Career Planning for Baby Boomers – Re-Entering the Workforce

Career Planning for Baby Boomers – Re-Entering the Workforce

Studies have shown that a large segment of mature people now want to stay employed or re-enter the workforce at the middle aged stage. There are several reasons as to why more mature people choose to start working again and many of these can be inter-connected.

The reasons why mature workers remain motivated for staying in, or re-entering the workforce, can be diverse and include:

o A necessity based approach that if focused on wages and pay.

o Satisfaction based, from contribution to economy and social contacts in the workplace (important especially for women or people living alone)

o Continuing usage of skills and abilities, expertise and capacities that are relevant to the workplace but with limited visibility and relevance outside.

o A good set of principles and work ethics, or a good set of values they have about work

o Complete pleasure and satisfaction in working, or comfort and familiarity with regular routines

However, most senior citizens don’t necessarily have to work where they worked before, or they don’t need to work in the same style as before. In fact, a considerably large number don’t want just any ordinary job, they want a kind of occupation or vocation that will allow them to fully express their interests and beliefs, values and morals and even changing objectives. While most mature adults can be looking for changes as to where and how they would like to work, for others, work might actually be something akin to a financial necessity. Today, in the United States, people aged over 45 are increasingly getting back into work, largely because they need good health care coverage, for example.

Financial independence is also and important factor in the work force re-entry of mature women. In the group of ethnically and economically diverse mature women in America, freedom from men seems to be a major motivation for work. Part of this emphasis on freedom from men – be it financial or any other sort of ties (whether spouses or children) comes from past negative experiences, some from the perceived risks of divorce, separation, abandonment, and ill treatment, faced by dependent women.

A number of reasons, in addition to the financial ones drive older, more mature people to get back to working. These may range from the fitness to the social issues. The reasons why mature adults re-enter the workforce are:

o To remain physically as well as mentally active.

o Due to family and relationship changes

o Job satisfaction

o Because they need a routine

o Want more to do

o Crave for more social contacts that can only be provided by work

The ones who do retire may not permanently leave the workforce, finding retirement less enjoyable than expected and may soon re-enter the workforce.

As increasing number of mature workers enter the workforce, there is an increasing number of 50+-year-old job seekers. Barriers, real or perceived, and the expectation of rejection undermine morale, and hurt self-confidence. Despite legislation making age discrimination illegal, it can be quite problematic, particularly for the unemployed seeking work out of necessity.

Some of the negative aspects that are attributed to older workers are:

o Lack of creativity and flexibility

o Outdated and archaic skills and abilities

o Tend to be accident prone

o Less capable of physical labor

o Poor health

In fact, research shows that older workers are:

o Faithful

o Trustworthy

o Diligent workers

o Productive

o Sophisticated

o Enthusiastic

o More experienced

o Dedicated