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Returning to the Workforce in the Golden Retirement Years

Before retirement, people tend to day dream about the years they’ll spend golfing, gardening, traveling and visiting love ones. What retirees may not expect, though, is the desire to return to the workforce after they’ve left. Whether you miss the interactions with people, the money or yearn to contribute to something you are passionate about, here are seven ideas about rejoining the working world.

Go Back to Work

Contact your former employer and see if there is still room for you. Networking is key, so already having a foundation with the company will help your chances. See if there is part-time work you can do, such as freelancing projects or consulting work.

Be a Consultant

Especially those with advanced degrees or specialized expertise, consultants can leverage their many years in the workforce, broad experience, vast skills and connections to find work. Consider a career in consulting if your specific skills are those companies often seek out, such as website development and programming. Your training could prove useful for companies looking for part-timers, trainers or freelancers.

Try Something New

What kept you from going after your childhood dream of becoming a cowboy, astronaut or ballerina? If there is still something you’d like to try, now is the time. Open a bakery shop, ship your car to a foreign country and find work there, apply at a dude ranch or take the necessary courses so you can volunteer at the fire department.

Find Part-Time Work

Visit your favorite retail stores and see if they have any low-stress, part-time positions available. Greeting customers at the door or helping people throughout the store can be rewarding and enjoyable. Schools and universities often hire teaching assistants and tutors to help students study during class or after hours. Offer to be the neighborhood babysitter to have a flexible work schedule and earn a little cash. Have a lot of stuff laying around the house? Try selling items you’ve collected over the years online through sites like eBay or Craigslist.

Temporary Work

Temp agencies connect qualified workers with companies looking for temporary work. This gives you the opportunity to alternate through several positions and companies, providing you with a flexible schedule and diverse workplaces. Working temporary jobs allows you to test drive several jobs before choosing a new career.

Train Again

If you aren’t sure what career path you should take, or if you aren’t qualified for a new job, take classes to learn more skills and knowledge. Go back to school and train for a new career. The classes will refresh your memory and get you back in line for the workforce.


Money, company and a set schedule may not be at the root of your desire to go back to work. If giving back to the world and helping people, the earth and the next generation is what you want to do, find an organization that specializes it just that. The Peace Corps offers overseas experiences for qualified individuals and married couples. Other jobs could include teaching, tutoring, working at shelters, in the health care industry, with children or with animals.

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