Once age 62 rolls around, many workers are ready for a change. “A lot of people choose to leave the rat race and step out of this busy, busy life,” says Ellen Miller, executive director of the University of Indianapolis Center for Aging and Community.
For some people, that means retirement, but others aren’t ready to leave the workforce completely. They may move into a different field or work in a different capacity. While some seniors continue working for the money, others hold jobs because they love the social connections, routines and life purpose that comes with employment.
The Urban Institute surveyed 6,230 workers age 62 and older and found some trends in the jobs they report to be the most enjoyable. “Most of these jobs are jobs that require more brains than brawn,” says Richard Johnson, director of the Program on Retirement Policy at the Urban Institute. “They want positions where they have more control over their schedules.”
Marci Alboher, author of “The Encore Career Handbook” and vice president at the nonprofit Encore.org, says that beyond flexibility, older workers are interested in helping professions and opportunities to pass on their knowledge to others. Meaning, value and purpose all play a role in whether a job will be enjoyable.
For older workers looking for their second act, the following occupations are among the most enjoyable
1. Clergy. In the Urban Institute survey, no job scored as more enjoyable than that of clergy. Nearly two-thirds of older workers in this profession say they really enjoy what they do. This career ticks off a lot of boxes when it comes to what older workers like about employment. It provides social connections, offers a meaningful line of work, can be flexible and provides opportunities to help others. “Many people transition into that job at older ages,” Johnson says. Traditionally not a job that pays well, it can be a good fit for seniors who have other sources of retirement income.