A guide to flexible working for the over 50's

Words by Nadio Granata - Stafflex Limited Words by Nadio Granata - Stafflex Limited

Traditionally we would expect to be 'retiring' at 60 or 65 and not expecting to work ever again. But times have changed. For many different reasons, not least financial or health reasons, 60 is the new fifty and many of us still have a desire to work, albeit not at the same pace as before or indeed in the same industry we have been employed in.

How many people do you know who have reached a certain age in life when they are able to 'wind down' their career. Their children have grown up and 'fled the nest', the mortgage is paid off or certainly under control, their pension is kicking in, their health is good and they have time to kill.

The evidence is all too clear to ignore, keeping 'busy' can have all sorts of benefits both physical and mental, and financial too.

At Stafflex, we are seeing an increasing number of  over fifties enquiring for part-time or short-term jobs. Often it's just to see them through the winter months until the weather picks up and they resume their hobbies or holidays, sometimes it's to raise a specific amount of cash for a one-off occasion or increasingly it is to top up the ever-decreasing pension contributions.

Whatever the reasons for flexible work, there is lots of it available. Below are our top tips on how to make the most of the opportunities.

1. Do your research

Make sure you are up to date on employment law. Rules and regulations that apply to you are unique to your financial position and may vary depending on the terms of your financial arrangements.
Additionally, flexible working includes a multitude of options that may or may not fit with your availability. Better information will lead to better decision making.

2. Update your profile

Traditionally this would mean 'update your cv', but job opportunities come in many different guises and it's no longer necessarily the case that you must supply a cv. You might want to use a stylish resume or a LinkedIn profile or simply a letter of introduction. Our new website actually enables you to 'build' your cv online. Whatever form you use, make sure it is up to date, factually correct and shows off your relevant and most recent accomplishments appropriate for the roles you are seeking.

3. Prepare well

If you are reading this article, then you are very likely to be of an age that suggests it's been some time since you last applied for a job. Get into shape, physically and mentally with exercises. Test your physical stamina by carrying out tasks similar to those you are applying for and get up to speed with the tools you may be required to use.

4. Talk to people

Get out and amongst the communities you are interested in working with. Familiarise yourself with what's new and who's recruiting or laying staff off.

5. Register for work

Most temporary employment requires you to be registered with an agency or directly with the employer. The sooner you get your details registered the sooner they will be in touch should an appropriate opportunity arise.

6. Be enterprising

Flexible working requires a certain amount of sacrifice. Look at the bigger picture and make yourself open to new ways of working should you be required to adapt.

7. Be compliant

Many jobs require you to have certain levels of compliancy. Be it driving jobs, teaching assistants, healthcare, food handling and others. Find out what is required in advance of getting your hopes up too much, and register for the necessary training required. It's often cheap or free and it's ALWAYS in your best interests.

For more information visit www.stafflex.co.uk or email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Nadio Granata is head of marketing at Stafflex Limited and a chartered marketer, associate lecturer and company director and an Associate of the Institute of Recruitment Professionals.