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Working after Retirement

Q. I am a recently retired Finance Manager and I am looking for a part-time financial position. My background includes revenue recognition, SOX Compliance, A/R and dealing with customers including government and commercial both domestic and international. I would like some advice in this regard.

A. Many retirees are finding a need and desire to continue to work after a formal retirement, which is turning into a first retirement for many. Some people are driven by financial need and others are surprised to find the age they thought they would retire is now way too young for retirement!

The job search for retirees looking for full or part time professional work is not so different than the search for any other type of position. The basics still apply. You need a great resume, a strong network, a LinkedIn profile, an ability to interview and persistence.

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The job search skills you will need to increase are resourcefulness and flexibility. Part time does not always mean a certain number of hours per week. Change your outlook to review which organizational staffing challenges may give you the greatest opportunity. Start with your most recent employer. Talk to your manager, colleagues or human resources staff to investigate part time or project work that might be available. Ask about seasonal opportunities and covering for people on maternity or other medical leaves.

Your former employer may also be able to introduce you to their vendors, customers and professional services firms they contract with to make introductions. These firms will appreciate your knowledge of their client and the industry experience you bring.

There may also be other industries you haven’t considered at all and the skill set you bring may be combined into titles you might not consider. As you network with people in different industries, ask what the titles might be for someone with your experience. Based on the skills you listed, look into opportunities in private, secondary or higher education – the titles might be for opportunities in the bursars or financial aid office. Step out of your comfort zone and don’t limit yourself to industries where you have experience.

Small companies may also have opportunity for you to fill multiple roles. The positions may not be as senior as the role you left and you may enjoy being a utility player rather than an expert in one area. These are the areas your flexibility comes in to play. You will need to explain your desire to use your skills, maturity and experience to support an organization in whatever needs it has at the time. You can let it know you don’t have to climb a ladder or be impacted by political issues, but you can make significant contributions.

Hiring mature workers is coming into its time. As the boomers age, more will remain in the workforce and look for flexibility from their employers. The smart ones will make that happen.

Research recruitment firms who place professionals in contract positions. Many organizations enjoy the benefit of having experience without adding to headcount. Make sure to contact more than one contingency firm; they all have a diversity of positions.