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Thinking outside the typical job-hunting box

Starting over at 57

Author: Mary Calhoun/Thursday, July 17, 2014/Categories: Life after 50, Workforce

Just because I may have to retire from my career job does not mean that I am retiring from ever earning an income again. I have marketable skills that are valued in today’s workplace market. I keep an open mind and challenge myself to view every opportunity with a fresh new perspective. It’s not easy to think outside of my comfort zone. I’m working on getting better at it.
 
I will eventually find work—full or part-time, or even self-employment. There are lots of income opportunities out there. I simply have to figure out how to turn these opportunity options into an income reality that works for me. Here are some tips and strategies that have opened windows of opportunity I had not considered before:
  • Special projects—search out assignments or special projects that are understaffed or not yet assigned to anyone. This temporary option (funding or project reporting deadline) can help broaden networking opportunities. I’ve turned down one opportunity because the completion timeframe was too short for me to realistically finish the project on time. The good news is that I’m on their radar for future projects.
  • Program (position) counterpart in another region—I found several employment opportunities in other regions. The challenge is relocating and the drama you have to deal with when creating a new life in another region.
  • Passion income—Volunteer and fundraising projects/activities that I’ve been involved in for decades allow me to help community-dedicated programs and non-profit organizations that don’t have the funding to pay for staff to do what I do for them. I have developed a knack for begging for money for worthy causes. What I had not thought about before was including my services for a fee as part of the fundraising campaigns that I develop, coordinate, and host, for them. I simply didn’t associate “fun” with personal income. Ironically, some of these programs have offered to compensate me in the past. I will be accepting those offers from this point on.
As time goes on, I suspect it will get a lot easier to step outside of my comfort zone and become more open-minded to seizing opportunities. 
 
Other job resources for the experienced professional:
Encore careers - your second act!
Workforce 50 - for the experienced or those considering a career change

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Mary Calhoun
Mary Calhoun

Mary Calhoun

Pacific Region OASIS member Mary L. Calhoun has worked in the public sector for over 35 years. She's a former staff writer for a Los Angeles City Councilmember and a technical writer who has published annual reports, media portfolios, training and instructional manuals, policy and more. Other posts by Mary Calhoun
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