Now that you’re over 50, your kids are likely grown, or on their way, and you may be nearing retirement. As a Boomer, you’re not looking to idle your days away watching television or doing crossword puzzles. You’re thinking about which new adventure you can create for yourself. Making some incredible money would also be a great perk to it too. Will it be a completely different second-act career or just a fun and interesting part-time job? But, you don’t want to have to go back to school for years either.
You may be pleasantly surprised to learn that there are several fun careers out there that you can move into without formal training, just by putting life skills you already have to marketable use. Here are a few new direction careers that might not make you rich but you can support yourself fairly comfortably or do extremely well just by “selling” a skill you already have.
1. Wedding/Party Planner. If your friends and family have always complimented you on your awesome party planning skills, and your old boss couldn’t live without you organizing the annual company blow-out bash, there may be a perfect second-act career just waiting to pay you big $$$. Wedding and party planners (all types) are in big demand – especially corporate party planners. It’s a career you can run out of a home office as well and requires very low start up fees. How to start? Figure out what kind of parties you’ll offer – kids birthday parties, weddings, retirement parties, corporate parties, pretty much the sky is the limit – here’s a chance to really use your creativity. Set up your business entity name, make some business cards, ask your old boss, friends, family to write “testimonial recommendations” for you and list them on a flyer/advertisement that you send to local businesses, corporate or hospital PR departments, or just around your neighborhood. Wedding/Party planners, depending on how many projects they take on, can make over $50,000 a year.
2. Dance Instructor. Are you a great dancer? Do you know one, or several, types of dancing well? Ballroom, hip-hop, jazz, Latin, ballet? Do you have a nice personality and think you can teach others? Your dancing skills may get you a part-time dance instructor job at the local recreational center, senior center, church community centers, private dance studios or fitness centers.
Dance instructors, depending on how many hours a week they teach, can make a comfortable $45,000 a year having fun, meeting new people and getting a great workout several times a week. How to start? Visit your local recreational center or church community centers, human resource offices of senior centers, fitness studios, etc, and ask them if they’re interested in someone teaching a fun dance class to their clients/parishioners.
It’s a good idea to take a class at the American Red Cross to get a CPR/lifesaving certificate which many public places require their fitness instructors to have. These classes can be completed in a few sessions of about an hour a piece. $20-30 an hour is a reasonable pay/fee for instructors if you’re coming in only a few hours a week. More than that, you may negotiate a per week fee. You can teach your dance skills at several different places a week, 30-40 hours a week.
3. Handy Person: Are you a good “fix-it” person? Do you do a lot of your own DIY home repair and know a lot about how-to home improvement jobs and repairs? You may find a part-time job as an “associate” at one of the big chain home improvement companies like Home Depot, Lowe’s, etc.
Even better, you can start a whole new career, work your own hours, and make some very decent money with your own Mr/Ms Fix-It service for your neighbors and local community. You can even list your name with the senior center as a reliable, trustworthy person in the neighborhood whom older seniors can call to repair things in their home or do minor upkeep and home improvement jobs. Make up some business cards, and a flyer that lists the different types of repair, home improvement jobs you’re comfortable doing, and clearly state how much you charge per hour/job.
Keep your fees reasonable and below the going commercial rate in your neighborhood. This is a job you can fit around your own schedule and do as much, or as little, work as you want. You can make at least $40,000 a year or more.
4. Interior Decorator. Although many professional interior decorators have a degree in the field, you may have studied Art, Design in college, or just have a lot of skill decorating houses. This is another one of those “life skills-into-business-world” endeavors that can land you some decorating jobs.
How to get started? Offer to re-decorate a friend’s, or family member’s living room, bathroom, etc, for free (they pay for materials), or use your own home to create different decorating themes in different rooms. Take photos and create a small portfolio to show to prospective clients. Create some business cards and a list of recommendations you may have.
If you’ve got artistic skills and created that beautiful stone mosaic on your fireplace, or re-did your laundry room from drab to fabulous, or creatively re-furbed some old furniture pieces into new, usable works of art, take photos and offer your skills to others who want one-of-a kind decoration in their own home, office, or corporate spaces. Depending on the client and the type of work or pieces they want, interior decorators/designers can easily make up to 6 figures combining their unique “homemaking” and artistic skills into a new marketable adventure.
These are just a few lifeskills into new career moves that you could do. You may have other lifeskills that you can recycle into your own business and have fun doing it. Retirement is just a way to open the door to a whole new life, have fun and make some money at the same time!