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Finding part-time work after ER - difficulty?
Old 01-24-2013, 06:44 AM   #1
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Finding part-time work after ER - difficulty?

If there is already a thread on this subject, I apologize for the duplication, and please point me to it.

One of my goals for FIRE is to have the choice of working or not. We have enough put away so that I would not need to work full time. I'm just wondering what the odds are of being able to find part-time work.

If I did work I wold be looking at working an average of more than 15-20 hours per week. I would accept "project" work where I work full time for 1-2 months but then not work for several months. I don't expect to get health benefits. And I'd only be looking to earn between (10-15K on a yearly basis (I would not complain about earning more if possible, but I don't need to).

What have you FIRE folks found when trying to look for work in this economy? I know skills, contacts, and age are certainly factors - while 30+ years in very technical roles in IT have given me many hands-on analytic/architecture/design/presentation skills as well as contacts, I perceive (which may be incorrect) that being over 50 may be a hindrance even for part time work. So I'd be curious to get a general feel from folks on how easy/difficult it was to get part time work when you wanted it.
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:50 AM   #2
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Can't help. My plan was to work part time, but once I tasted FIRE, I never looked back.
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:55 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by travelover View Post
Can't help. My plan was to work part time, but once I tasted FIRE, I never looked back.
+1

A year after retiring I did actually begin the process of seeking a part-time job, but quickly came to my senses and escaped unharmed.
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:58 AM   #4
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Can't help. My plan was to work part time, but once I tasted FIRE, I never looked back.
+2

My original plan was just time off and then something less stressful, but ER is so much better.
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:59 AM   #5
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I guess it depends on the nature of the work and the location. When we retired and moved we both sort of planned on part time jobs more to get out and meet people than for the income.

Then we found that part time jobs in this area only paid $7-$9/hour and it wasn't worth the bother. If it was something really fun I'd work for that but I'd regard it as "beer money" that came along with fun stuff to do.

Side note: Ten years later the part time jobs still pay about the same.

So as it turns out I found a job that turned into full time but I have the option of quitting or going part time when I want to. And it gave DW the free time to deal with her father's aging issues without the competing obligations of a job.
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:50 AM   #6
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I have had two PT jobs since retiring. Both were through my career network of friends. I will be ending it this summer,as I have met my safety cushion needs. Due to my fixed tax structure from my pension, a $10 hour type "fun" job, would have to be great entertainment to take on for me, because I am butting up next to 28% tax bracket, so it wouldn't be worth my time, money wise.
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:02 AM   #7
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I haven't sought work, PT or other, yet - we'll see.
  • I am sure you can find PT work if you just want any job (seems unlikely), I see help wanted signs/marquees/ads almost daily. But whether or not it's suitable depends on what you're looking for.
  • After 50 or so, the older you are, the more it will work against you for most work. But it is a benefit in a few jobs, unfortunately they're exceptions and usually low paying. There are job sites catering to the 50+ crowd, though I haven't visited any so no personal insight.
  • I don't know if you're already retired, but switching directly from one job to another is easier than trying to re-enter the workforce after a long gap in your resume. If you're sure you want a second career, and are willing to transition without a 'sabbatical' - odds are it will help with the transition.
  • Networking is still/always a factor, no idea what your status is there.
I suspect you (and all of us) know all this...
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:57 AM   #8
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:50 PM   #9
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I haven't sought work, PT or other, yet - we'll see.
  • I am sure you can find PT work if you just want any job (seems unlikely), I see help wanted signs/marquees/ads almost daily. But whether or not it's suitable depends on what you're looking for.
  • After 50 or so, the older you are, the more it will work against you for most work. But it is a benefit in a few jobs, unfortunately they're exceptions and usually low paying. There are job sites catering to the 50+ crowd, though I haven't visited any so no personal insight.
  • I don't know if you're already retired, but switching directly from one job to another is easier than trying to re-enter the workforce after a long gap in your resume. If you're sure you want a second career, and are willing to transition without a 'sabbatical' - odds are it will help with the transition.
  • Networking is still/always a factor, no idea what your status is there.
I suspect you (and all of us) know all this...
+1
We found it not easy to get contract gigs (that are comparable in compensation and position to FT). The time/effort/networking required to work for 2 months of the year was not worth it. If you have a very niche skill and a strong local network that will take you on your schedule, it might work. Employers stop taking you seriously when they realize you are not career-focused and not driven to climb the corporate ladder. It might work for couple of years initially, but would get increasingly difficult. Plus we were never totally "free".
First try to identify the main reason for wanting to go P/T. If your motivation is
1. More $ - IMO, working 2 years full-time is better than 10 years of 2 months per year
2. Keeping your gray matter active or social network active, then find activities you find interesting and challenging.
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:51 PM   #10
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I am an RN so getting part time work that pays well is easy .Unfortunately I have no interest in it .
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:52 PM   #11
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I guess it will be quite easy for me to find part time positions, yes. Will look at locum tenens. I should add that I plan to spend some time to learn about equities and index funds first. I have a lot to learn.
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:57 PM   #12
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i can work part time and make over 50 dollars an hour. I'm not sure i will
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:27 PM   #13
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Since I liked my job, I kept working part time with my old employer, just a lot less hours. I don't have to learn anything new at a new job - its the same old job but less of it - and I like it so far.
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:41 PM   #14
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I do a little bit of consulting work on the side. Nothing too overwhelming but it pays well and allows me to continue to fund SEP/IRA.
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:58 PM   #15
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I found in a highly technical field, that it was difficult to stay current with the industry without the constant immersion. So my value goes down with each passing day. The two months on, 10 months off just doesn't seem to work.
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:38 PM   #16
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Thanks everyone for the variety of replies. Good information and as always some aspects I hadn't considered.

Funny coincidence - just after I started this thread I got an email from a recruiter from a large software company who saw my LinkedIn profile and papers I've published, and wanted to talk about a potential opportunity. This lead to two phones and even though I said I was happy with my job and that I was eligible for retirement, they want to keep my info in their "pool skill" for the future, as it has a good fit for them in several areas. Of course it may come to mean nothing, but it is nice to feel wanted at this age.
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Old 01-28-2013, 02:02 PM   #17
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I actually landed a part-time job in ER, and accepted it only because it seemed to meet the "dream job" requirements for me: working for and with kids at summer camps, in parks around the county. HOWEVER! It felt like a grind very quickly, the rush hour drive, the need to dress up, the office politics, idiocracy, and ultimately, low pay. So I noted my lessons learned. and returned to full ER after 3 months.

It's CRAZY how hard it is (was) to go back! I never found my groove...

But it seemed fairly easy to get hired. Not sure if that would hold true if I had to attempt it again.

I get more joy out of sharing my time with friends and family, and sticking to my hobbies, and if they generate a few extra bucks, I am happy. Being available to care for a sick g-baby, or run an emergency errand for my adult kids is rewarding enough.

Perhaps reflect on your motives for wanting that part time job. If you are already in ER, is it going to really change your bottom line? I had to admit it would not, and my time was more important than the pocket money...
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Old 01-28-2013, 02:04 PM   #18
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Side note: Ten years later the part time jobs still pay about the same.
Making it like almost all the jobs out there today, part time or not. And when you adjust for inflation....
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Old 01-28-2013, 03:25 PM   #19
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Come up with some good keywords and look here just for the heck of it...
www.indeed.com
You might get some new and different ideas for PT w*rk there.

When I first FIREd, I thought about and applied for w*rking PT as a regular call-in clerk* for a big box hardware store. I turned down the offer so their 2nd choice could get the j*b. He had a family to support.

Other than that, I have no desire to chase any sort of paycheck again.
Mr B and I are not rich, but we are comfortable and happy at our standard of living.

* My career field was Engineering and I w*rked as a small engine mechanic summers when I was in college. I know my tools and figured I could learn the rest OTJ.
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Old 01-28-2013, 03:39 PM   #20
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+1

A year after retiring I did actually begin the process of seeking a part-time job, but quickly came to my senses and escaped unharmed.
Yep!

Since I was fired, as opposed to achieving FIRE, I needed to look for work as part of the requirements for collecting unemployment benefits. Despite a half-hearted effort, I did eventually receive a fairly attractive offer. I just couldn't make the word "yes" come out of my mouth. That was 6+ years ago and I can now say with confidence that any urge I had in the past to seek full or part time employment has passed.
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