Expert: Retirees returning to work should skip 'career obituary' when job-hunting

For older workers who have retired and are considering returning to work, the tight labor market holds promise.
"There's a wide range of opportunities that people pursue after retirement," Kimberly Schneiderman, career coach and senior practice development manager at Randstad RiseSmart, recently told Yahoo Finance Live (video above). A key to reaching a new position is not getting stuck in the past. Hiring managers aren't interested in "career obituaries," she said.
With nearly two job openings for each of the 6 million unemployed the Labor Department counted in February, older workers are now in a more powerful position to land a new job than they have been in years.
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Retirees looking for a fresh start should be careful "not just to list everything that we've done in the last 10, 20 or 30 years," she said. "We really need to think about what we're going for next and how our experience aligns with the needs of this space."
Workers moving to a new area have the advantage of being able to re-use their skills and experience. "You may be able to bring the transferrable skills from your career to your new role," she said.
(Photo: Getty Creative)
Why some retirees end up returning to the labor market
In February, 3% of retirees made the decision to return to work, the highest percentage yet during the pandemic and a continuation of a movement that began in spring 2021, Nick Bunker, director of economic research at Indeed Hiring Lab, said recently to Yahoo Money: "Even more retirees could come from the sidelines."
What drives these older job seekers?
"Many people choose to return to the labor market after retirement because they may feel dissatisfied if they don't work," Schneiderman said. "Maybe they're annoying their spouse or a partner at home. They may find that their hobbies just aren't as fun as they thought they were, or that their families aren't as available as they thought they were. Also, for some, it's all about the finances.”
Do the soul quest
According to Schneiderman, there are some key questions retirees looking to get back into the workforce should ask themselves. First, they need to "think about what fulfillment will look like at this point in their lives," she said.
“You probably enjoyed some aspects of that retirement period. They need to figure out what they don't want to lose completely as part of returning to work. Then they have to think about what it looks like for them to get back to work?” she said. "Is it within the field from which they came? Is it something new? Will you choose counseling? Or choose an additional career, such as E.g. teaching or other non-profit or philanthropic career paths?”
Conclusion: "The most important thing is that people who pursue a career path, no matter how and under what circumstances, they will enjoy it and can really imagine doing it and dedicating their time to it every day."
Don't set an expiration date on a comeback career
Going back to work also requires a new mindset. This is not the same as the beginning of a several-decade long climb up the corporate ladder in a person's main career. How long a former retiree stays in those additional career paths may depend more on when they left, or other factors like health, according to Schneiderman.
The story goes on

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