Calling All Employers. Retirees Are Ready, Willing, Able
By Erica and Karen
Over 10,000 people are retiring every day in this country. They take with them skills, knowledge, experience and tested judgment. Employers are tossing away an asset of incalculable value. It makes no sense. Why do they do it?
Is it that employers are afraid of age discrimination claims when an older employee may no longer be up to snuff? Can’t be that. There are independent contractor/freelance models for engagement that can alleviate those concerns.
Is it that Millennials don’t want older folks around? We tend to doubt that. But even if they didn’t, experience says they would quickly appreciate our value if we helped them navigate the workplace, made them more efficient, guided them to more success, faster.
Are workers scared that older folks will take over their jobs? Well, that’s easily addressed. Most of us have absolutely no interest in working the way we used to—including undertaking the management duties we used to have. We want part-time engagement, project or hourly based—new models of work that would never lead to us taking over.
Are people scared of us? Scared that older women would exhibit the same aggressive tendencies they needed to make their own careers? Think again. That was what we needed then. Not what we need now.
Is it ageism—an old outdated presumption that we are done, no longer with it, no longer have value? Well, get over it. Age looks different now for all of us—and will for you too.
The State Department has figured out how to use their retired folks. Just to give you an idea of how they think, here is an excerpt from their plan:
“The term WAE (When Actually Employed) is used in the Department of State (DOS) to describe a Reemployed Annuitant (REA) who works on a temporary, intermittent basis. Bureaus utilize REA/WAEs to fill staffing gaps and assist during peak workload periods. These knowledgeable, experienced employees can work no more than 1,040 hours during their appointment year and receive no benefits, which makes them cost-effective.“
If they can figure it out, so can we. Let’s do this!