Today, we enjoy a life expectancy that is much longer than that of previous generations, making it more common to see today’s retirees—the Baby Boomers—seeking part-time jobs during retirement. In fact, a recent Fox Business article states that finances, health, or social needs may push more Baby Boomers into the workforce in the years ahead, with many expecting to work well into their 70s. A recent study from CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists International indicates that the number of jobs occupied by Baby Boomers (age 55-64) grew by 1.9 million, or 9 percent, from 2007 to 2013.
Narrow Skills Gap with Online Courses
To keep up with younger generations, Boomers need to stay up-to-date on the newest technologies and trends. But, unlike Millennials, technology rarely comes as second nature for people over 50. Boomers hoping to get considered for jobs—part-time or full-time—must seek some type of training to learn these technological skills that employers expect of teams in today’s world.
The good news? Boomers don’t need to attend school or formal classes to learn these skills. Many older workers use online tools including YouTube and Lynda.com to educate themselves on the ever-changing tech industry and to compete with younger generations in the workplace. Plus, they can hop on and participate in these learning sessions whenever their schedule allows.
Take Initiative and Impress Hiring Managers
Learning new skills can benefit Boomers in more ways than one. Michele Messenger, professor and instructional design consultant at Rochester Institute of Technology, says that going the extra mile to learn a new trade “could also show prospective employers that you’re seriously invested in this next phase of your professional life.” Clearly, this type of dedication and willingness to learn translates into valuable skills in the workplace, even in part-time jobs where managers may seek more experienced, mature staff to guide younger hires.
Learn New Ways of Doing Things
Baby Boomers are in the unique position to draw on skills learned at past jobs and apply them to each new opportunity. But, they also need to remain open to learning how others do things. When considering part-time jobs, in particular, never rely on how you worked in the past since it may vary greatly from your new company’s procedures. Career Coach Rita Ashley says, “Older employees who constantly refer to what they did in the past alienate their peers,” so, by learning and keeping up with the times and the circumstances you find yourself in, you can more easily adjust to your team dynamic while also learning more on the job.
Many more tech-savvy Boomers will be re-entering the labor force over the next few years, especially in the part-time jobs sector where they can also enjoy some time to themselves. Employers have already proven they don’t shy away from this emerging group, and as long as they keep up with the times and the tech involved, Baby Boomers can continue to prove their value to the workforce.
Raj Sheth is the CEO and Co-Founder of Recruiterbox, an online recruitment software & applicant tracking system designed especially for growing companies. Prior to Recruiterbox, Raj founded two other web start-ups. He graduated from Babson College and started his career as a financial analyst with EMC Corporation in Boston.