Working in ‘older years’

Having an interesting time listening to the ‘Money Box’ radio programme on people who are trying to either re-join the workplace after retirement/redundancy or wanting to work after reaching pension age.

In most cases, this seems to be people who fit into the following categories:

  1. People who have been made redundant – used their redundancy to live on and have a break and are now trying to get back into work. (They are finding that they cannot get a job due to age discrimination…hard to prove!)
  2. People who need to continue to work – they have a pension but it isnt good enough to live on and need the extra money.
  3. People who are being made to retire – compulsory redundancy ages. This is unlawful. The exception are people doing physical jobs as it is within the law to force you to retire. It would need to be done under a medical test rather than just on age alone. They would need to prove that you are physically unfit to perform the job then they can force you to retire.
  4. People considering contracting/self-employment as a way of re-entering the workplace.
  5. People delaying their state pension – they are working and want to continue to work, delay taking their pension to enable it to increase so they can retire later once they can reach a decent pension amount.

I am not at that stage yet, I am only late 40s and already hitting employment issues as people are not interested in recruiting me unless I have the ‘exact’ experience. I am having to network to see if there are any work options available. I would like to work for a few months each year and have time off in between work placements. I have written off the possibility of a permanant locally based job as there just doesnt seem to be anything around – scarce is not the word – more like rare.

A nice part-time job would be great but in the role I currently perform it is very rare to find a part-time job. I would therefore need to look at an alternative job role where my experience could be applicable or re-training would be required.

The expert suggests finding work via agencies to assist as this will help to prevent ageism that would stop you from entering the workplace when applying direct. Plus applying to DIY and garden centre chains as they are very receptive on taking on older people due to their experience.


2 thoughts on “Working in ‘older years’

  1. Hey SparkleBee, sounds like potentially demoralising times. Is there any seasonal work you would like to do (or could travel to do?). Postal work or hospitality in the run up to Christmas, Uber driving around New Year’s Eve and sporting occasions, something touristy in the summer? I can’t figure out what work you did before and if you want to do something similar or different.

    I was wondering why all the helpful store assistants in my city worked in B&Q! I’d always thought it was to do with the parking charges vs the bus into the centre but now you mention it there is an experience aspect as well. Good luck with the job hunt!

    • I am not demoralised, just didn’t realise how hard it is to find work. I have worked since leaving uni, so I have not experienced this new way of recruiting until now. It is mainly due to getting made redundant and then jumping into the first job offered. What I should have done was been more picky. Now that I have stepped out and viewing the situation from outside the bubble, I am beginning to question what I really want from work. I do IT project management so there should be plenty of work out there, it is just cyclic in its nature.

      At the time of the redundancy, it seemed like a competition between all of us as we tried to madly find new work and jumped at anything offered. We all felt the pressure to find something to go to and not be left on the shelf.
      I guess plenty have experienced this, making the wrong work choice. I just took the wrong job, I was misled. At the interview I was told one thing but on arrival ended up doing something else.

      You hear all these reports about lack of candidates and skill shortages but in reality it is more to do with the employers wanting people who have EXACT skill matches as they don’t want to train anyone any more. They don’t want to grow people into the role, they want people ‘who can hit the ground running’. They have deadlines to reach and can’t wait for anyone to get up to speed.

      It seems that there are factors at play at every age group and as I approach this I worry what this means if I find I don’t have the pension income to support me.

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