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Pattie Lovett-Reid

Chief Financial Commentator, CTV


Longevity is increasing, debt levels are rising, and for some, traditional retirement seems to be a thing of the past.

On a year-over-year basis, people 55 and older have the fastest rate of employment growth (+3.6 per cent or +133,000) compared with the other demographic group, according to Statistics Canada. This is encouraging for those who want to work.

There was a time when it was thought the workforce was designed to push people out at 65. In some cases, that may still happen. However, the last thing this economy needs is to have boomers retiring in large numbers, leaving a void of expertise, knowledge, maturity and great insight. Boomers have lived a lifetime and read more, have travelled more, and worked more than any other generation. This experience simply can’t be replicated that easily.

Whether it’s personal satisfaction, or financial need, many people want to work once they retire. It is a wonderful situation to be in – working because you want to versus because you have to. For those that have to, it is important to been seen in the right light. No one wants to hired someone because they’ve stated they are bored and looking for a change. A prospective employer wants someone who is engaged, driven and committed to working hard for them.

If you are looking for an encore performance, here are a few tips:

1. There's no harm in taking a temporary position. You may decide to use your knowledge and expertise in a temporary assignment or contract situation. There are many employers interested in hiring on a project-by-project basis. Plus, they don’t have to provide benefits, which many retirees already have. This type of situation offers flexibility to both the employee and the employer should things not work out.
2. Answer broadly. Employers aren’t supposed to ask you your age, so as broadly as they may ask the question, be prepared to respond equally as broadly. This is where a functional resume versus a chronological one comes into play. Showcase your experiences without dating them. No need to include dates for jobs or schooling.
3. Consider volunteer work. Recognizing there is little or no compensation, it is good experience and can open doors that could lead to paid employment.
4, Stay current. Consider taking a course to upgrade your skills and maintain your professional designations as applicable.
5. Do your research. Learn about the company before your interview, and go in prepared to ask well-thought-out questions. Be sure to close the interview by asking for the job and reiterating that no one will work harder for them than you will.