Last night I took the Nashville Airport Express parking van from the terminal to my car. My driver was Andrew, a retired aircraft engineer. What is he doing driving a van? He wants to work in retirement to keep engaged while earning extra money. This is the story of the new unretirement trend.
On the positive side, The American Working Condition Survey compiled by the Rand Corporation on employment found that older Americans are able to have the flexibility they want from a job. On the negative side, they report having less support from their employers.
Older Workers Want Work Flexibility
“More older workers report having meaningful work and a fair amount of workplace flexibility compared with their prime-age counterparts, according to the American Working Conditions Survey (AWCS).” This may be because older Americans are choosing jobs in retirement that offer this flexibility. They are no longer on the career track, so they are willing to speak their mind and ask for the employment conditions that work best for them.
Older Workers Want Better Relationships with The Boss
“Though existing research found that older workers want constructive work relationships, the AWCS found that older workers perceive that they have less support than younger workers do.” This may be the negative side of no longer being on the career track. Less attention may be paid to the ideas and needs of older employees.
Older Americans Want to Work in Retirement
“More than half of retirees would return to work under the right conditions — and a large number already have.” Despite the drawback of having less supportive employers, older Americans are deciding to return to work. Some are just waiting for the right opportunity.
Employers who are considering hiring those who want to work in retirement should keep in mind that older workers want flexibility but also a mutually respectful relationship with their employer.
If you are still working full time it may be time to start thinking about what you want to do next. Surprisingly, according to AARP almost 40% of workers are already changing careers – not just jobs – after they turn 50. In addition, 30% of those working in retirement start to work in a new field. So, change is the new norm. Why are older people changing their career fields?
They Want Them Young
One reason is that management in their area of expertise may prefer younger workers. This can be particularly true in fields such as technology and design. While not actively discriminating against older workers, it may be believed that younger workers will have more up to date skills. Management may also believe that younger workers are more tuned in to new trends. This can make it difficult for an older worker to feel valued.
Older Workers Have Nothing Left to Prove
Secondly, an older worker may be looking for a career that is less stressful. It is part of the human condition for young people to want to prove their competence. New projects that require long hours are taken on simply for the challenge. They desire to prove that they can get it done. An older worker has already learned their capabilities through taking on challenges and succeeding and, sometimes, failing.
There is Still Something to Prove
However, a third reason may be that the older worker has wanted to take on a challenge that in the past was not possible due to financial or family obligations. It may be being an entrepreneur, a flight attendant or a park ranger. Rather than believe it is too late, today’s older worker believes they still have time.
So the old belief that change is for the young no longer applies!
But you don’t need to be bored! The average American will still be alive and probably in good health at age 85 so you should consider working in retirement. If you retire at 65 that means you have 20 years of life to fill. Do you really need that much rest? Do you really have that many hobbies? Do you really have that much money to live off of?
It is not surprising that a majority of Americans plan to continue working in retirement. However, a majority of these people want a different type of job; one that is flexible and with less stress.
Your New Job – Not Like Your Old Job
Your retirement job does not need be in the same field as your career. This means that you will probably make less money as the job may be entry level. However, the joy of a retirement job is that it is no longer your primary source of income. This means that you can explore new fields of work that you have always found of interest.
You may no longer be top management with people under you that follow your orders. However, if you are not on a career ladder, you also won’t get emails late in the day about problems. Leave those to younger workers who are still needing to prove their competence.
You Can Always Quit
An advantage of a retirement job is that you can always quit – and probably get hired back. Most older workers have learned the personal and political skills to get along with everyone at the work site. In addition they are responsible and know how to interact with customers. Chances are that if you get tired of your retirement job and want to quit, your boss will probably welcome you back if and when you want to return.
The number of people who plan to work after retirement is increasing dramatically. However, according to a study of 7,000 retirees, not all have the same reasons for working. Which of these four types of retirees are you?
The smallest group, about 15%, continue to work because they want success and money. These retirees have always been driven to achieve and reaching the traditional retirement age does not end this desire. They tend to either stay in their same profession or leave to start their own business.
A little over a quarter of working retirees, or 28%, are employed simply because they need the money. These are people who do not have enough savings to provide a sufficient income. Others suffered financial reverses due to health or family issues
Another quarter, or 24%, of working retirees continue with employment because they believe that working is part of a healthy lifestyle. However, they differ from achievers in that they now want jobs that they find interesting even if they do not lead to wealth or recognition.
Lastly 33% of working retirees work because they believe that their jobs help individuals or society. Employment provides a sense of purpose and a source of identity.
Which type you are will effect the type of employment you will seek. Of course, you reasons for work after retirement may be a combination of more than one reason!
According to a WSJ article, Nolan Ryan, one of the most celebrated baseball pitchers of all time, said it best. When you put on the uniform it doesn’t matter if you are the greatest player or sit on the bench, you are still part of a team. When Ryan retired from baseball, he found that being part of a team with shared goals was what he missed the most.
One reason people work in retirement is to regain that feeling of being part of a team. It doesn’t matter if you loved your job, or it just gave you something to grumble about when you got home, you belonged. Starting work with another organization, even just part time, can give a retiree that same feeling. You may no longer be management giving the orders, but you still have colleagues and a sense of shared identity.
It’s the Organization Not the Title That Matters
So, when looking for part time work, focus on organizations that you find of interest rather than just focus on the job title. Choose an organization about which you will want to learn more and share what you have learned with friends and family.
Join Me at Nashville Community Education
The growth of the economy in Nashville has resulted in many new part time employment opportunities in fields from hospitality to logistics. These jobs are an excellent way to supplement retirement income while providing social engagement and again being part of a team.
I will be teaching a two-session course where the first session will help you assess the skills you have to offer an employer. You will then determine which job posting sites have employment opportunities that match your skills.
The second session will provide practical information on application forms and short resumes along with a hands on experience applying for jobs.
Everyone is always talking about the Millennials; travelers aged 20-29. We know what they want, which is a unique and personalized travel experience. The hotel industry has responded by creating lifestyle hotel brands specifically targeted at Millennials. Now it is time to market to Generation Z.
Generation Z Makes the Travel Decisions
However, there is another group that is usually neglected. Gen Z is the title being given to those aged 10-19. In the United States there are almost as many members of Gen Z (41.8 million) as Millennials (42.6 million).
Of course most members of Gen Z are too young to have their own money to spend. However 93% of Gen Z influence the purchasing decisions of their parents, who do have the money to spend on travel. This influence is not just an American phenomenon. Research has found that Chinese teens are motivating their families to travel to international destinations.
Attracting Generation Z? Here’s How!
Convention and Visitor Bureaus in the United States are now planning events that are targeted as this group. They are doing so not just for the immediate income. Instead they are targeting Gen Z because they are hoping that if they have an enjoyable experience these young people will come back again as adults. So what type of experiences do these teen travelers want?
Sporting events targeted at younger audiences such as Lacrosse and surfing are successful in attracting Gen Z visitors.
Competitions, such as dance, singing and cheer leading are also popular.
Add a ‘Con’ to It!
Finally, any ‘Con’s’ such as VidCon, BlizzCon and ComicCon will attract the teen crowd.
Questions for Tourism Marketers to Consider
Do we have some events that we can target at teens?
What type of new events using local culture could be created?
Are there current pop culture trends that we could incorporate into existing events that would motivate teens to attend?
What Small Towns Can Offer Tourists: Yuma –Agriculture and Military
Convention and Visitor Bureaus may wonder what small towns can offer tourists. They can learn a lot from the example of Yuma, Arizona. How do I know about Yuma? I lived there for one year while I was a visiting professor at Northern Arizona University’s satellite campus. (When I write my life story, it will be the Bonita in the Desert chapter.)
Located in the US near the Mexican border, from early times it was the best place to ford the mighty Colorado River. Of course now there are bridges to cross the river, so why should anyone visit Yuma which is only known for agriculture and military bases, not top visitor attractions? The visitor bureau decided that there were foodies that would want to visit if the right tours were developed.
Agricultural Tours in Yuma
Just want to look? There are farm tours with musical entertainment, lunch and door prizes.
Want to pick? You can visit a farm and pick your own produce to take home with you. After you enjoy a meal using local ingredients prepared by culinary students.
Want to cook it yourself? Local restaurants have culinary classes where you can learn to cook regional specialties.
Yuma could be called the lettuce capital of the world with 350 days of sunshine a year so don’t forget Lettuce Days at the end of February! It includes cooking demonstrations, beer pairing, salad bar tossing and stories by the field hands that make the lettuce growing possible.
Military Tours in Yuma
Yuma is home to the US Army Proving Ground where weaponry is tested. Usually off limits to civilians, special tours have been developed for people who like things that go boom!
Just want to take a look? The At Ease Tour includes a bus tour of the base, visit to the heritage center and a chance to eat at the on base restaurant with military personnel.
Want to see behind the scenes? The tour will also take you to see areas that are usually off-limits to civilians.
So now you know what small towns can offer tourists. Yuma took two industries without direct ties to tourism and packaged them as family friendly visitor experiences.
Airlines have been transporting people for years. For all these years, people have been managing to board an airplane, take a seat and the flight has taken off. What was once considered standard behavior today has become much more complicated.
Now getting on the plane is considered a perk that is to be rewarded or withheld according to the revenue model of the airline.
What is the Reason for New Boarding Models?
Finding a better model for boarding planes can be financially rewarding for airlines. It is estimated that saving 30 to 60 seconds on the time it takes to board a plane can save a significant amount of money for an airline that has thousands a flights a day.
Selling Access to Airline Boarding
But there is a secondary financial motive that developed when airlines started to charge baggage fees. After all there is no need for a passenger to rush to board an airplane to get a seat; if they have a reservation and purchase a ticket they will get a seat.
What impels people to jockey to get ahead in line is the need to get overhead space for their baggage. Since airlines started to charge for checking bags more people are taking their bags on to the airplane.
So, the airlines want to board planes as quickly as possible in an orderly manner while the passengers want to get on as fast as possible. The airlines solution? Give priority boarding to passengers who pay more, have an airline charge card, are frequent flyers or pay for the privilege. It has become so complicated that American Airlines has nine categories for boarding preference.
Oh wait, that would be ten categories if you count the group that is so privileged that it has no number that boards before Group One. What do passengers feel would be the best method? No seems to have asked.
The hotel industry continues to redefine hospitality as society changes. Some of the trends to watch for are co-working, providing experiences beyond the hotel and local means serving locals. All revolve around the concept of hospitality rediscovering its roots. Hospitality is not just about serving the people who need a bed for the night. Hospitality is being redefined as serving all the needs of the guests and reaching out to local residents to also serve their needs.
Co-working Spaces in Hotels
Co-working spaces are of interest to people who work remotely and don’t have a company office. But they are also popular because people like the energy that results from working together. Hotels are responding by adding more communal spaces rather than assuming that people want to work in their rooms.
Experiences Beyond the Hotel
People want local experiences when they stay in a community. Rather than just have a concierge that tells people what to see and do, hotels are starting to create their own experiences that they can then sell to visitors. Local isn’t just using local art for decoration and local food in the kitchen.
Hotels Serving the Locals
While hotels are creating tours to gain more revenue from guests they have traditionally ignored the local community. They may have contributed to local charity. They may also book meeting rooms for local organizations. Now hotels are considering how they can extend hospitality by providing services to the hundreds of business people who work in the buildings around the hotel. This includes use of a hotel room for freshening up before an evening event, use of the gym facilities or package delivery.