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Can You Make The Leap To Part-Time?

April 9, 2018

It’s no secret that retirement is losing popularity among boomer professional. Much has been reported on the fact that workers of this age are more reluctant to abandon their careers entirely and are seeking other ways to achieve a work-life balance they’ve worked their whole lives for. Some have criticized boomers for being selfish in this aspect, accusing them of having their cake and eating it too – one foot in retirement, one foot in the workforce and taking the place of a younger professional trying to get their career started. We’ve covered the variety of ways in which this perspective is wrong but suffice to say boomers have developed a thick skin for such accusations. However, there are several larger, more obstructive roadblocks standing between them and their career goals.

If there is an overarching weakness of the boomer generation (not to generalize too much) it is that they seem to lack appropriate foresight. Again and again, we have seen boomers running into problems in situations where the solution was simply to plan ahead. Studies show that even if they wanted to retire, the majority of boomers have not saved properly. Likewise, many who have chosen to retire have done so without a sufficient plan and are forced to return to work. Boomers are healthier and more active than previous generations at this age, and that gives them the sense that they can’t put things off for longer than is recommended.  This problem is reflected also in the “second act” careers of many boomers.

The purpose of the second-act careers is usually a way of allowing these experienced professionals to remain active in the workforce while still enjoying other aspects of their life or pursuing long-held passions. That is why many choose the so-called “phased retirement” in which that switch from full-time to part-time work. This might seem like a fairly painless transition that gets you closer to the freedom of retirement without sacrificing your entire career. But without forming a plan for achieving this, many boomers find themselves going through business as usual, so to speak.

First thing you need to know before making this change, it’s never going to feel just right. Make no mistake, you should be feel good about the decision and you should certainly feel prepare financially and mentality to make such a change. But if you’re waiting for all the stars to be aligned and conditions to be perfect for this transition, then you’re going to be left waiting a long time. There are likely certain things that need to be in place for this to work, but it’s unrealistic to think the whole thing will be a breeze. Prepare the necessities and take the plunge.

One of those necessities would certainly be confirming whether or not there is a part-time position available for you, and unfortunately, that is one of the harder aspects of this transition. You would think that a professional with 20+ years experience would have no trouble locking down part-time work, but many employers are resistant to this. As such transitions become more common and as the benefits of having such experience becomes more recognized, we could start to see employers open up more. However, assuming that your employer is willing to allow you to continue your job on a part-time basis is a mistake. Have a discussion with you employer about your intentions. Have a plan to present about how you are going to achieve this. In the end, it is still their decision and that decision may still be one that you don’t like – but give them the chance to keep you happy and keep you a part of the team. If not, seek out those avenues where such opportunities are possible – much like BoomersPlus. Our clients are all seeking skilled and proven talent to help their business grow.

If this is a transition you want to make then you’re going to have to fight for it. There will not be any short-cuts and if there are you probably shouldn’t be taking them. Sacrifices may be needed but to achieve the career you want and deserve, it might just be worth fighting for.

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