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5 Tips For Finding Meaningful Part-Time Work

April 23, 2018

Think you can’t find challenging and fulfilling opportunities with part-time work? Think again.

Part-time work later in your career offers a lot of opportunities to achieve a more fulfilling work-life balance. However, the very thought of part-time work still fills some boomer professionals with dread. Part-time work is often seen as a stepping-stone position and not a place you would find meaningful work. While many boomer professionals would like the opportunity to reduce their work hours without retiring, they still want to feel engaged in their work. But part-time work and meaningful work are not mutually exclusive concepts. You are able to find the opportunities that afford you more time outside work while still challenging you and leaving you fulfilled in your job. Here’s how to find these opportunities.

Consider your interests.

It’s hard to define what exactly meaningful work is. There are many ways it can be interpreted, but certainly, one can find real meaning in work that they have a vested interest in. So many boomers started careers as a way to make a living, without much concern for whether or not they were actually passionate about the work. Some took pride in the fact that they had a talent for the job while some grew to find passion in their work. But finding a career you’re passionate about has become a priority among the younger generations and boomers are starting to follow the same path. When you are looking to make the switch to a more flexible work schedule, seek out those opportunities that speak to you personally. It will help you remain engaged with work even at a reduced schedule while adding to your more fulfilling work-life balance.

Expand on your old job.

Perhaps you are one of those lucky professionals who has genuine passion for the career they have built, so why not continue that passion through this career transition? While it does not always work out, when you’re looking to transition to part-time work, being able to do it in your current position is the easiest method. Many boomers resist retirement not only because they wish to remain engaged in work, but also because they don’t want to walk away from a career that, for many of them, they have been in for decades. Remaining working in the same position with the benefits of a reduced work schedule would be ideal for many.

Embrace your network.

We have always tried to emphasis the importance a professional and personal network plays in searching for new career opportunities. This is again another situation in which your valued contacts can help you find meaningful employment that meet your current priorities. Ask around about any such opportunities, talk to your colleagues about what you want to accomplish with this transition. These are people that know you and can therefore give insight into opportunities that would provide meaningful work for you. Maybe some have attempted a similar transition themselves. Keep those connections strong because you never know when one of them will have the answer you’re looking for.

Volunteer to explore options.

Sometimes the right opportunities aren’t available, other times they aren’t clear. Having to seek out new opportunities late in your career can be daunting and the challenge might put off some professionals. There is a thought that if meaningful work hasn’t been discovered yet, how likely are you to find it in the second act of your career? Well, if you how to look for it, it can be very likely. Volunteering is a great way to explore your passions, get a sense for new work and hone your specific skills, all while providing help to organization that very much need it. Find volunteer opportunities in areas that appeal to you and explore whether you can see yourself in that type of work.

Make your own opportunities.

When the opportunity doesn’t present itself, then you make it yourself. That is the sort of strong-willed thinking that many boomers preach to younger generations. But when it comes time to practice what they preach, are they up to taking their own advice? Make no mistake, you securing the exact part-time job you want – one that fulfills your schedule needs as well as provide you with meaningful purpose – is not a guarantee. So when you can’t find the opportunities out there, what is your next move? If you are dedicated to finding meaningful work in this capacity, take the initiative. Freelance, contract, even recreating your current position to make it work for both you and your organization are all options you have at your disposal. It will take hard work to see through, but when has that ever stopped you?


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