The baby boomers are making a come-back. According to a 2014 study by Mercer, people are retiring far earlier than expected and are finding they are unable to survive on their retirement savings. Indeed, this research shows that people will outlive their retirement savings by 5 years on average. As the implications of this gap become apparent, there is a growing group of people in the 55+ age group who are making a change in their careers, or re-skilling and changing careers entirely to manage the shortfall, made worse by the impact of the recession on their savings.
And boomers have an edge! Older workers have the credibility of experience and knowledge.
More interestingly, money is not the only motivator for a return to work. As people are living longer, there is a need to work for non-financial reasons. According to a 2014 Merrill Lynch Retirement Study, 47% of people who have retired would like to work; some for mental stimulation, others because they’d like to maintain social networks, and some because they need to feel a sense of self-worth. 33% of people interviewed, known as ‘Caring Contributors’ believe in giving back to their community and are moving into roles which provide for this.
Nay-sayers do exist however. Some believe that illness or physical ability within this age segment may impede people’s ability to do the job. Indeed, questions of technical ability and literacy also emerge. But, and here’s the rub, research highlights this demographic are known as self-starters, with high degrees of loyalty and dedication. They are leaders and innovators and are hard working.
If you are considering a career encore, here are our tips if your calling is a career in caring:
- Learn about the industry and changes in the field, websites like Carers Australia are invaluable www.carersaustralia.com.au
- Stay on top of technology - develop a LinkedIn profile and start following communities like, 'Home Care and Health Advocacy' and comment on articles. Join Facebook and link to our Careseekers community (https://www.facebook.com/CareseekersAustralia)
- Network! Join a community of carers and learn about all the facets of the profession.
- Take a course, perhaps one related to the field, for example, a Certificate III in Aged Care.
- Consider volunteering for an organisation which provides care services, for example, Uniting Caring, Benevolent Society, or similar.
- Ageism exists, especially if you are starting something new. But leverage your strengths and talk to your experience. Talk about your work characteristics and how they differentiate you from others.
At Careseekers we have over 100 carers aged over 50, who are doing work they love, in hours that suit them. Register on our site today www.careseekers.com.au or contact us to find out more firstname.lastname@example.org.