Get the hint?
To skill up, take classes or pursue certifications. If you worry about the time commitment, take baby steps, with one class at a time.
2. Do an inventory of your soft skills.
These are personal attributes that help you work better with others. Employers want to be sure that you’ll work easily and efficiently with your coworkers, your supervisor and perhaps the organization’s customers or clients. They also want to see that you can think on your feet and are equipped to make smart decisions.
“Employers continue to look for attributes such as adaptability, work ethic, trainability, ability to work with a diverse workforce and previous knowledge,” Magnus says.
I would add to his list: analytical thinking, communication (oral and written) confidence, creativity, patience and a positive attitude.
Upbeat and energetic people are a plus for most employers and, frankly, some firms assume older applicants are dour and low-energy. Prove them wrong. If you’re lacking any of these soft skills, find ways to improve them. One way to do it: volunteer at a nonprofit where you can put your soft skills to the test.
3. Focus on your transferable skills and how they can help you land work.
Although you may need additional training to pick up a new job or navigate a career change, many skills you already have are transferable to a new field. You just need to apply your current skills in a new way.
The ability to manage projects, for example, is a transferable skill. In the publishing business, you may use this skill to coordinate efforts with writers, editors, graphic artists and page layout personnel, while in a shipping business, you may use it to coordinate pick-up and delivery schedules.
4. Seek out gratis retraining opportunities.
Stop into your local American Job Center, commonly referred to as Career OneStops, advises Magnus. There are nearly 2,500 nationwide. “The staff can help older workers navigate the process of upgrading their skills,” he says.
Low-income, unemployed older workers may qualify for retraining at the Department of Labor’s Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). The centers also offer referrals to educational and community workforce partners.
Sign up for a free, or nearly-free, MOOC. That’s the acronym for Massively Open Online Courses like Coursera, Udacity, EdX and Lynda. Often offered by top-tier universities, MOOCs provide inexpensive ways to learn new skills from some of the nation’s best instructors anytime, anywhere.
Also, look for free or discounted tuition arrangements based on your age at state or community colleges. The American Association of Community Colleges’ Plus 50 Initiative, for example, has programs for people 50 and older, with an emphasis on training for the workplace. California’s 23 state universities offer free tuition in their Over 60 Program and all of Texas’ public colleges have tuition-reduction programs for students 55 or older.
Check with your state’s Department of Education to see if there are similar deals near you.
The skill you learn or improve may be your ticket to your next job.
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