First Person: You’ve Retired but Want to Return to Work. What Now?

by on June 17th, 2013
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If you retired, but now want to return to the work force, you are not alone. Many retirees go back to work every year. Before returning to work from retirement, here are five things you ought to do.

Consider Why You Want to Rejoin the Work Force

Think about why you want to return to work after retiring. Are you bored? Do you miss the social stimulation of working or the challenges of the workplace? Do you need the money? Understanding the reason you want to return to work after retirement is important because it will determine what kind of job is most likely to satisfy your post-retirement needs.

Decide What Kind of Job You Want

Some retirees see going back to work as an opportunity to change careers and take on new challenges. Others prefer to return to their previous field, maybe because they want to reconnect with colleagues and/or because that is where their skills will command the highest salary. Whether you decide to leverage your past experience by re-entering your previous field or plan to strike off in a new direction could have a significant effect on how you approach your job search. Also consider whether you prefer part-time work or need a full-time position. If you are uncertain what you want to do, working for a temp agency could give you a chance to try out some different options while bringing in a paycheck.

Consider Entrepreneurship

For some retirees, the answer to working after retirement is to make their entrepreneurial dream come true. Depending on the type of business you start, you could find that there are significant advantages to being your own boss. For example, you may be able to work as much or as little as you want and to work from home, giving you far greater flexibility than you would have working for someone else. While the possibilities for a new business are unlimited, two options that sometimes appeal to retirees are starting a business based on a hobby or passionate interest or becoming a consultant or outside contractor and providing services to a former employer or to other firms in the same industry.

Determine How Taking a Job Might Affect Social Security or Other Retirement Income

Be sure to take any Social Security or pension benefits reductions into account before you re-enter the work force, since this could affect your decision about whether and how much to work. If you have started receiving Social Security checks but have not yet reached your retirement age for full benefits, income from a job could reduce your current benefits. Also, if you are receiving a pension from a company where you might consider working again, check with the human resources department first to be sure that you understand how it will affect your payments (if at all).

Update Your Skills

Depending on how long you have been retired, your skills may be a bit rusty. If so, you should update them before you start your job search. In particular, be sure that you are up-to-speed on the latest technology since a puzzled look if an interviewer mentions cloud computing or some other technology buzzword could quickly relegate your resume to the trash bin. If you need to catch up on cutting edge technologies for the office, take a class or two before you start your job hunt or enlist the aid of a younger relative or friend who can clue you in on the hottest technology in today’s workplace.


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