Employment Trends

Great second jobs for Baby Boomers

Written by Kate Lopaze

If you’re one of the huge wave of Baby Boomers reaching (or already past) retirement age, you may be thinking a lot about the next phase of your life. For many, continuing to work is a financial necessity. For others, it’s about staying professionally active without the same 9-to-5 grind. If you’re looking for ways to stay active and stay earning, here are some second-stage careers to consider.

5 great second jobs for Baby Boomers

Teach what you know

One of the perks of coming to the end of your first career is that you have lots of expertise and experience built up. What better to do than share that expertise and get paid for it? Many local community colleges, continuing education programs, or online schools can always use qualified teachers who have flexible schedules. Or you could consider substitute teaching. Check with your local school district to see what their requirements are, but many states don’t require substitute teachers to have a specific teaching degree.

Be a consultant

If you’ve got decades of experience in a particular field, consulting can be a way to transition from the full-time working world to one where you set your own schedule and salary. Many Baby Boomers find themselves in a position to do work for their former companies, and others expand their business to take on new clients. One of the biggest upsides of consulting is that it lets you take the skills and experience you have and use it to create a new business for yourself.

Build a business out of a hobby

If you find yourself with more time after retirement, you may find that what used to be a hobby can now be a profitable side hustle. Now more than ever, people are seeking out unique or artisan goods, so it may be time to ramp up that home woodworking shop or set up that Etsy store.  

With a variety of ways to sell goods and services online, something you’ve always done for fun can make for a fulfilling and profitable next wave of your career.

Make the world a better place

After all, the Baby Boomers are the generation of Woodstock and ’60s social justice. Working for a nonprofit can be a way to keep that social idealism going, while staying professionally active. Nonprofits come in all shapes and sizes, so there’s likely one in your area that fits with your worldview and your priorities.

Many Baby Boomers also find that volunteering and giving back to the community is a way to create a new wave of productivity. Like consulting, volunteering capitalizes on your skills, experience, and time to help others.

Find a franchise

Owning a ready-made franchise can be a great way to build a business without building it from the ground up. Franchisees can often be as involved or hands-on as they want to be, directly managing the business or being the boss from a distance. It’s also a way to learn new sides of a business, whether it’s food service, a retail store, or other venture. The existing branding and marketplace can ease the transition into a new field, making it ideal for someone looking for a next stage instead of a start-over.

Whatever your interests and strengths, there are plenty of options and opportunities for building a second income, developing skills, or filling the time after you’ve transitioned away from your first career.

About the author

Kate Lopaze

Kate Lopaze is a writer, editor, and digital publishing professional based in New York City. A graduate of the University of Connecticut and Emerson College with degrees in English and publishing, she is passionate about books, baseball, and pop culture (though not necessarily in that order), and lives in Brooklyn with her dog.