7 Helpful Tips for Retirees to Start Working Again

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Malaysia is on the road to becoming an ageing nation come 2020. Recently, NST Online reported that there will be 3.5 million people aged 60 by next year, and the figure is expected to rise to 6.3 million in 2040.

According to the Federation of Reproductive Health Associations Malaysia president Datuk Dr. Kamaruzzaman Ali, the country would face immense implications in human resources as well as services for the elderly.

While most people would rely on their pension scheme once they retire, many have insufficient funds to last them at least 20 years. With rising life expectancy (72.5 years for males and 77.4 years for females), medical coverage cost, and cost of living, most Malaysians can’t afford to retire comfortably, according to an economist’ analysis published by The Star Online.  

Many retirees who are dealing with insufficient pension funds have opted to rejoin the workforce in order to remain financially independent and maintain their lifestyle. However, retirees returning to work may face their own set of challenges that their younger counterparts don’t, like ageism in the workplace or during the hiring process.  

Don’t let such challenges deter you from reentering the workforce; we’ve got a few helpful tips for retirees to start working again:

1. Increase your marketability by upgrading your skills

To make yourself more attractive to employers, you’ll need to upgrade your soft and hard skills. Find out what the most in-demand skills are, and learn more about them. According to a recent LinkedIn analysis, the most in-demand skills in 2019 are:

1. Soft skills

  • Creativity
  • Persuasion
  • Collaboration
  • Adaptability
  • Time management

2. Hard skills

  • Cloud computing
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Analytical reasoning
  • People management
  • UX design
  • Mobile application development
  • Video production
  • Sales leadership
  • Translation
  • Audio production
  • Natural language processing
  • Scientific computing
  • Game development
  • Social media marketing
  • Animation
  • Business analysis
  • Journalism
  • Digital marketing
  • Industrial design
  • Competitive strategies
  • Customer service systems
  • Software testing
  • Data science
  • Computer graphics
  • Corporate communications

The most in-demand skills differ across industries, so find out what they are in the industry of your choice. Some of the best places to take affordable online courses on the skills listed above include LinkedIn Learning, Next Academy, Udemy, and Udacity.

Related: 6 Websites for Affordable Online Courses to Advance Your Career

2. Consider job platforms that cater to seniors

Source: Screenshot of Hire.Seniors website

Most companies prefer hiring young workers, so your best bet is to apply to companies that welcome senior workers who are returning to work. One of the best job platforms on the market that cater to senior workers is Hire.Seniors

The much-needed job platform for seniors, which was founded by Sharmila Sinnathurai and Jasmin Amirul Ghani, also offers flexible work-from-home opportunities besides full-time positions. Other services that senior workers can take advantage of include resume writing, interview preparation, and personalised coaching.    

Another option is JobStreet, which features a few jobs for retirees as well. Key in ‘retiree’ in the search bar to find the jobs instantly.

Related: 7 Tips to Enhance Your LinkedIn Profile and Improve Your Job Search

3. Check out job platforms that specialise in flexible and part-time work

Source: Screenshot of PartTimePost

There are a few job platforms that specialise in flexible and part-time work in Malaysia, like PartTimePost for example (you can read our article, 8 Job Platforms to Find Work from Home Opportunities in Malaysia for more job platforms).

PartTimePost is where you can find flexible and part-time jobs at various Malaysian companies and also top companies like Louis Vuitton Malaysia, Club Med, Foodpanda, IKEA, GrabCar, Guardian, Toyota, Poney, Resort World Genting, and YTL Corporation.

The platform is also user-friendly, where they categorise job openings based on different types of job seekers, for example, Single Parent, Retiree, Person With Disability (OKU), and even Non-Malaysians. Find jobs easily that best match your schedule or situation.

Check out their Retiree section. Also, if you’re planning to apply for a work-from-home job, watch out for the common scams.

Related: Watch Out! 4 Common Work From Home Scams in Malaysia

4. Consider joining the ‘gig economy’

Source: Elena Ermakova / Shutterstock.com

Gig economy is the future. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, it basically refers to a free market system in which temporary positions are common and organisations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements.  

According to Harvard Business Review, success in the gig economy comes from a balance between viability and vitality. Build your ‘gig economy portfolio’ by working on a few part-time jobs of your choice, according to your availability, location, interest, and skills.

Gig economy also allows you to make money through mobile apps, whether online or in the real world. Some of the most popular gig economy jobs in Malaysia include personal shopper, answering surveys, e-hailing driver, food delivery, and online tutor. 

Can gig economy workers earn as much as their full-time counterparts? Yes, it’s possible. For example, Harian Metro reported on a Grab driver who earned about RM800 a week in his free time (which means he earned about RM3200 a month).

For those who are interested in becoming a driver for an e-hailing service company, you might also be interested in signing up for SOCSO’s Self-Employed Employment Injury Scheme. The benefits of this scheme are:

  • Medical Benefit
  • Temporary Disablement Benefit
  • Permanent Disablement Benefit
  • Constant-attendance Allowance
  • Dependents’ Benefit
  • Funeral Benefit
  • Education Benefit
  • Facilities for Physical, Vocational Rehabilitation and Return To Work Programmes

Related: 8 Mobile Apps You Can Use to Make Money on the Side in Malaysia

5. Look for jobs in your neighbourhood

Do you have neighbours or friends in the area who owns a business? Ask them for leads. You’d be surprised to know that there might be part-time jobs available in your hometown. Sometimes such jobs are not even advertised publicly, so inquire within, or go straight to the business owner. Plus point if you know him or her personally.

Related: 15 Smart Tips to Ace Your Next Interview!

6. Consider volunteer work

Unpaid volunteer work can sometimes lead to a paid part-time position in retirement if you show the right skills and attitude to a nonprofit. If a paid position becomes available, you might be the person they’re interested in hiring. 

Look for volunteer work on platforms like Do Something Good, or check out nonprofits such as World Vision, UNHCR Malaysia, WWF Malaysia, Sols24/7, PAWS Animal Welfare Society, Hospitals Beyond Boundaries, Gen Gemilang, or Suka Society.

Related: Infographic: How 5 Crucial Factors Determine Monthly Wages in Malaysia

7. Reach out to your former employers, colleagues, or clients

Sometimes you need to have the right connection to get the best job. Reach out to your former employers, colleagues, or clients to find lucrative opportunities. The people who have worked with you may have an ideal job or project to offer, or they could also point you towards an available opportunity.

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