The last group of baby boomers turns 60 this year. While the eldest of the generation have begun to retire, others find themselves at a crossroads. Affording retirement means working longer, but it also means navigating the changing landscapes of jobs that don’t quite fit anymore. Notably, technology positions are fast-paced and tend to lend themselves to a younger generation of workers. There are only so many open CTO positions for tech talent who have moved up through the programming ranks.
For elder GenX and younger boomers, it’s too arduous to create a startup now and impractical to take a pay cut. The cost of retirement increases year over year. And for many, the idea of taking a step ‘down’ in title, pay or responsibility doesn’t sit well.
So what options are available that don’t display outright losses in title or responsibility, continue to pay the bills, and avoid difficult situations where you are potentially being pushed out of your role?
Consulting work can often pay as much as a permanent job. This is an ideal situation if you are able to get benefits from a partner or spouse. Likewise, it provides flexibility to enjoy a preview of retirement without sacrificing compensation needed to sustain retirement.
Often community colleges or small liberal arts schools will hire adjunct faculty with decades of experience in their field. There is no tenure track, thus there is no worry or competition for grants or research papers. In fact, many adjunct professors may choose to do independent contract work while simultaneously teaching a class of two.
If much of your career has focused on people management and hiring within your field, career coaching might be the logical next step. Whether you start your own business as a career coach or join a group – you will use your specialized knowledge of the field to coach graduates to executives, review resumes, and help them to network.
Leverage Your Age
There is certainly no shortage of age discrimination. It is harder to find a job after 50 and even harder at 60 when a potential employer knows that you won’t be around for the long haul. The right solution might be to leverage your age upfront with an employer. If a specific position or department will be phased out over the next few years, this is an opportunity for them to bring you on in a temporary capacity, knowing that both sides are expecting a definitive end to the position.
Ultimately, you also have the option to stay the course. Utilize staffing agencies who can vouch for your experience and get you in the door. You may be able to leverage your experience, take on consulting positions, or simply find a new permanent job that aligns with your end-of-career goals.