So you have reached retirement age, and have given it some serious thought. You decide it’s time to retire, with a good nest egg in the bank and a promise of plenty of rest and relaxation. While this might be the idealistic retirement, you should have enough experience by now to know that life does not always work that way. Retirement can have an effect on your body and your mind. The daily grind that you did for the good part of four decades before you retired has a way of not leaving your body. It was the job that kept you up, the motivation for you to keep going. Why not get yourself a part-time, or even full-time job to make up your time, and maybe even have some extra spending money during your retire ment.
We at Life After Retirement (LAR) came up with the following list to show you that although you are out of the work force, it does not mean that you cannot make yourself useful for yourself, if not for others.
1. Business Consultant
You have worked in one or more companies in your chosen career before your retirement. There are several things you might have done, and much more that you have learnt. Nowadays, companies are on the lookout for experienced individuals – in Management, Administration, Marketing, Advertising, Accountancy, and a host of other disciplines – to fill experience gaps in their workforce. The more progressive companies might even allow you to work part time, and give you special benefits and working hours to suit your needs.
2. Engineering / Architectural Consultant
Engineers are a special breed. Good engineers with experience a rarity. It’s the same story with Architects. Although Sri Lankan universities produce good engineers through their engineering faculties, there is nothing that can beat experience. You can give them more than just theoretical knowledge that the young ones maybe better at. You have been there, and you have experienced how things have developed over the years. Consultants in these fields can also serve as mentors or trainers to younger engineers or architects.
Although in the world of finance and accounting the profession is a young person’s game, there is always a need for accountants for all kinds of organisations. It may be a small company that needs its accounts and taxes filed every year. It may be a club, a society, or a non-profit group that needs its accounts done for audit purposes. If you have the experience and the qualifications in book-keeping and accountancy, you might be able to get a position – or even work in a consultant’s role – in an organisation.
Now before you start arguing that you don’t have the energy to start a business, let us give you an often-quoted, but nevertheless true story:
Colonel Harland Sanders started Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) when he was in his 60s. His great success story started during a period where being 62 was considered very old. He challenged the norm and became the heart and soul – and of course, the face – of KFC, a fast-food chain that has established itself in 118 countries worldwide.
What this means to you is, if you have the motivation and the skills, you can become your own entrepreneur – manage a small boutique hotel or a bungalow, if you are the creative kind, start a crafts shop, show off your culinary skills to the world and open up a restaurant. There is nothing you can’t do if you put your mind to it. Age is not a barrier.
Whether you have worked as a teacher or not, there must be some skills or knowledge that you can transfer to young students. Mathematics, English, Science, History, or even a language, if you know it, can be taught to students at schools or universities. If you are computer savvy, you may be able to teach adults or peers (fellow retirees) some of your skills. They may be able to understand you better than when they are taught by younger people who are in tune with the jargon that comes with the subject. Remember – knowledge shared is knowledge multiplied.
Skills such as painting, woodcraft, tinkering, plumbing, tiling, and so on are becoming rarer among younger generations these days. A pair of pliers may be as alien to them as Instagram is to you. Your generation learnt these skills and learnt to do things for yourself, while your children and grandchildren never quite had the time, in an ever more competitive world. Becoming a handyman has many advantages for your life as well as for the life of those around you, but it also has some drawbacks and risks (safety, heavy equipment etc.) that you have to consider.
7. Content Writer
It was Bill Gates who in 1996 proclaimed “Content is King”. This has implications on a local and global scale. If you have a knack for writing, and have always wanted to share your world of knowledge with someone, there is no time like the present to do so. Most companies that operate today have a website that promotes them. Some companies operate only online, while others have a mix of online and real-world operations. No matter what their basis of operation, company websites just can’t be made of images. It is the content written on these websites that get the customers, and companies are willing to pay good money for it. All you need is a personal computer at home, and an internet connection, and you can be a content writer at the comfort of your home.
8. Corporate Lawyer / Legal Advisor
If you have credentials as a lawyer, you may be able to get employment as a legal advisor or corporate lawyer in a company. Some large companies have a legal team, but finding experienced lawyers is not easy. This is where you come in. You might be able to work part- time or on a limited time basis, but the services you provide – advisory and mentorship – will be invaluable to the company, and they might even be willing to spend good money to keep you on their payroll.
9. Personal Trainer / Coach
If you had to be very fit to do your job from which you retired, for example, as an officer of the military forces, this might be a good post-retirement career for you. You might be able to inspire youngsters and adults of all ages to be fit and strong – mentally as well as physically – thereby improving the well-being of your students. Whether you do physical training, aerobics, swimming, or cycling, it is a good way for you to get fit while getting others fit too!
10. Childcare / Preschool Teachers
There is a special bond between senior citizens and small children in that they love each other. Even if you don’t have experience as a childcare specialist, childcare positions might be available for people of all ages. You might have children and grandchildren of your own, and all this counts as experience. Be wary, though; you might like this job, but it will take a toll on you, as small children have seemingly limitless energy, and catching up is hard work.
Now that we have given you the options, you might be wondering what to do next. Be proactive and look for positions that you might find attractive. The Sri Lankan job market is evolving, and age is becoming less of a barrier of entry to do what you want to do. Contact LAR for more details, and we can fill you in.