A 2015 Al Pacino movie ‘The Intern’ showed the possibilities and importance of an older adult’s contribution to the economy and society post-retirement. Developed nations have well-structured senior programmes with pensions, social support, interest groups, and associations for activities and interests. A profession after 60 is a legitimate possibility for those who don’t want to fully retire and it is possible to consider a late-career change in this modern world.
The number of people 60 and older in India will rise to 319 million by 2050. The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation in its Vision 2047 document mentions, “increasing the retirement age, going forward, could be considered in line with the experience of other countries and will be key to the viability of pension systems.”
It is a proposal that will take a few years to become reality. Rather than retiring, many people will re-enter or stay in the workforce for financial reasons, especially considering that less than 11 per cent of older adults in India have a pension. Other people simply want to follow a passion or try something new, given the opportunity.
If you're over 60 and looking to change careers, it's easier now than ever to pick a new career path thanks to shifts in work culture, technology, and education opportunities. Many job search company websites and LinkedIn are good resources for job seekers, alongside network-generated leads, social work opportunities, and traditional business-based employment.
Virtual work opportunities for older adults
Many people have opportunities now to work digitally without even having to go into an office. With a computer, a decent internet connection, and a little technical know-how, using Zoom, Slack, and Google tools allows the office to be within your home, which may work well with retired personnel who are yet to fully retire and are looking for work to simply keep contributing their experience.
More and more companies offer employees the option to work remotely, and this flexibility is changing the way people view their careers. Employees with health and mobility issues who might otherwise retire early can work with more comfort from their homes or on the go while visiting relatives.
Working from home isn't just a perk for employees—it's also good for employers. Companies increasingly realise that remote workers are just as productive as their office-bound counterparts. In fact, some studies suggest that remote workers may even be more productive because they're not distracted by coworkers or office noise.
Entrepreneurship for older adults
People over 60 are starting their own businesses and becoming their own bosses either by creating their own company or opting to become a freelancer and managing their own schedules.
Launchpad/accelerator programs can be beneficial for people with new businesses to help them get the support and mentorship they need to start something new in a digital world. Many SME business owners in India choose to move away from their businesses but have much experience and expertise to become consultants to newer businesses. If they could be trained in basic digital skills, they wouldn’t have to sit idle or lonely.
Upskilling and reskilling for online jobs
Learning the latest technology and software used for new job positions is essential for older adults to stay afloat in the digital job market.
The bottom line is that it's never too late to make a career change. People over 60 have experience on their side—they've already learnt so much about what works and what doesn't when it comes to getting ahead in life. They can take those skills now and apply them to digital jobs that offer a lot more flexibility and a fun new challenge!