By Debra Auerbach
"Retirement" used to mean the end of one chapter in life spent working and the beginning of a new chapter spent with family and friends, traveling or focusing on hobbies. Yet for many of today's mature workers, their picture of retirement looks very different. It no longer means the end of their career; instead, they are either staying longer at their current jobs or getting new jobs once retired. In fact, a new CareerBuilder study found that 57 percent of workers age 60 plus surveyed said they would look for a new job after retiring from their current company.
When asked how soon they think they can retire from their current job, 11 percent of workers surveyed said they don't think they'll ever be able to retire. Other answers included:
1-2 years – 26 percent
3-4 years – 23 percent
5-6 years – 22 percent
7-8 years – 7 percent
9-10 years – 7 percent
More than 10 years – 4 percent
Employers see value mature workers offer
Yet in this sluggish job market, mature workers have to compete with younger workers for jobs. The good news is that employers see the value mature workers can bring to a company, with 43 percent of employers planning to hire workers age 50 plus this year. One concern mature workers may have when going back into the job market is that they may be perceived as overqualified. Yet 75 percent of the employers surveyed would consider an application from an overqualified worker who is 50 plus.
Using your experience to your advantage
Of the employers who said they would consider an application from an overqualified candidate, 59 percent said it's because mature candidates bring a wealth of knowledge to an organization and can mentor others. When applying and interviewing, mature workers should highlight both their work and life experiences to help sell them as the right candidate for the position.
Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder, offers these tips for mature workers looking to stay working post-retirement:
Leverage your professional and real-world experience. When updating your résumé or interviewing for a job, think about your experience in terms of both work-related and life skills. Whether it's your strong leadership skills or your wherewithal to weather a tough economy, play up the strengths that come with having more years under your belt.
Bring value to your company in other ways. If you're looking to stay with your current company beyond retirement, find new ways to contribute to the organization, outside of your day-to-day tasks. Spearhead a mentorship program or offer to train new hires.
Consider part-time or freelance work. For workers who aren't ready to completely stop working, part-time employment may be a good solution. Forty-nine percent of workers age 60-plus said they will most likely work part-time once retired. Check out job boards, talk to staffing firms and tap into your social and professional networks for part-time, freelance or temporary work.
Debra Auerbach is a writer and blogger for CareerBuilder.com and its job blog, The Work Buzz. She researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues. For more advice on what mature and experienced workers can do to stand out, check out this video:
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