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Finding a job in your 60s presents some unique challenges. A lot of your friends and peers might be (or about to be) retired and it can be hard to tread a different path alone.
Your motivations for finding a new job might be complex too. For some, it’s about earning a little extra money; for others, it’s a way to stay social and mentally active.
The key to overcoming these challenges is simple – mindset. There are plenty of exciting jobs waiting for you, but if you don’t have faith in your own abilities then no one else will. Rather than worrying about what you don’t have, focus on the wealth of life experience you could bring to a new role.
Ready to take that first step on the road to finding a brilliant new job?
Here’s everything you need to know about finding jobs for over-60s, from the type of roles available to the hidden skills you might not realise you have.
Is It Hard for a 60-Year-Old to Get a Job in the UK?
The quick answer? Nope. Your age shouldn’t be a barrier to finding jobs in your 60s. Like anyone else, the most important thing is to look for roles that align with your skills, experience and interests.
Don’t be afraid to think big either when exploring new jobs – Ray Kroc spent his career as a salesperson and was almost 60 when he bought a fledgling hamburger business. He ultimately grew the business into the global chain we know as McDonald's.
More People Over-60s Are Working Than Ever Before
You’re also far from alone in looking for jobs in your 60s. There have been big changes in employment patterns among 50 and 60 year-olds over the past few decades, and it’s now normal for people to stay in their careers for longer.
In 1992, just 21% of 50 to 69 year-olds were in paid work. By 2019, that percentage had risen to 61%, with the age group making up almost a third of the UK’s workforce. The biggest change has been a significant increase in employment rates among women aged 60-65.
One of the main reasons for this is that people are living longer. Children born in the UK today are estimated to live to over 100 – almost 30 years longer than the average life expectancy in the 1990s. It’s no surprise that people want to extend their working lives to correspond with this and stay productive well into their 80s and 90s.
The increase in state pension age is another reason for more people holding jobs in their 60s. With the state pension age due to move from 66 to 67 before 2028, we can expect another rise in people in their 60s extending their careers.
Creating an Impact: The Power of Your 60s
Whether you’re continuing with a lifelong passion or dipping your toe into a new career, there’s a huge amount that you can bring to jobs in your 60s.
The experience you’ve built up is invaluable, which is a major strength for employers looking for real-life insight and problem-solving capabilities. You’re likely to be more resilient in stressful situations and calm in the face of unexpected events, because there’s a good chance you’ve faced something similar before.
This knowledge isn't just useful in the role you’re applying for either. Any good employer will recognise the impact you could have on younger, more inexperienced employees, and may ask you to run internal training sessions or provide mentoring as part of a multigenerational team.
It’s also likely that you’ll have some natural qualities which can be used to excel in specific jobs in your 60s. The life experience you’ve accumulated can make you a perfect candidate for teaching or coaching, government or charity work while greater empathy and emotional intelligence can be put to good use in healthcare.
Alternatively, if your strongest asset is your couldn’t-care-less-what-people-think attitude, channel your carefree confidence into jobs that require big, bold personalities. Take a step into acting, stand-up comedy or public speaking, for example.
What Types of Work Suits People Over the Age of 60?
Here are some ideas to get you inspired when looking for full time or part-time jobs in your 60s.
For My Next Job, I Want To…
Build on Existing Skills
- Consultant: As a consultant, you’ll share specific knowledge and sector experience with companies – often at a premium rate. LinkedIn is a common platform for finding and connecting with senior managers who could benefit from your expertise.
- Project manager: If you’re organised and a strong communicator, project management can be a rewarding job in your 60s. You can use your experience with similar work to gauge time scales, predict potential obstacles and lead successful projects.
Stay Social and Connected
- Retail worker: As a retail worker, you’ll work as part of a team and advise customers who come into the store, so it’s a great way to meet people. You can also look for jobs based on your hobbies and interests, be it books, fashion or DIY. Browse our retail vacancies HERE.
- Tour guide: Are you a history buff or connoisseur of your local food scene? Local tourist organisations are often looking for tour guides to show people around the area. You’ll need to be relatively fit and comfortable with public speaking.
- Driver: If you enjoy being behind the wheel and have a full UK driving licence, driving can be a satisfying job for 60 year-olds. You can meet a variety of people as a taxi driver, build strong relationships as a private driver, or help your community as part of a patient transport service.
Find Something Less Physically Demanding
- Writer: Writing is the perfect job if you’re over 60 and don’t want to be on your feet all day. There’s a range of jobs available depending on your interests and expertise, from technical writing to travel writing.
- Receptionist: As the first point of contact for a business, you’ll be responsible for answering calls, passing on messages and greeting visitors. Strong organisation and people skills are essential, plus you’ll need to be able to make a mean cup of tea!
Part-Time Jobs for Over-60s
While some of the above jobs can be done part time, the majority (like project management and receptionist work) will usually require a higher level of commitment. If you want to work fewer hours or find a flexible job, here are some rewarding part-time jobs for over-60sin all sectors:
- Administrative assistant: As an administrative assistant, you’ll be responsible for updating files and maintaining databases. Some jobs also include marketing and customer service responsibilities.
- Programme coordinator: If you’re passionate about arts, culture and heritage, look for a programme coordinator role at a museum, art gallery, town council or charity. You’ll be in charge of planning and running events for the local community.
- Office manager: If you’re looking for a varied role in your 60s, this is the job for you. As an office manager, you’ll help to support staff, establish and maintain policies, arrange work events, and complete financial and administrative tasks.
Five Tips for Finding Jobs in Your 60s
It’s time to turn talk into action and find your dream job. Here are five tips to help you along the way.
1. Embrace Change
Whether you’re levelling up your career or moving into a new field, don’t be afraid of change. A willingness to learn new skills and embrace the unfamiliar will open up far more possibilities for jobs in your 60s than if you stick firmly in your comfort zone.
2. Think Big
Some of the most successful entrepreneurs got their start late in life and ultimately changed the world. Don’t limit yourself to jobs that merely pass the time – find what you’re passionate about and go for it.
3. Recognise Your Strengths
You can bring decades of experience to jobs in your 60s. Rather than worrying about what you don’t have, focus on the strengths you can bring to the table and go into interviews with confidence.
4. Know How to Sell Yourself
Soft skills, like resilience and problem solving, are critical to any organisations’ success. It’s common to build up these skills naturally from years of work – if that’s the case with you, remember to emphasise them to prospective employers.
5. Understand Your Motivations
Applying for jobs in your 60s should be about finding something that really suits you and the lifestyle you want to live. Think carefully about your main motivation for finding a job, whether it’s about being more social, working fewer hours, extra income or something else. Going through this process will inform what sort of job you should take.
What Are the Key Sources for Jobs for Over-60s?
Ready to get started? Here are some links that will help with your job search:
- Jobs/Redefined portal: 55/Redefined's bespoke jobs portal for work opportunities with age-inclusive employers
- Government support: Find help with returning to work and developing skills
- The Redefiners: Inspiring stories from people over 50 who are redefining their life
- Life/Redefined careers: Advice and resources to help you make a career change
- National Careers Service: Explore careers, access training or speak to an advisor