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I saw an article on NPR titled “These Older Workers Hadn’t Planned to Retire So Soon. The Pandemic Sped Things Up.” It’s a good read about the question that some individuals faced during the pandemic – is it time for me to retire?
My takeaway from the article was that there are many factors that go into the retirement decision. It could be our health. Maybe money. Or it’s possible we’re just tired. And all those reasons are fine. But just because we made the decision to retire, doesn’t mean we can’t ever unretire. Athletes do it all the time. In fact, that’s where the name of this blog comes from. We don’t have to officially retire unless we want to.
While being retired right now could be perfect, a moment could arise when you might want to think about unretiring.
Your old boss might ask you to come back. It’s no secret that organizations are having recruitment challenges. A common strategy to finding candidates is to start calling former employees to see if they’d like to return. Keep in mind that the opportunity might not be at your same job with the same pay and benefits. And on some level that could be perfect.
Oh, and if the boss doesn’t call, no worries. You can apply if you’d like to be reconsidered. Of course, the organization will check your personnel file to see if you’re eligible for rehire. But there’s nothing wrong with expressing an interest to return. If your old company isn’t hiring, you can look at other organizations. Bottom line – there’s nothing wrong with going back to work.
Maybe you’d like to turn a hobby into a side hustle. There are very talented people who bake cakes, make jewelry, clean driveways, etc. They don’t want to go back to a “regular” job. They’re happy doing their hobby. But maybe it’s crossed their mind that it would be nice to make a little money on the side. Possibly just enough to cover their expenses.
If you’re planning to start a side hustle, make sure that you’re set up to run a business and accept payments. The last thing you want is for your hobby to turn into a hinderance. The good news is there are often local resources or online resources that can assist at little or no cost.
A volunteer gig turns into part-time work. We’ve talked before about how volunteerism can be a great way to give back during retirement. Well, not-for-profit entities need employees too. The organization already sees the great work you’re doing as a volunteer, and they might ask you to consider full- or part-time employment.
This could be wonderful way to combine your passion with getting paid. But I can also see the opposite happening. Some people might find getting paid for something they did previously as a volunteer to be less fulfilling. Ultimately, you know you and will have to make that decision.
As a human resources professional, I am wondering how many people who retired over the past year or so will entertain the idea of returning to the working world. And what that “work” will look like. The important thing to remember is that unretiring is perfectly acceptable. Make it what you want it to be.
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby while exploring the streets of New York, NY