Seniors, the fastest-growing segment of the workforce, are also the group that’s most likely to feel discouraged when applying for jobs. They don’t have to be. They just need to look for good jobs in better places.
Although the improving economy is putting more seniors to work than at any time since the Great Recession, it takes seniors longer to find work. And nine in 10 have seen or personally suffered some sort of age discrimination. More than one third are likely to feel that they don’t have the training and skills they need to break back into the working world. But about half of the senior workforce say they’re in the job market because they need the money, according to new research by the AARP Public Policy Institute. There are good jobs for seniors, but you need to know where to look.
Good jobs for seniors
The editors of SideHusl.com evaluated more than 200 freelance jobs for their friendliness to seniors, taking a wide array of factors into account, including physical job demands, the need for technological training and the ability to use life skills to gain the necessary experience. Here are the nine most senior-friendly jobs and where to find them.
Already in the habit of watching your children’s pets when they’re away? Plenty of strangers will pay you to do the same for them.
Rover lets you advertise your services as a pet- and/or house-sitter, allowing you to set your rates and availability and designate the type of pets you’re willing to care for. For instance, if you only want to care for small dogs – or cats or rabbits — you can specify that you only take animals that weigh 15 pounds or less. You set the rates, so you have no one to blame but yourself if you’re underpaid. However, the site does nip a 20% commission from your earnings.
Unlike watching your grandkids, which you probably do for free , several sites, including Trusted and UrbanSitter, will help you find babysitting jobs that pay between $15 and $25 per hour. If you don’t want to spend that much time with somebody else’s grandkids, HopSkipDrive and Kango pay $20 to $25 per hour for just picking kids up from school and driving them home or to after-school activities. These sites want child care experience. But personal experience, like watching your own kids and grandkids, counts.
Have an athletic skill and think you can teach it to kids looking to improve their game? Consider signing up for CoachUp, an online platform that connects coaches with the kids who need them. You set the pay but the site takes a hefty commission to provide the marketing.
If you’re among the empty nesters who complain that you’ve forgotten how to cook for less than a crowd, you might want to check out EatWith and DishDivvy. DishDivvy has you make meals for pick-up. Eatwith allows you to schedule dinner parties in your home. In both cases, you set the menu, the prices and your availability. The sites take a commission to book guests and collect payment.
Serve on a focus group
Companies that make everything from toothpaste to cleaning supplies sometimes hire consumers to try out and critique their products and marketing campaigns. FindFocusGroups.com, FieldWork and Consumer Opinion Services allow you to sign up for these focus groups, which pay anywhere from a few dollars to $250 for a few hours of work.
Jury duty may pay just pennies per day. But lawyers who are looking for a good read on how reasonable people might rule on their case pay “mock jurors” much better — $20 to $60 per hour. Three companies – OnLineVerdict, JuryTest and eJury – will sign you up and send you cases to review for pay.
If you’ve developed any skill – from knitting to mastering WordPress or Excel spreadsheets – and think you could teach that skill to others, you can set up a course on Thinkific or Udemy. These sites allow you to video tape your lessons and sell them. The compelling benefit: You do the work once, but get paid each time the classes sell.
Retired lawyer Ella Taylor says she earns between $15 and $27 per hour tutoring kids in English and preparing them for the law school admission exam through Varsity Tutors. However, other sites, including Wyzant, will also help you arrange both remote and in-person tutoring jobs in pretty much any topic you can imagine, including language, art and music. If you can teach music, also sign up with LessonFace, which allows you to teach music online.
Provide professional services
If you’re a retired professional, you can find part-time professional work through several websites. FlexProfessionals specializes in high-end legal, accounting and human resource workers, while sites ranging from Upwork to Fiverr, find jobs in a wide array of work categories all the way up and down the corporate ladder.