If you are a baby boomer, then you face some unique issues when it comes to work. Those of you who have had a job for 20 or 30 years (or more) are usually ready to retire, but aren’t necessarily ready to not work either because you don’t want a lot of free time on your hands or you can’t afford to financially.
Some of you may have even lost your job due to the economic downturn and now find yourself trying to compete with people half your age for a job you really don’t want. What are you to do? Have you considered working remotely?
Baby Boomers and Working Remotely
Luckily, the Internet spans most areas of the globe, allowing you to work from anywhere. You can set your own schedule and create your own routine (allowing you to work around family and other obligations) right from the comfort of your own home.
Additionally, you have built up certain skill sets, which I would argue are 100% transferable to the LiveWorkAnywhere model. This greatly increases your online work options as a baby boomer looking for a full or part-time career.
By 2020, freelancers are expected to make up 50% of the full time workforce. The number of freelance workers is projected to outpace full-time workers by 2020. The economy is rapidly shifting to a more contingent workforce, with recent estimates by the Freelancers Union of 42 million American independent workers, up from 10.3 million workers in 2005.” – Forbes
There are several jobs in which you do not have to actually be there in person to perform. If you had a career as a trademark attorney, for example, perhaps you could transfer your skills to consulting and meet your clients via web and phone.
If you were a sales executive, get rid of the car, use a US-based number and make calls from wherever you live. You can even hire a team to do the majority of the work for you while you focus on client acquisition.
Perhaps there is another service you can offer to your existing client base? Something you can do without even leaving your house. Baby boomers have many online work options, allowing them to live and work remotely.
Telecommuting is not a buzzword, it’s a reality. You start with your dream and your skills and work backwards to find flexible work that you will enjoy. That’s all fine, you say, but what if you don’t have time to start with your dream? What if you need something NOW?
Transferrable Skills for Baby Boomers Looking to Work Online
If you are in need of augmenting or supplementing your income, there are several online positions you can do right now from home with just a computer. Here is a list of skill sets that are great for remote, online work:
- Admin support
- Virtual assistant
- Blogging support
- Market research
- Advertising support
- Customer Service
- Medical research
- IT & Programming
- Graphic Design
- Online Sales
- Technical writing
- Patent / Trademark / Legal
- Medical equipment consulting
So What Are Your First Steps as a Baby Boomer Who Wants to Work Remotely?
This is where the work begins, so here is a step-by-step guide that will make your online work process as simple as possible:
1. Build Your Online Profile
Are you on LinkedIn? If you are, is your profile current? How many connections do you have? You should have at least 500+ so, if you don’t, then you need to get busy. Join groups in your field and network with others. Connect with other baby boomers who work remotely in your field so you can learn from them.
2. Build Your Professional Profile
What are your skills? To answer this, simply take your resume and transform it into a business portfolio. If you were an attorney, for instance, make a list of all of the professional services that you would offer and include some key milestones from your career. Package yourself to market yourself.
3. Transfer Your Profile
Create a website (there are several ways to make a free website – weebly.com, wix.com, wordpress.org, squarespace.com and Google sites, just to name a few) where you can showcase all of your talents. If you don’t want to spend time creating and marketing a site yet, then you can at least sign up on a site like Elance.com where you can build your own profile and have them market it for you within their freelancer marketplace.
4. Build Your Routine
Know how many hours you are available, the wage you want to make (be sure to look around so you are price competitive with the market – too low is okay to start, but doesn’t show high quality; too much and you’ll drive potential customers away), and what your monthly revenue goals are. The more you know what you want, the easier it is to create the routine to get it.
5. Get Started
Nothing new is ever easy. You will be challenged. But you spent your entire professional career meeting challenges head-on and look how far you’ve come. You can transfer your skills and create supplemental income or even prepare to hit the road with your new business and be successful no matter what stage of the game you are in – even as a baby boomer.
Tell me – what other questions do you have? Where should we dig in deeper?
Please leave a comment below.