Once retirement rolls around, many hard-working individuals are excited to take their much needed break from their busy lives as employees and business owners. However, after the vacation money has run out and the sunburn has faded away, many retirees are in search of exciting and meaningful experiences that can help pass their new-found time away. Devoting the skills and talents that retirees have developed throughout their career to help the efforts of a nonprofit organization is one meaningful way to pass this time.
It’s never too late to pursue a new dream or achieve new goals. Working with nonprofit organizations after you have retired can be a great opportunity to have a positive impact on the world. In a 2014 survey, Encore.org and market research firm Penn Schoen Berland found that roughly 21 million adults ages 50-70 expressed that they wanted to find work that addressed a variety of social needs, including education, the environment, human services, health care and more. If you are a current or soon-to-be retiree and you are hoping to find a nonprofit organization that can benefit from your unique skills and talents, here are three steps for making the jump into the second act of your career experience.
Find the Right Nonprofit
The first step in pursuing your encore career is to find the right nonprofit organization to work with. Ideally, the right nonprofit will be striving to tackle certain issues that you are passionate about. Additionally, you need to find an organization that is lacking in an area of your expertise. Your ability to have a positive impact on an organization combined with your passion for their projects will give you the best experience as you spend your retirement making a difference. If you’re having a hard time finding the right nonprofit organization for you, consider enrolling in a fellowship program that can help match your unique skill set and goals with an organization in need.
Obtain Any Additional Certifications
Things around the office may have run a little differently when you were in the workforce, but there’s no need to feel out of touch in this new technological age. Even though you don’t need to earn a new four-year-degree, you may find it useful to obtain an additional certification or two as you start to work with your chosen nonprofit organization. There are many classes, such as medical billing and coding training online courses, that allow you to gain additional certification all from the comfort of your own home and at your own pace. These courses tend to be a few weeks to a few months long, giving you the opportunity to get to work helping your nonprofit organization without too much of a delay.
Work Around Your Schedule
If you’re still hoping to travel the globe and visit your grandkids while having an impact, be sure to enroll in programs or work with organizations that are willing to accommodate your schedule. Afterall, it is your retirement and you should be enjoying yourself as much as you can. Fortunately, many positions for retirees are project-based and can last for only a few months. If you’re hoping to spend more time making a difference, there are also several opportunities to work full or part time for nonprofit organizations. Just be sure to pick the right position that fits your goals for retirement.
It’s important that as you strive to have the smoothest transition from work life to retirement to consider all the new goals that you have for yourself. If making a difference is one of those goals, be sure to consider volunteering your time and talents to help a nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing issues that you are passionate about. Look back at your life and consider what organizations and individuals had an influence on you. Consider the mentors that you had, the scholarships that you were awarded, and other help you received on your journey throughout your career. Then explore what ways you can give back and help others as they pursue their academic, career, and other positive goals. As you make this jump, be sure to find the right nonprofit organization for you, obtain any other additional certification that you may need, and work around your schedule and goals for retirement.