Written by on Friday, July 19, 2013
Many seniors are redefining what it means to be "retired." Instead of sitting by the pool or spending most perfecting your golf swing, many are returning to work to follow their passions and stay busy doing what they love. It's the baby boomer generation that are entering the workforce and taking retirement living into their own hands. However, some companies hire more older workers than others. Older employees increasingly need and want to work, so there is no guarantee that baby boomers will retire in the near future at the typical retirement age.
The percentage of people who are 65 and older in the labor force has increased from 12.1 percent in 1990 to 16.1 percent in 2010. The Census is also predicting a 67 percent increase in the 65-and-older population between 2015 and 2040. By 2019, workers 55 and older will make up about 25 percent of the workforce. Working into old age offers many benefits, including mental engagement and an income boost. There are always opportunities for jobs with flexible hours and schedules, both part-time and seasonal. This time around, choose a job not because of the financial benefits, but based on your interest and passions. This is the time to really do what you love.
If you're looking to pursue your interests, here are some of the top Fortune 500 companies for retirees. These employers recognize that older workers have a strong presence and that workers of the same age may be more likely to fit in with the culture of the organization.
1. American Airlines: Approximately 39 percent of the employees at this airline are age 50 and older.
2. Eastman Kodak: 38 percent
3. TravelCenters of America: 38 percent
4. Delta Air Lines: 37 percent
5. United Airlines: 37 percent
6. Weyerhaeuser: 36 percent
7. Edison International: 36 percent
8. Northeast Utilities: 36 percent
9. Smithfield Foods: 35 percent
10. United Services Automobile Association: 35 percent
If you're looking to enter the job market again, there are a few things you can do to get a step up on the competition:
Network: Getting a job is all about who you know. Use career-based social media websites like LinkedIn, SimplyHired or CareerSonar to find people in the career circle who may be able to find you a position.
Stay positive: If you have energy and enthusiasm, employers will see that and it will make the search much more enjoyable.
Career expert Miriam Cohen Salpeter put it perfectly, saying "It's not who you are that holds you back, it's who you think you're not." Age shouldn't be a factor in following your dreams.