October is the month I turn 55. If 60 is the new 40, does that mean that 55 equates to the new 35?
With many people reflecting on what they want to do with their career in the years leading up to retirement, it does make me realise that we may be ignoring what could be a very strong addition to our recruitment talent pools. In the temporary services area, we are tapping into the graduate market to top up our candidates, but in our senior contracting market, are we tapping into the senior citizen market?
I struggle with the term “senior citizen”. I don’t even consider myself middle-aged and am sure that once I hit 60, if someone were to refer to me as a senior citizen, I would be most offended, so I’m keen to explore some better terms for those of us that are heading towards retirement or have entered retirement. The term superannuant at least has “super” in it, so maybe I’ll lean more towards that!
I have noticed a trend of highly experienced senior leaders who can afford to be fully retired but choose not to be. Instead, they look at contracting as an option. They no longer wish to oversee large teams or take on the huge hours that often accompany these senior leadership roles.
Before COVID-19, working remotely and part-time tended to be rare and a last resort for many hiring managers. This has changed as we realise how effectively people can work remotely and as we face a severe candidate shortage, particularly at a senior level. If you have a team or a particular specialisation who could do with an experienced mentor to help lift capabilities and provide targetted advice, then employing a senior contractor (potentially on a remote basis), could be a great option.
Imagine a world – and I think we are living in this world right now – where you can live wherever you want in New Zealand (which for me equates to a beach close to Nelson), work 20 hours per week and still keep your brain active, add true value to organisations and enjoy the flexibility that this lifestyle brings. My intention over the next five years is to fully encourage our clients to embrace this option of senior part-time resource. This will not only benefit senior professionals, but businesses as well – and that way, when I want this lifestyle for me, it will be readily available!
So, to help me realise my dream, I’m keen to talk to hiring managers who see this as a good solution to lift the capability of their organisations. And if you are currently retired and wanting to return to the workforce on a part-time, remote basis or if you’re approaching this stage of your career, I want to hear from you.