Tag Archives: Ageism

How To Boost Your Income With A Flexible Retirement

The Over 50s are flying the flag for flexible working

funny animated GIF

With the cost of living rising for everyone, many retirees today are worried that their pensions may not be enough for them to enjoy their retirement. This uncertainty is also reflected in employment figures as only 38% of those above the state pension age are in fact fully retired. With the number of over-65 works doubling in the last decade alone, finding a rewarding job that offers the chance to also enjoy your life is no small task.

While older workers may not always feel ahead of the next tech trend in the office, they are in fact championing a new working culture in the UK through working flexibly. ‘Flexible working’ can refer to any working pattern outwith the typical Monday to Friday 9 till 5 and can include part-time, shift work, working from home and job sharing, all options very popular with workers in their 50s, 60s and 70s. On average, workers in their 60s reject the typical 35 hours for a much more manageable 24, offering both a secure income and time to socialise outside of work.

While flexible working can be seen as the solution for older workers wishing to stagger their retirement with further employment, finding quality job vacancies that can offer flexible hours can be difficult.  Following her own struggle to find flexible work after having twins, businesswoman Tracey Eker sought to rectify this problem by launching Flexiworkforce.com, the only UK-wide job site dedicated to flexible jobs.

Discussing the potential of flexible working to empower older workers, Tracey Eker asserts that, ‘Flexible working can be an ideal solution for older workers who working but would like the chance to also enjoy their life a bit more. There are many long-term unemployed workers who have been out of the workforce because of a lack of adequate flexible working but employers are actually desperate for their skills. Through Flexiworkforce we can connect these groups!

Flexiworkforce will be attending the upcoming ‘The 50+ Show’ in Glasgow this month as well as giving presentations on the potential of flexible working for older workers, including discussion with Jo Swinson, Cabinet Under-Secretary of State for Employment Relations, and the banking chain Santander.

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What Mary Portas’ ‘Silver Service’ Can Teach Us About 50+ Workers

Older Candidates Must Not Be ‘Written Off’ By Employers!

On Wednesday 11th, Channel 4 aired a new programme hosted by fashion broadcaster and retail consultant Mary Portas, Silver Service. In the past, Portas has expressed dissatisfaction at the the lack confidence that modern society has on the older generation, who she believes possess a lifetime of skills and experience that any employer would benefit from.

Unfortunately, however, this invaluable talent pool remains sorely underutilised. A tragic 30% of over 65s believe that they serve no purpose to society. And with ageism rife within the workforce, older workers often have a hard time getting into jobs that they are deemed ‘overqualified’ for, others feel forced to retire before they’re ready.

In an attempt to break down barriers, Portas devises a pop-up employment agency, with the aim of providing skilled older people with fulfilling, paid roles. She then provides mentoring to the team of worthy candidates she enlists,  Gloria, aged 71, Robert, aged 82,  John, aged 81, and Maureen, aged 73, and Annie, aged 77. The result is a valuable opportunity to show employers (and society in general) that the skills and know-how of older individuals should not be underestimated.

It is evident that the confidence of the 60+ candidates has been boosted by their experiences: ‘I haven’t past my sell by date by any means!’ remarks one woman.

Mary Portas’ Silver Service is not the first of its kind to be aired on Channel 4. Last September saw the Fabulous Fashionistas redefine the notion of ‘ageing gracefully’, proving that older people are just as valid and indispensable as their younger counterparts. The message is loud and clear- The older generation are skilled, experienced and feisty, and most certainly should never be written off by employers!

The Benefits of a Flexible Retirement

5 Ways to Maintain Independence and Forge a Fulfilling Career After 50

Image via Life After 50

It’s 2014 and the UK’s older workers are more resilient, independent and tech-savvy than ever before. Like the majority of countries in the West, we have an aging population and, older workers are vital to the growth and maintenance of the economy. This is partly due to the removal of the previous default retirement age, which means that anyone can now continue working past State Pension age.

Although older workers are prized by many employers, ageism persists as a problem within the UK workforce, and many are victims of prejudice and discrimination at work.

Why should a competent and reliable employee be forced to ditch a career that they love, just because they’re getting on a bit?

Do you love the sense of fulfillment you get from your job? Maybe you’re thinking about starting a new career altogether. There is no time like the present, and age it no barrier to having a great career while the life you want.

  1.       Go flexible

Flexible working is the fastest growing form of employment the world over, and can include homeworking, telecommuting, job-sharing and part-time work. Flexible working can be an ideal solution for older workers who enjoy their jobs but who want to slow things down a notch. June’s upcoming changes to flexible working legislation means that every employee will have the right to request flexible working, subject to their employer.

Flexiworkforce is a job site exclusively offering exciting flexible opportunities. Our employers love experienced, skilled and conscientious over 50 workers. Say goodbye to the ‘nine to five’ and say hello to amazing flexible opportunities!

  1.       Go freelance

Another option is to take control your own schedule by going freelance.

‘This is especially suitable for seasoned professionals with a wealth of experience and contacts’.

However, even if you have no experience there is nothing to stop you from trying your hand at something new and inspiring. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to go into graphic design? Maybe you feel that now is the time to become a writer. The possibilities of freelance work are endless.

  1.       Make your own job

Alternatively, starting your own company may give you a new lease of life, inspiring new goals and broadening your horizons. This needn’t be too much of an upheaval, and could incorporate an existing past-time or hobby, such as dog-walking, jewelry making or even hosting students and teaching English as a foreign language.

  1.       Take care of yourself

Of course, this is important at any age, but never more so in your later years.  Remember to take care of your body by eating well, doing regular exercise including muscle-strengthening activities. Build a strong support network around you so you always have someone to turn to when stressed or in need to guidance.

Being proactive by doing a job you love can do wonders for your mental health and may even stave off degenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s.

  1.       Love your life.

It goes without saying that you should enjoy this period of your life, so it is important to not let stress take over. Don’t commit yourself to a working schedule which is detrimental to your overall well being. Take time to do what you love, see family and friends often and nurture hobbies and pastimes that bring you joy.

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Image via Sydney Morning Herald

How Flexiblility Works For Older Workers

Generation GapView Post

Image via Buzz and Trends

UK’s population is aging and it is vital that companies are able to access valuable, talented older worker in order to ensure the growth and maintenance of the UK economy.

There has been some progress recently in creating a more equal workforce. More older people are finding – and staying – in work, according to the latest job figures. But it is still much tougher to get back into the employment market if you lose your job in middle age. Overall, inequalities in job opportunities persist.

However, ageism is remains rife in our society, with statistics suggesting the difficulties of looking for work as an older person. According to a recent Saga article, 400,000 over 50s currently registered as unemployed, with 43% of those being considered to be ‘long term’ unemployed.

How Flexiworkforce Can Help to Meet the Needs of Older Workers

On a per weight basis, humans pack in more neurons than any other species. That’s what makes us so smart!<br />
From the TED-Ed Lesson What percentage of your brain do you use? - Richard E. Cytowic<br />
Animation by TOGETHER

 

Image via Ted-Ed

Firstly, Flexiworkforce offers a wide range of flexible opportunities, meaning that older workers who are excluded from conventional hours and full-time work are able to find fulfilling employment which fits around their needs and other commitments. Of course, many over 50s may be fully capable and willing to work conventional hours.  However, for those who require flexible employment, Flexiworkforce will provide these individuals with the high-quality opportunities that older workers need and deserve

Secondly, Flexiworkforce will introduce the over 50 generation to modern modes of employment. This includes temporary contracts and ‘interim’ work. Gone are the days of a ‘job for life’, we believe that these new ways of working  enable greater choice and autonomy, resulting in individuals being empowered to choose work which they find meaningful and rewarding.

Thirdly,  Flexiworkforce will enable older workers to strike a favourable balance between work and life commitments.  A large percentage of older workers require income to supplement their pension, and others choose to work later into their retirement years.

Finally, Flexiworkforce will contribute to the overall wellbeing of 50+ individuals by encouraging greater independence in old age. Challenging working opportunities provide the mental stimulation needed at any age, but especially by people in their later years.

Flexiworkforce is a specialist online job site dedicated to all forms of flexible work, due to launch shortly. For updates, follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Facebook.

Meet the Fabulous Fashionistas

Last month saw  the new Channel 4 documentary ‘Fabulous Fashionistas’ report on the lives of six stylish women living the UK, with an average age of 80.

The women featured are inspirational in a variety of ways. Firstly, they each display a strong sense of style. Crucially, these women do use fashion in order to look younger; rather they use their clothing and accessories as a means of maintaining their individuality and expressing their uniqueness. In our youth-obsessed society, the way these women maintain creativity in their wardrobes well into their eighth decades is inspiring, and brave.

Yet aside from maintaining their amazing sense of style, each of these women all succeed in preserving  their independence by continuing to work, despite being many years past the previous default retirement age. After the death of her husband, 75 year-old Jean began working at the international high-street chain Gap. She worked there for a year, and was the company’s oldest employee. Since then she has started working at an independent boutique in Bath, which she feels brings her fulfilment and enables her to maintain self-determination. The other women featured are equally motivational. Jilly, 87 tells us that she loves her job as a dance choreographer/director. She hasn’t stopped working since commencing her career as a ballet dancer in the 1940s, and is never happier than when her studio leading a team of dancers. It is clear that she loves her job, and she even views retirement as ‘dangerous’.

Daphne is 85 and has worked as a model for the past 15 years. She is now the UK’s go-to older fashion model and has been referred to as a ‘supermodel’. However, it becomes clear as the episode progresses that Daphne is an exceptional case, and that older women remain very much unrepresented in the fashion industry today. Bridget, a life-long campaigner visits various agencies in London with the aim of dispelling ageism in fashion, and is unanimously rejected despite being enthusiastic and stylish at 75.

However, she is not put off by the rejection, and resolves to continue her fight against the structural ageism in society which prevents so many from finding fulfilment and reaching their potential. Like all the ‘fabulous fashionistas’, Bridget is in possession of not only a magnificent sense of style, but also a strong work ethic and steely perseverance. These women should be applauded for their refusal to ‘blend in’, but also their determination to not let their age prevent them from living out their ambitions.