Perhaps you’re feeling like it’s time to do something new. You’re not sure just exactly what it should be, but you’re feeling a little bored, in need of stimulation and activity-you might actually be considering whether or not you should do some volunteer work or look for a part-time job. Retirement and the life of leisure aren’t for everyone. Many seniors find that after a brief respite, they are ready for more activity and community involvement in their retirement years. Here are some suggestions for evaluating whether you should seek volunteer work or a part-time job:
Is money an issue? If you could use the extra income that a part-time job provides, that may help you to make your choice easily and quickly. However, if money really isn’t the issue and you are looking for activity that serves other purposes, you’ll need to dig down and evaluate just exactly what it is that you’re looking for and how you’d like to expand your life.
If you are looking for social involvement and expansion, volunteer work might be a good choice. With less pressure to produce and meet deadlines (unless you’re doing some high pressured volunteering) there may be more opportunity to meet people and get to know them. Volunteering for group projects, helping with special events, and serving on boards and committees are all great volunteer jobs that serve the community and help individuals expand their social contacts.
If you are seeking a feeling of value and purpose-both work and volunteer efforts can feed a person’s need to feel as though he or she is making a positive contribution to society. There may be more responsibility with a paid job, but there are plenty of high profile and important volunteer jobs for seniors. Many volunteer jobs do have the bonus of it being very apparent how your efforts are benefiting others. But, you might consider a part-time job with a nonprofit organization or agency-you will have the responsibility of a job with the social purpose of a nonprofit.
If time constraints are an issue for you-if you like to have time off to go on vacation or need a flexible schedule, then volunteering would probably fit that sort of requirement better. With a paid job, there will be expectations and constraints on your time (unless you work as a consultant or independent contractor) whereas with a volunteer obligation, you will likely have more flexibility and more control over your own time schedule.
As you can see, both volunteering and paid employment are a great way for seniors to continue to be productive and active into their retirement, but the choice for which is best will depend on exactly what an individual is hoping to experience and what the other constraints and lifestyle choices are. Some seniors might even want to try a little of both!