Today’s world is much different than at any other time for the over-55 generation. Loss of employment, the fear of getting the axe, an unexpected credit burden or even foreclosure or worries about foreclosure have made early retirement unthinkable for many older workers. In fact, some people believe they will be working for more years than they once imagined.
What’s worse than the sudden loss of employment for people in their 50s, is the difficulty in getting hired in a full-time position at good wages. It’s especially hurtful when you have the education and experience that would be beneficial to most companies. And yet, the underlying reality of age discrimination rears its ugly head. Many older workers are shocked to learn they can only find $8- to $10-an-hour jobs following a sudden layoff after many years of devoted service to an industry. They develop a sick feeling that this is the way things are going to remain for the rest of their lives.
One silver lining in the fluctuating unemployment rate is that temporary jobs are on the rise, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.Many employers are willing to hire experienced workers for short-term projects, as the economy looks unpredictable. They know deep down inside an older, skilled person will be an asset when compared with younger employees, who often need on-the-job training and constant guidance. Temporary or contract work often pays well, especially for talented, knowledgeable workers. Although contract work does not provide benefits, it offers favorable compensation and a chance to manage your own time and your own personal
insurance needs, which may be a sign of the future. Many senior, professional and temporary agencies and companies provide contact with potential employers looking for looking for people with know-how and accountability.
Contract or part-time work can also provide security as a proactive measure, even if your financial situation is currently sound, but you want to prepare for any unexpected pitfalls. Whether the current economic situation is a temporary nightmare or the so-called new normal, considering temporary jobs may be what holds your financial life in order until retirement. At best, a contract job can turn into a full-time position when the employer thinks the time is right. At the least, it can be a way to develop expertise at self-employment, managing your own life and rebuilding lost income.