If you come from the baby boom generation, then you face some unique issues when it comes to work. Baby boomers who have had a job for 20 or 30 years (or more) are usually thinking about retirement, 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.
With the ever-changing times and the demands of the world these days, labor statistics show that more and more people from the baby boom generation are worried about their social security.
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, with some still in high school, for a position or company you’re not even interested in and really don’t want. What are you to do with your life now? Instead of pushing carts at Walmart, have you considered working remotely?
Baby Boomers and Working Remotely
Luckily, the Internet spans most areas of the world, allowing you to work from anywhere. You can set your own schedule and create your own routine (enabling you to work around family and other obligations) right from the comfort of your own home.
These days, you don’t need to be living in urban areas just to keep a good job. You can easily be employed in a great company despite not living in a city. After all, virtually all the jobs you can think of are available at your fingertips.
Additionally, baby boomers have built up certain high level skill sets in various industries thanks to a combination of decades of service, perhaps higher education, growth with employers, and insights gained from dealing with customers and various clients.
More importantly, I would argue that these skills are 100% transferable to the LiveWorkAnywhere model for many boomers. Needless to say, 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 and projects in which you do not have to actually be there in person to perform. If you’re a baby boomer who 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.
It’s no longer expected that you meet with customers or clients face-to-face in your company office all the time. Technology offers so many boomers a myriad of benefits these days, and the convenience of not driving to a congested city for a single meeting but still being able to deliver on your job is one of them.
If you were a sales executive or a customer service representative, your efforts for growth in your career can be trimmed thanks to the benefits of remote work. 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 or offer you assistance while you focus on client acquisition and customer satisfaction.
Perhaps there is another service you can offer to your existing client base and customers? Something you can do without even leaving your house. Baby boomers have many online work options, creating new growth pathways for their careers without the need to go to the city, lowering their living expenses, and allowing them to live and work remotely.
Telecommuting is not a buzzword, it’s a reality. Many boomers should accept that this is the future for several industries. It’s time to start embracing the benefits and putting in the efforts to turn into the boomer computer generation.
You start with your dream and your skills and work backward to find flexible employment that can offer you great income and that you will enjoy at your age. That’s all fine, you say, but what if you’re one of the baby boomers who don’t have time to start with their dream? What if you’re a baby boomer who needs 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:
Less specialized baby boomer skills
- Admin support
- Virtual assistant
- Blogging support
- Market research
- Advertising support
- Customer service representative
- Medical research
More specialized baby boomer skills
- IT & Programming
- Graphic Design
- Online Sales
- Technical writing
- Patent / Trademark / Legal
- Medical equipment consulting
What Are The First Steps for Baby Boomers Who Want to Work Remotely?
This is where the work begins, so here is a step-by-step guide to help baby boomers transition to online work as smoothly as possible.
1. Build Your Online Profile
Are you on LinkedIn? If you are, is your profile current? How many connections or friends do you have? Unlike previous generations where word of mouth is enough, the baby boom generation needs to network to succeed in the remote world.
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. Search for friends in schools where you earned your high school diploma and where you completed higher education.
Look at your company list or places of employment and find previous employers and employees, customers, business partners, team members, and other people you collaborated with on projects in the past. Connect with other baby boomers and people of the same age or from previous generations 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 income 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), the employment benefits you want to receive from future employers, and what your monthly revenue goals are in each position you plan to pursue. 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.