The Right Time for Flex Time

Many people who officially "retire" from their careers nonetheless keep on working, either because they like the work or they need the money. Whatever the reason, with unemployment rates skyrocketing in the United States now due to the COVID-19 pandemic, seniors looking for jobs will need to get creative—and flexible.

And they’re not the only ones. Having a flexible schedule is one of the most desired types of flexible work arrangements, second only to remote work, and well ahead of part-time and freelance jobs. A "flexible schedule job" refers to jobs that allow workers to vary their hours and mostly be in control of the hours they work. This schedule appeals to seniors because they can work when they want, as well as to younger folk caring for children and/or parents.

As many schools are considering e-learning and hybrid models of instruction this fall, flexible schedule and remote jobs could be hard to come by as parents, who must try to be both teacher and childcare provider are also looking for more flexible work arrangements. So, what types of jobs are available and particularly suitable for seniors who are looking for part-time or remote work?

Common job categories for flexible schedule jobs include education and training; accounting and finance; human resources and recruiting, and medical and health. Job seekers in these industries can search for popular flex-time roles like instructor, auditor, bookkeeper, editor, brand ambassador, occupational therapist, and market research analyst.

According to Sara Sutton, founder and CEO of FlexJobs (flexjobs.com), "Flexible schedule jobs are a great work flexibility option that puts employees more in control of their day so they can create their ideal arrangement, which may even change day by day."

The top ten companies with the most flexible schedule jobs recently posted in the FlexJobs database are CozyMeal, CRGT, Profit Factory, AFIRM, Znyga, Bind Benefits, Steampunk, BAYADA Home Health Care, Peloton Cycle, and Robert Half International.

US News & World Report (money.usnews.com/retirement) contributor Rachel Hartman suggests several jobs for retirees that can be carried out from the comfort of their own homes. These also come with flexible hours and provide an opportunity to earn a little extra income each month. HRZone defines median pay as "if all salaries were arranged in order, the median wage would be the one with exactly half the data above it and half below it. It contrasts with the mean wage, which is calculated by adding together all the salaries in a data set and dividing it by the total number of salaries, and the mid-range wage.

The median wage is generally considered to be a more accurate reflection of the 'average' wage because it discounts the extremes at either end of the scale.

Bookkeeping

Bookkeepers help a business manage accounts and payroll. Experience in accounting or finance is likely to be a plus. Median pay: $20/hour

Consultant

Your background and experience can help companies improve processes and overcome obstacles. You may even be able to do consulting work for a former employer. Median  pay: $41/hour

Coach

Use your background and passion for fitness, nutrition, or sports to help others work toward achieving wellness goals. Median pay: varies based on expertise

Customer service representative

Answer and/or make phone calls and respond to customer emails to help customers solve problems and answer questions about products or services. Median pay: $17/ hour

Online teaching/tutoring

If you worked as a teacher or have a degree in education, helping students virtually may be a natural fit. Median pay $19/hour, (and much more for STEM subjects or professional tests)

Proofreading

If you have a keen eye for detail for grammar errors or spelling mistakes, you could proofread documents for companies and individuals. Median pay: $30/hour

Writer

With experience in journalism or publishing, or as a subject specialist, you could produce articles, blog entries, or white papers for companies. The pay range varies based on expertise. Median pay: $30/hour.

Transcriptionist

Have excellent typing skills? Earn money transcribing recorded communications. The pay scale depends on the industry; medical transcriptionists, for example, make around $16 per hour.

Retireees and seniors can use their  well-honed skills and valuable experience to jump to the front of the flexible job seeker's line.  

Wendy Guild Swearingen is editor of Forever Young.

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