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Retirement, Redundancy and Changing Careers

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 15 Mar 2010 | comments*Discuss
Retirement Redundancy Careers Career

The idea of the job for life has almost been eradicated from today’s ever changing employment market. Retirement, whether it’s forced or voluntary and redundancy can be the perfect time to make that career change.

Coming to Terms with Unemployment

Facing unemployment during later life can be a daunting and stressful prospect. But this is often the perfect time to consider changing careers and moving forward into a new employment phase. There is a whole world of employment opportunities for those who have either reached retirement age or lost a job through redundancy. This can either be the time to slow down a gear or move forward towards a career dream that has never been realised.

Taking Control by Changing Careers

If the reason for losing a job was beyond your control then getting back into the job market isn’t. This is the time to weigh up options and pursue new employment opportunities. It is never too late to jump into a new career whether that means retraining through education or using previous employment skills in a new direction. Don’t limit the job hunt to the same old jobs, branch out and consider passing on work experience skills in areas such as teaching and consulting.

Employment Help for Older Workers

Take the time to look at employment initiatives specifically designed for older workers such as the government’s New Deal for Over 50s. Government agencies can advise on the financial benefits and the grants available for those who wish to retrain for new careers. Full details on this scheme are available from job centres. Also take a look at employment agencies that have been set up for older workers. Wrinklies.co.uk and Dinosaurs Unlimited both have employment opportunities for older workers.

Using Retirement Funds to Start a Business

Retirement and redundancy may be the ideal time open a much dreamed about small business. Investing part of a redundancy payment or pension lump sum into a business can pay off in the long run. Older workers already have a lifetime of work experience, usually gained by running other people’s businesses. This may be the perfect time to turn that knowledge into a business. Always take advice from business organisations such as Business Link to see exactly what is involved in setting up a small business

Educational Courses for Older People

Taking a further education course is an investment. It can open up new job markets and pave the way for a whole new career. Thousands of older people see retirement and redundancy as the perfect time to start an educational course. Organisations such as the Open University mean that studying for qualifications can be undertaken from home at a pace that suits the student. The National Institute for Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) has excellent advice for those considering educational courses.

Preparing for Retirement and Redundancy

If retirement and redundancy are looming then get a head start by preparing for the eventuality. Don’t just sit and wait for a career change, make it happen. Preparation can include:

  • Seeking advice from employment and recruitment agencies
  • Looking into educational courses and retraining options
  • Assessing finances and considering part-time work and job sharing
  • Taking night classes to learn invaluable skills such as computer literacy
  • Join business networking groups to open up new employment opportunities
  • Research the viability of opening up a small business

Passing On Skills By Teaching

Teaching is one of the best ways to pass on previous experience gained in the workplace. Teachers and lecturers are always in demand and there are colleges in need of people with experience in wide range of subjects. It is possible for people with work experience and skills to tutor others on a one to one basis or in classroom setting. Teaching qualifications will be a bonus but are not always necessary when it comes to certain subjects. Colleges do require people with business knowledge and work skills that can be passed on to students.

Retirement and redundancy can open up a world of new employment opportunities. Help and advice is widely available to guide older workers through the process of changing jobs or even starting a business. A career change may seem like a daunting prospect but this should be looked on as golden opportunity to be grabbed with both hands.

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