Millions of baby boomers that did their part to grease the country’s economic wheels over productive careers, now find themselves nearing the end of a traditional work age. However, many aren’t quite ready to retire completely yet and are looking for ways to reuse their skills and experience.
Luckily, baby boomers have the ability to start a freelancing career which can offer a way to put old skills to work in a bold new way. It’s all about working differently to stay vibrant, enjoying the freedom of freelancing and keeping a nice flow of money coming in to augment the retirement nest egg.
Digital marketing is a perfect industry for a freelancing career because an increasing number of businesses has decided to tap into the freelancing market for occasional projects.
Many companies have realized they don’t need a full-time employee so they hire freelancers to handle promotional events or new products launches. This is a great opportunity for a nimble freelancer to step in and snag project work for occasional marketing campaigns.
While fewer companies are choosing to hire a permanent marketer, there is still work to be found at various points in the business year. If your experience can help get that first project, a job well done should have the company coming back to you time after time.
If you’ve worked in a field that requires a well-defined skill or license (such as law, accounting, healthcare, management, etc.), consulting is an excellent – and often high-paying – way to profit from a lifetime of knowledge and experience.
You can work a few hours daily charging $25, $50, or more per hour to help young people who are starting their careers or even experienced individuals and companies. With today’s video conferencing options, most of this kind of work doesn’t even need to be done face-to-face, which opens you up to working globally.
Essentially, you’re a coach in your specialty. You can work long hours if you want because the demand is certainly there, but you can also choose to limit your availability and enjoy a more flexible schedule.
The digital economy loves a good writer. If you have a background as an academic, researcher, or journalist, and don’t mind the initial marketing involved to get your name out there, there are numerous opportunities available for a motivated baby boomer who still loves to string words together.
Traditional outlets like magazines, local newspapers, and trade publications always need strong wordsmiths but don’t neglect articles, press releases, and blogs for websites. The demand for online content is very strong right now.
However, keep in mind that the competition is also quite strong and it might take you some time to build a reputation as a credible writer. Similarly, you need to be prepared for working with clients that might be impossible to deal with. Some of them might require numerous revisions or have unrealistic expectations that can cause you a lot of stress. You will need to learn how to handle them.
Accounting and bookkeeping offer a monumental amount of work for those who have built careers on good old number-crunching. Good with taxes and only want to work part-time? This is the way to go as the calendar grinds relentlessly towards April 15 each year.
Another vast area of need is small business owners who need help with basic (or advanced) financial bookkeeping. You can pull double-duty by offering financial consulting as well. As long as there is an infernally confusing tax code requiring a part of all you make, there will be job security for bookkeepers and accountants. A baby boomer with a background in any related specialty would be wise to jump in.
Many baby boomers have advanced degrees and decades of experience in fields like math, science or foreign languages. At the same time, many parents are usually prepared to invest money in their children’s education and they are increasingly recognizing the benefits of tutoring lessons. So, why not impart all your hard-earned knowledge to students around the world looking to improve their skills in a particular subject?
The Internet offers the perfect medium for tutoring. You can create online lessons and communicate in real-time with students around the world by Skype or a similar service. From the teaching side of the cyber-desk, it’s a great way to make extra money but still set your own schedule and work only as much as you want to.
Times aren’t just changing, they have already changed. No longer are healthy, smart people in their 60’s and beyond content to sit around and slowly siphon their nest egg. They’ve got knowledge and the Internet Age has created the perfect playground for putting their skills and experience to good use. If you feel you still have a lot left to contribute to this world, you should think about getting online and starting your freelancing career.
This post was written by Lisa Michaels, a freelance writer, editor and a striving content marketing consultant from Portland. She does her best to stay on top of the current trends in the business world. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter @LisaBMichaels.