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Part-time and full-time work opportunities - Q&A with Tim Drake

(19 Posts)
LauraGransnet (GNHQ) Fri 07-Jul-17 11:33:04

In the UK, life expectancy has increased dramatically in the last century and, with it, our need to be financially active beyond the current retirement age. But what can we do when we find ourselves retired or redundant with a reduced income or a skinny pension?

Pension worries, the rising cost of care and longer, healthier lives means that working after 50 is becoming an accepted and necessary part of normal life. In fact, recent figures show that in the UK almost 20% of people say they will never be able to retire fully due to insufficient incomes and savings.

Author, thought leader and septuagenarian Tim Drake will be answering all your questions on how to have a second career in your 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond.

His practical new book, Generation Cherry, is published by Red Door and is available online and from all good booksellers.

Please add your questions for Tim to the thread by 12pm Friday 21 July.

Serkeen Sat 08-Jul-17 07:29:00

Hi Tim best wishes for your new book..As I get older the thought of working from home attracts me more, what options are there for work from home for the over 50's

Thank you

Pittcity Sat 08-Jul-17 08:10:42

DH and I would love to get part time jobs to keep us busy and earn some pocket money. The problem is that we live in a University town and the students get the jobs. The minimum wage is less for youngsters and employers see low cost before they see experience. Any tips?

cornergran Sat 08-Jul-17 23:41:06

I've moved to a new area, have no professional contacts and my professional accreditation has lapsed. I'd love to work, part time, but following my professional path is impossible. So, how do I - or anyone almost 70 - begin again when physicality precludes standing for long periods or largely physical work such as that available in the DIY sheds?

Gillyanne Wed 12-Jul-17 11:34:44

Hi Tim ... I really hope the book does well . I retired in the past year , have qualifications that could be used but have moved to a Market Town to escape from London and due to lack of contacts and knowhow I dont know how to start again after years of being employed by others. I would like to work part time to generate extra income and give me an interest out side the home.

GranJan60 Wed 12-Jul-17 12:46:24

Would be very interested in tips. Redundant at 60 and no s/pension for 6 yr. although qualified and get interviews, feedback is inevitably "over experienced" ie too old. Have been job hunting for 2 years now, but not willing to move house/zero hours contract so nothing doing. Really low wages too.

lizzypopbottle Wed 12-Jul-17 15:11:02

I've posted questions for these discussions in the past and looked for the results subsequently but can never find them. Is there a podcast? Is there a transcript somewhere? It never says in the op.

gillybob Thu 13-Jul-17 10:14:55

Hi Tim

My husband and I have a 10 year age gap that didn't seem to matter all those years ago when we got together.
We run our own (struggling) engineering business (employing 5 other people) and planned that he would work until he was 70 (daunting I know) until I was able to retire at 60 when we would both draw our state pensions. We knew that we would have to live a fairly frugal lifestyle but even this is looking impossible as goal posts have been changed dramatically now and it appears that I will be at least 67 before I can draw my pension. Fools that we are, we have ploughed everything we have into the business, downsized our home etc. and exhausted all other options. There is no way on this earth my husband could keep up this level of work until he is 77 years old but we have a mortgage and bills to pay.

I know I am probably asking the impossible but wonder if you can offer any advice whatsoever.

50socks Wed 19-Jul-17 17:45:39

struggling with ill health so finding work difficult, aged 59, how easy is it to turn a hobby into an income

sucraft Thu 20-Jul-17 17:06:08

My husband has signed up with various agencies - is this the best way forward? Are there other ways of finding work, please? He has no qualifications, and has really enjoyed caretaking work and being a hospital porter

LauraGransnet (GNHQ) Mon 31-Jul-17 14:31:36

Tim has answered all your questions below.

TimDrake Mon 31-Jul-17 14:32:55

Serkeen

Hi Tim best wishes for your new book..As I get older the thought of working from home attracts me more, what options are there for work from home for the over 50's

Thank you

Hi Serkeen,

Thanks for the question and good wishes for the book.

There are lots for opportunities for working from home for the over 50ies – although age (as for many things) doesn’t – or shouldn’t - come into it.

But the first thing I would advise is not to rush it. Take you time to evaluate what you want to do with your life, and how you want to spend your time. There is no rush, and deciding in haste could involve you in lots of work, which ends up being just that – work. Work you find interesting and fulfilling doesn’t feel like work.

And it’s worth being aware from the start that there is plenty of research that shows that self- employed people – which you are more than likely to be, working from home - are generally much happier, and more fulfilled, but are generally financially worse off.

So first of all have a hard think about what sort of work you would like to do. Listen to your heart. Make list of what interests you – what turns you on. Then look online for what is going on in that area.

There are the obvious sources of income that can be generated using the opportunities provided by the internet – Airbnb, Uber, Etsy, Ebay etc . These will enable you to use your natural skills, assets or interests.

And there are lots of freelancing websites to look at, like Freelancer.com - you just need to find one that suits your skills and talents. Also do think about finding training courses to prepare and qualify you for the sort of work you are interested in.

For this, look at so-called Moocs – Massive Open Online Courses – they’re free, or inexpensive, online courses offered by universities, or platforms like FutureLearn or Coursera. These courses are useful in themselves, but also offer “nanodegrees” and “microcredentials” to show you have put in some effort.

Learning in the widest sense is enjoyable and fulfilling. And if you are in your fifties, there are decades of opportunities ahead of you in the area of work and learning.

Very good luck in your future!

TimDrake Mon 31-Jul-17 14:36:22

Pittcity

DH and I would love to get part time jobs to keep us busy and earn some pocket money. The problem is that we live in a University town and the students get the jobs. The minimum wage is less for youngsters and employers see low cost before they see experience. Any tips?

Very good question.

One answer of course is to earn money online in the gig economy. It takes you out of the geography of the university town you live in. Ebay – or Etsy – or the like – can turn any skills or hobbies you have into useful income. Likewise Airbnb could be a source of income from visiting parents etc.

If it’s real world work/income you are after, it’s worth finding employers who are older worker friendly and who actively pursue an age diverse work place, such as B&Q, Barclays and Boots. Remember you have the benefit as an employee not only of wisdom and experience, but you are also available in term time as well as the holidays.

The students are likely to win a high number of local jobs that don't require experience or expertise so hunt down opportunities with businesses who do demand either or both. I have got to know the team at Greydient Jobs recently too and they champion the benefits of employing older workers with open-minded local businesses. Check them out at GreydientJobs.co.uk. They are happy to offer help and advice.

Also, go online to find other jobsites specializing in jobs – part time as well as full time - for more mature workers. Apart from Greydient, there are sites like www.indeed.co.uk/Mature-People-Required-jobs.

And ask friends in similar situations what they have found. In doing so, you might form a group – a co-operative if you like – of people who share this information. You might even become the go-to people for reliable, talented older workers – and it might even provide some income!

TimDrake Mon 31-Jul-17 14:37:26

cornergran

I've moved to a new area, have no professional contacts and my professional accreditation has lapsed. I'd love to work, part time, but following my professional path is impossible. So, how do I - or anyone almost 70 - begin again when physicality precludes standing for long periods or largely physical work such as that available in the DIY sheds?

Hi cornergran,

Nearing seventy means you are still relatively young – and employable, even if your body doesn’t enjoy standing around for too long.

As you were in a profession of some kind, you are obviously able to absorb knowledge, and you probably enjoy learning.

First of all, take advantage of the opportunity to have a hard think about areas of work you might be interested in, now you have the chance to explore them. Then think about finding training courses to prepare and qualify you for the sort of work you are looking for.

One way to do this is to look at so-called Moocs – Massive Open Online Courses - they are free, or inexpensive, online courses offered by universities, or platforms like FutureLearn or Coursera. These courses are useful in themselves, but also offer “nanodegrees” and “microcredentials” to show you have put in some effort. Or if time is not a problem, look at the University of the Third Age.

You might enjoy the learning in new areas, as well as potentially benefiting further by gaining income by employing your newfound knowledge.

And don’t forget the obvious sources of income that can be generated using the opportunities provided by the internet – Airbnb, Uber, Etsy, Ebay etc . These will enable you to use your natural skills, assets or interests, as well as potentially developing a wider range of friends and contacts.

Very good luck!

TimDrake Mon 31-Jul-17 14:42:29

Gillyanne

Hi Tim ... I really hope the book does well . I retired in the past year , have qualifications that could be used but have moved to a Market Town to escape from London and due to lack of contacts and knowhow I dont know how to start again after years of being employed by others. I would like to work part time to generate extra income and give me an interest out side the home.

Hi Gillyanne,

Thanks for the kind words about the book.

It’s great that you have qualifications that can be used, but it’s also important that you use them in situations and with people with whom you feel comfortable. So don’t rush too fast into anything until you feel it is right for you.

It’s best to approach the opportunity to find interesting part time work on as broad a front as possible. That way you are more like to have choices. So enquire at the local library, or any social gathering in your market town that might be relevant, and seek out what is going on. Find out which organisations locally are engaged in your sort of work, or the areas you are interested in, and find someone to talk to there.

Most people and organisations are keen to help. If they can’t help, always ask for a referral – ie, say something like “who do you suggest I talk to locally to find something suitable?” People love to be asked for help, and you will find you will seldom get a refusal. And then ask the same question of the person you are referred to.

At the same time, go online, and do two things. Firstly look for groups who are involved in your sort of work, and join one or two that look promising. There may not be many members in your area, but again, if you ask, they may know people who are local to you.

Secondly, look at so-called Moocs – Massive Open Online Courses - that are free, or inexpensive, online courses offered by universities, or platforms like FutureLearn or Coursera. These courses are useful in themselves, but also offer “nanodegrees” and “microcredentials” to show you have put in some effort. Or if time is not a problem, look at the University of the Third Age.

This will have two benefits. The first is to bring you up to speed on what is going on in your area of expertise. The second is to get you thinking about how you might adapt it to the situation you find yourself in.

Good luck!

TimDrake Mon 31-Jul-17 14:45:09

GranJan60

Would be very interested in tips. Redundant at 60 and no s/pension for 6 yr. although qualified and get interviews, feedback is inevitably "over experienced" ie too old. Have been job hunting for 2 years now, but not willing to move house/zero hours contract so nothing doing. Really low wages too.

Hi GranJan60

Your situation sounds very challenging. It must be very frustrating to know you could do a job being offered very well, but to feel you are being discriminated against due to your age.

The first thing to do – which I am sure you are already doing – is to make sure your attitude going in to an interview is of being open and interested. As we all know, attitude is everything. To help in this, it might be worth trying to imagine yourself as a thirty year old applying for the job.

This might have two benefits. Firstly, it would reduce any feeling that you believed you were over-qualified, and the job was somehow beneath you, which might induce the interviewer to think you might intimidate the other workers.

Secondly, you would be presenting yourself more as a promising youngster, who would bring enthusiasm and freshness to the job. Rather than as someone who had been there, and done that.

At the same time, it’s worth taking a look at so-called Moocs – Massive Open Online Courses - that are free, or inexpensive, online courses offered by universities, or platforms like FutureLearn or Coursera. These courses are useful in themselves, but also offer “nanodegrees” and “microcredentials” to show you have put in some effort.

This will have two benefits. The first is to bring you up to speed on what is going on in your area of expertise. The second is to make sure that when you go to an interview, you are not only up to date with what is going on in your area of work but also that you have a fresh enthusiasm for it.

Another route to employment you might consider is to look at other areas of work that interest you, where you wouldn’t be over qualified. You might find a chance to do something you found fresh and exciting.

Good luck!

TimDrake Mon 31-Jul-17 14:53:21

gillybob

Hi Tim

My husband and I have a 10 year age gap that didn't seem to matter all those years ago when we got together.
We run our own (struggling) engineering business (employing 5 other people) and planned that he would work until he was 70 (daunting I know) until I was able to retire at 60 when we would both draw our state pensions. We knew that we would have to live a fairly frugal lifestyle but even this is looking impossible as goal posts have been changed dramatically now and it appears that I will be at least 67 before I can draw my pension. Fools that we are, we have ploughed everything we have into the business, downsized our home etc. and exhausted all other options. There is no way on this earth my husband could keep up this level of work until he is 77 years old but we have a mortgage and bills to pay.

I know I am probably asking the impossible but wonder if you can offer any advice whatsoever.

Hi gillybob

That’s a cracker of a question!

My book in fact deals with areas like what I called Enlightened Thrift, but you seem to be dealing with Enforced Thrift! Big time.

But the same rules apply. However difficult things are – and you look be operating at a level that is little short of heroic – always remember that all the important things in life have no monetary value.

Friendship, love, caring, kindness, humour, going for walks, music, generosity, courage, enthusiasm – all have a human, rather than a financial value. They are what is important in life. Remember Dorothy Parker’s telling phrase, “you can tell what God thinks of money by the people he gives it to”. I don’t underestimate the pain that a shortage of money brings – I have had the odd challenge myself – but I do know keeping a perspective of what true poverty is in the grand scheme of things is important.

I also understand the responsibility you feel not just to each other, but your five employees. Again, I’ve been there. However it ends up, the crucial thing to remember in the years ahead, is that you acted honourably. Hopefully, whatever happens, you both have decades of life ahead of you, and it is crucial that these years are blessed with a feeling of pride in having done the right things, rather than shame in not having done so.

And please don’t regret remortgaging your house (you call yourself fools for having done so). It was a brave act, and could have come off, and has provided you both, and your five staff, with meaningful employment. Engineering is something the country needs more of, in terms of skills and experience, and as such is a very worthwhile industry to work in.

With the age gap between you and your husband, the changes in government pension policy have obviously conspired against you. Your husband is presumably already, or near to, drawing his pension (for what it’s worth in the context you are operating in).

You will no doubt have gone through all the changes you can make to how you operate your business to make it more profitable. But it may still be worth getting a fresh pair of eyes in to take a look. Talking to someone at Business in the Community may lead to a free mentor – a retired engineer in your area of work, for example, who could give a fresh perspective, and perhaps some useful contacts, or people to talk to. If they can’t help, ask them if they know anyone who could. Most people are only too keen to help and support, given the chance.

Importantly, you and your husband will need to be open to advice. In your position it is all too easy to believe you have already explored all possible avenues of action, and there are no solutions out there. This is very understandable, but you both may need to steel yourself to listen. There may be something that helps improve your situation – even if it is just introducing you to a potential client, who may be looking for just what you have to offer.

It is crucial not to let go of hope. There may be things you can do to improve things – even if it is just putting your home on Airbnb to help pay the mortgage, or hiring your engineering works out as a film set from time to time.

Go for it, and very good luck.

TimDrake Mon 31-Jul-17 14:54:59

50socks

struggling with ill health so finding work difficult, aged 59, how easy is it to turn a hobby into an income

Hi 50socks,

As you will know, ill health makes a challenging situation a whole lot more challenging.

Having said that it is worth Googling the people with health conditions who achieved great things – from Catherine Zeta Jones in our own day, who is said to be bipolar, to Beethoven, who became profoundly deaf while still composing great music.

Presumably your health condition still allows you to enjoy your hobby, which is good news. So the next step is to visit websites like Ebay and Etsy, and have a good look round at what is going on.

Ebay is a trading platform, which will give you the opportunity to sell whatever it is your hobby produces, and Etsy specialises in craft object of many kinds.

They key thing is not to take one look, and think you understand how the platform (and other similar ones) work. Take your time. Experiment a bit, so you can get a real handle on the marketplace for the object or objects your hobby produces. Find out what works, without investing too much time or money in producing stuff that might not be relevant to this market (though it might be to another one).

Enjoy finding out how the whole thing works. Try things out without spending a fortune. Remember the founders of Innocent Drinks sold their early versions of their orange juice drink at a small festival on a green in Fulham. They had two bins for the empty beakers, marked “Good” and “Don’t give up the day job”!

You may be rich one day!

Good luck!

TimDrake Mon 31-Jul-17 14:55:51

sucraft

My husband has signed up with various agencies - is this the best way forward? Are there other ways of finding work, please? He has no qualifications, and has really enjoyed caretaking work and being a hospital porter

Hi sucraft,

Your husband sounds like someone who enjoys looking after the practical side of things for people, and making sure they run smoothly. People sound as important to him as things.

Before looking at the wider opportunities, let’s deal with the various jobs agencies you mention. Some are very good, but you need to keep on their case - constantly upgrading his cv so it’s fresh (add details that pop up in his memory from time to time of things that went well, and ways he contributed. A good one to look at is GreydientJobs.co.uk.

They are happy to offer help and advice, and specialise in work for older people. As does www.indeed.co.uk/Mature-People-Required-jobs. It’s worth looking at both part time as well as full time work.

Back to your husband’s skills. Although he has no formal qualifications, it sounds like he is pretty qualified at being thorough in looking after things - while enjoying it - and taking pride in his work. These are invaluable skills. People with enthusiasm and pride in their work are highly valued.

I’m sure he has already done so, but he should get as many references as possible from previous employers. If they are good, and it sounds like they would be, they will be gold dust in looking for a job.

Again, this may already be in progress, but it would be useful to put together a Job Wanted advertisement, to put on the noticeboards of the local doctors/library/hospital/ primary schools etc.

If you have a relative or friend who is remotely artistic, ask them to make it look as professional as possible. It could use computer graphics or be hand crafted – but try to give it some personality, to reflect your husband’s enjoyment in his work.

A final thought. With coffee shops losing many of their staff as Brexit increases uncertainty for foreign workers, it may be worth enquiring whether they are looking for a part time grey barista with people skills!

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