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Exploring post-career work opportunities in retirement

Updated: Apr 24

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Curious about re-entering the workforce after retirement?

On July 18, we hosted an engaging panel discussion on “Exploring post-career work opportunities”. So many of you have expressed a desire to pursue part-time or flexible work in an effort to stay active, while maintaining the freedom to enjoy newfound free time - this showed in the number of you who joined us for this event!

Among our members, here are some of the top reasons for exploring work in retirement:

  • Looking for the camaraderie and community of a workplace

  • Wanting to stay mentally engaged

  • Needing to create a schedule and some structure

  • Hoping to try something completely new and seek adventure

  • Trying to earn some extra cash

We were lucky to be joined by four panelists who have retired and discovered new roles, some in a similar field, others in a completely different role from their full-time career. Read about their experiences below:

Kathy B., has a background in the field of aging, in both human services and academic settings. After dedicating 16 years to serving as the director of services for older adults in a social impact organization, she retired in October 2022. She currently works very part-time as a research associate with the Center for Social and Demographic Research on Aging at University of Massachusetts Boston. Kathy found this role by proactively reaching out to her network and now enjoys the opportunity to continue applying her skill sets in a more flexible capacity.

Patty C., previously worked as a paralegal for 15 years. For the last four years, she has worked part-time (~15 hours per week) as a Senior Family Support Specialist with Everyday Labs. This organization works with school districts to improve student attendance based on behavioral science. Patty discovered this opportunity through word-of-mouth and was drawn to it for the extra income, the chance to postpone Social Security, and to keep her mind sharp. As someone who travels a lot, she particularly appreciates the flexibility this role offers.

Anthony R., had a prior career in mental health and counseling. He was motivated to find work after retirement for the human connection, opportunity to stay engaged, and have some extra play money. Today, he works part-time as an addiction therapist, a role he found via the job board Indeed. Since retiring, Anthony has also explored various roles in human resources across part-time, full-time, and per-diem opportunities that he found through Craigslist and other job boards. Given the significant gap in the workforce for social workers, he’s noticed more interest from employers in these industries to hire older adults.

Mark S., retired early at age 60 in 2018, following a near-20-year career with the National Park Service and a previous career as a lawyer. Over the past half-dozen years he has worked part-time in the aging services field, first as a volunteer nursing home ombudsman and currently as a paid companion for two men with dementia through the company Seniors Helping Seniors. Mark also founded a non-profit in 2020 and has been serving as its (volunteer) board president.

We also learned a great deal from the other participants in the discussion who shared various resources and opportunities. Explore a few of the highlights below - for more ideas, take a look at our full knowledge base!

Opportunities to leverage your skills and expertise via freelance and consulting work in IT, admin, creative work, legal, etc.

Online job boards to explore part-time opportunities

Participate in the gig economy and set your own schedule with short-term, on-demand work

Other opportunities

We’re inspired by the stories of many of you who are embracing diverse opportunities in this next chapter. What are you looking for in a job after retirement? Do you care about leveraging your existing skill sets, finding work in an impact or passion area, or simply trying something completely new? Share with us below in the comments!

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