Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Something New

Many people I know who have decided to retire did so because, well, they were tired. Tired seems a good reason to retire, doesn't it?

Admittedly, working can be a drag, no matter how much you like your job. The workday schedule can become a real nuisance -- getting up, making your way to a job, returning home again. Oh, and there is the actual job itself and its requirements. It's all rather tedious and tiring to be sure and yes, we all need a rest sometimes.

But don't hit the sofa on retirement without considering remaining a part of the work force again. Try to think about your future in a new and refreshing way.

Some folks believe work is an adventure, a challenge, something stimulating. We probably all felt like that when we originally entered the workforce. Working and earning an income was new and exciting.

Don't think about staying at your full-time job until you can no longer stand it. Some morning they might find you slumped over your desk. What a shame.

Consider working part-time.

When I retired, I suddenly felt that I had lost control over the hours of every day. After all, I had worked for nearly 50 years. Work provided a type of rhythm, a framework around which to schedule and complete daily tasks. Work has a pattern, one with which we are all familiar. Discarding the rhythm entirely can be disquieting. Rather than try to switch it off, try to taper off gradually.

After pursuing one career path for so long, I seriously needed a change and was delighted to retire. As I reviewed the summer jobs and the typical part-time employment during college, there were certain work areas in which I no experience.

I had never worked in the food industry. Now in my golden years, this pursuit held little interest. I envisioned waiting on picky food critics such as I had become. Preparing food and serving me was not something I wanted to experience. Anyway, I could do this at home anytime I chose.

Another area I had not tried was working in retail sales. I had accumulated plenty of experience in customer service and had always liked working with people. So I found a part-time job in retail sales.  Diverse. Interesting. Flexible. Suddenly -- and maybe for the first time ever -- I had a job rather than the job having me.  Although that situation did not last more than a few weeks, it was a very good experience and showed me that I could still endure the workplace pace.

You might be surprised at the offerings available for part-time work, even in the current economy. Don't just read the want ads in the local newspaper. Get out there and look for a job. Contact your friends and let them know you are looking for a part-time position.

Make certain that you have a firm grasp of how many hours you would like to work. Some job listings for "part-time" work really mean up to 39½ hours per week. One way that employers can avoid paying benefits is to consider a position of nearly full-time hours as part-time. If you aren't careful, you might soon find yourself working a great many more hours than you either want or need.

At least investigate job opportunities for part-time work in your area. Such an arrangement will allow you to get out, meet people and remain a part of the working community. You will still have plenty of time to continue with other interests. It's a good way to keep active and preserve your self-confidence.

Happy hunting.

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