Older workers often have an interesting career trajectory, having changed course perhaps...read more
As we get older, lots of us are seeking more flexibility in how and when we work. There are plenty of reasons behind that, as everyone’s situation is different. In this article we explore why people over 50 in the UK might seek more flexible jobs, what kinds of jobs for mature workers are available and how to find them.
Today’s over 50s are perhaps the most work-savvy generation ever. While their older counterparts have been used to the days of having a ‘job for life,’ people in the workforce today are much more used to switching jobs and roles to fit their needs and lifestyles.
Plus, as the retirement age rises further, we are all expecting to be working well into our sixties and beyond. The number of people seeking ‘jobs for pensioners’ online has never been higher. With that in mind, people in their 50s we are making more considered decision about how and where to spend their time.
Many of us also need to balance other life demands with work, whether that be caring for a relative or grandchild, or other responsibilities such as volunteering. That makes part time careers appealing. And a lucky few of us have lower financial demands: perhaps the mortgage is paid, children have left home so we can afford to earn a bit less and achieve a better work-life balance.
Most employers today are positive about appointing older people. It’s widely accepted that the most diverse workforces are the most productive, and some companies are actively stating that they have part time jobs for older workers.
Employers are also increasingly recognising the benefits of having a more flexible workforce – it reduces their office costs and flexible workers are often more productive and happier in their work.
These days there are more flexible jobs to choose from than ever, especially jobs with variable hours and remote working. The workingwise.co.uk jobs pages show a range of flexible part time and full-time roles, including homeworking. Most jobs boards will let you filter roles according to the type of flexibility you’re looking for.
So, today, there’s no reason why older workers shouldn’t have the same flexible working opportunities as younger employees.
There are flexible roles available in most typical office jobs today, and there is a whole army of homeworkers in jobs ranging from sales and travel consultants through to admin support, IT and legal processes.
It therefore stands to reason that for those with experience in any of these areas it should be simple to seek out the best jobs for seniors.
Pleasingly, there are growing numbers of awards and incentives to recognise companies and organisations that actively seek to improve their diversity.
The Inclusive Top 50 is one such scheme, which celebrates many different employers for embracing diversity across all protected characteristics – including age, ethnicity, sexuality and disability. The top 50 includes police forces, NHS Trusts, Sky, AutoTrader and TransPennine Express.
workingwise.co.uk also has a Top Employer Charter, which organisations can sign up to if they support a set of criteria for being inclusive of older workers. Check out the charter, and the signatories here.
As schemes like these grow in recognition and credibility, the availability of jobs for older people can only continue to improve.