My first “real” job was as a waitress at a pizza joint in Boulder, Colorado. But, like many kids of my generation, my childhood was filled with odd jobs – delivering newspapers, babysitting and cleaning.
After I graduated from university and started my professional career, I was more than happy to say goodbye to my part-time work. I was determined to make it in the world… and so began four decades of 40-80 hour weeks, meetings, conference calls and (dare I admit it) suits with padded shoulders. Remember those?
Here’s the funny thing though… the older I get, the more I am drawn to the part-time work of my childhood. As the examples below will demonstrate, it’s not just about the money. There are several side-benefits of “jobs for teens” that actually make them perfect for jobs for seniors.
So, here is a look at 7 jobs that we had as teenagers that we may want to consider now that we are approaching retirement.
Dog Walking – Get Fit, While Making Friends (and Cash!)
If you are fit (or want to get fit!) dog walking can be a great part-time work option. Not only could you potentially make $20-30 per walk (per dog!) but you will also have a great excuse to get out of the house.
So, why is dog walking a great option for many seniors? Actually, there are several reasons!
First, many of us have lived in our neighborhoods for years, if not decades. As a result, we know our neighbors better than anyone. And, since our first customers will likely be people we know, we have a head start over our younger competitors.
Second, many seniors, including myself, have allowed our fitness goals to fall by the side of the road in recent years. I can’t think of a more effective (or entertaining) way to get in shape than by taking one or more dogs to the park!
Third, dog walking gives us an opportunity to stay social, especially if we live alone. Dogs are natural conversation starters and what place to meet new people than while surrounded by nature and furry cuteness?
Finally, as a dog walker, you can work as many or as few hours per week as you want. If you really hustle, you could conceivably fill your day with furry friends. Or, you could relax and look after just a few dogs at a time.
To get started, talk to your neighbors, or search for “Dog Walking Agency Near Me” in Google.
Tutoring – Change a Life and Enrich Your Own
I was never a tutor, but, several of my university friends were… and they absolutely loved it!
Just like the other ideas in this article, what I love about the idea of tutoring young people is that it provides the opportunity to acquire more than just money.
For starters, tutoring is a great way to give back to the world, while making a little extra cash. When you give to charity, you make a one-time impact on the world, but, when you help a child to learn, your efforts echo through time. And, as a wise man once said, “We all need to be needed.”
The reverse is also true. Kids teach us. When we interact with young people, we become younger ourselves, perhaps not in our outward appearance, but, certainly in our perspective on life.
If you plan on working in a school environment, you may need to acquire one or more certifications, but, in most places, private tutors, working from their (or their customers’) home don’t need any special credentials.
Once again, a great place to get started with tutoring is by reaching out to the families and schools in your neighborhood. You could also join one of the online tutoring platforms, like tutors.com, but, in my experience, the local approach works best.
Babysitting – It’s Not as Bad as You Remember!
When I left high school, I swore to myself that I would never babysit again. Actually, I’m pretty sure that I swore never to have kids of my own… although, fortunately, that changed as I got a little older.
But, could babysitting be a great job option for some older adults? Look, I’ll be honest here, babysitting isn’t for everyone. Those of you who have grandkids will be especially unlikely to want to spend your Saturday nights in the company of Barney the Purple Dinosaur and the Cookie Monster.
That said, I actually have several friends, all in their 60s and 70s, who have embraced babysitting as a way to earn some extra income, while staying young at heart.
While writing this article, I spoke with my friend Emily, who had this to say about her part-time babysitting work, “After leaving my corporate job, I was determined never to go back to work. I didn’t want to do marketing consulting… and I definitely didn’t want to work retail. My return to babysitting started innocently enough. My neighbor had a small emergency and asked me to stay with her two daughters. We had a great time and the girls asked if they could play with me again. Now, I babysit for three families in the neighborhood. You know what, I actually enjoy playing with kids. And, I like being able to give them back even more! Plus, the money’s actually better than you might think!”
These Ideas for Jobs for Seniors Are Just the Beginning – Here Are 4 More!
One of the great things about being retired is that you finally get to live life on your own terms. If you don’t want to work, don’t work! But, if you do want to stay social, while making a little extra cash, here are a few more ideas that we can borrow from our childhood:
- Gardening – Enjoy your time outside and get paid to create living art
- Housekeeper – Yes, I have friends who find cleaning relaxing
- Barista – My favorite barista is a 60+ year-old granny. She rocks my coffee!
- Pet Sitting – Get paid to play with your favorite 4-legged friends
Of course, if you are looking for something a bit more lucrative, you could always try your hand at freelancing, consulting or starting your own business. I’m fully aware that we are capable of doing pretty much anything we set our minds to in retirement. But, if part-time work is the name of the game, maybe it’s time to return to your teenage roots.
Do you plan on working in retirement? Do any of the jobs for seniors mentioned in this article appeal to you? Why or why not?