Retirement used to happen around one’s 60s, but these days people are living longer and healthier lives. As the baby boomer generation ages, many of them don’t want to retire, or financially can’t. However, the kinds of work these older employees want to do and how they want to do it shifts dramatically. An interview with Wade, an adjunct professor, and GetSetup Guide, helped shed light on the economic opportunities available to those over 50.
Wade is 66 and went from learning in a 4 room schoolhouse in Tennessee to being an adjunct teacher and GetSetup Guide. In between that time he got a Doctorate in Psychology with a minor in computer science. He worked a number of consulting jobs in the healthcare information system while always on and off as an adjunct teacher. He worked within the healthcare information system industry installing hospital information systems across the US for different corporations and small-time companies.
While Wade excelled in all these jobs he said, “I don’t do well in big companies. I do better in small companies.” This led him to start a small business helping seniors relocating from home to assisted living centers. Throughout his life, despite many different jobs, there always seemed to be a balance between healthcare systems and teaching. Even today he still works with healthcare and teaching since he helps with some of GetSetup’s classes on health and well-being like How to stay calm in stressful times.
When he and his wife relocated to a more rural area of South Carolina, he found work teaching at two community colleges in the area. “One of the problems with adjunct professors is there is no work in the summer,” he complained.
This led him to GetSetup as he was looking for supplemental income. As he put it, “I didn’t want to go work at the hardware store. I wanted something I found interesting and rewarding and challenging. At this age, it’s more about the mission than the money.”
GetSetup struck him as the perfect blend of supplemental income and a challenging, yet rewarding profession. “One of the reasons I keep getting out of corporate America is that I like working with clients. I liked the [GetSetup] mission about helping seniors feel connected — to find a career or have their virtual happy hour. It seemed very rewarding and it has been. I really enjoy interacting with clients and getting that ‘oh ok! Great!’ I love that. And the ‘Now I can do that!’ That is kind of what jazzes me! I get into a session and they get it. And they are so appreciative. That is the big reward.”
Finding work after 50 is important especially at this time. Unemployment rates for those 55 and over lept up according to the U.S. BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS from 2.6% in Feb, to 3.3 % in March and then 13.6% in April of 2020. That’s a jump of over 10% in the middle of a crisis when options are limited.
Those who suffered from layoffs due to the coronavirus can utilize some crucial technology skills to prepare themselves to get back into the workforce. GetSetup offers classes like how to use LinkedIn to market oneself (customized to the over 50 applicants) to consumers on their site.
Furthermore, companies who do not want to lay off experienced employees can help to train or onboard their employees over the age of 50 with new technology or software services. GetSetup offers customized options that can be tailored specifically to a company’s needs. Depending on the software or technology these customized classes can be ready to go live in 3–7 days with trained experts in the field.
GetSetup has a variety of Guides from diverse professional backgrounds on standby to ensure the success of customized training. GetSetup founders are not shying away from the aging future consumer.
Co-founder Lawrence said, “The US population is getting old and aging very quickly — 25% or more will be over 60 soon. They will be everyone’s customers. This is our interesting opportunity and challenge — to figure out how to make it easier for companies to adapt to this change. We make it easier for this population to learn to live more comfortably and easier lives. Once they do that — it opens a whole door to other interesting new things these consumers can do so they aren’t isolated and lonely at home and don’t need to rely on an external caregiver.”
GetSetup helps companies adapt to this change by training both dedicated employees in new tech skills to keep them active in the community and garnish their years of experience in the job as experts, and consumers to better use companies’ tools, products, and services.
Many folks aging over 50 aren’t planning to quit working anytime soon. As Wade said, “My dad will be 91 this year and he’s going strong. I think I attribute that to the fact that he never retired. My intention is to never retire.”
Wade loves the GetSetup ‘small company feel’ where he can work one-on-one or with small groups of adult learners. Since he works as an independent contractor his job is flexible and built around the hours he has available. Most Guides work between 5–20 hours a week and make $25 a class depending on their availability and expertise. This means Guides have a supplemental income that tends to range from $125-$500 a week without ever having to leave the comfort of their home.
Those are not the only benefits, according to Wade, “I like that it is a small company. There isn’t a lot of overhead. I really liked being able to meet all three of the owners very early in the process. That felt good cause I knew them and I felt their commitment to the clients, and I wanted to do something that made a difference not just to make money.”
Considering that adjunct teachers in the US often make as little as $12 an hour according to ZipRecruiter, it is no surprise that retired educators are coming to GetSetup to give back to their community, and skip out on the classic ‘required’ unpaid grading outside of class hours that most schools and universities require.
Lifelong learners continue to be hungry for knowledge! Wade knows the importance of this as a passionate educator and learner. He said, “I’m a psychologist so keeping your mind busy is how you keep it strong and avoid Alzheimer’s.”
Live interactive classes — not a webinar or broadcast — provide interactivity and a let’s do it together message of empowerment!
GetSetup models its business after what it promotes in both its partner companies and learners:
- More opportunities for seniors to work
- Striving to reduce loneliness — America’s silent pandemic
- Creating economic opportunities for companies and institutions
- Help organizations and companies grow their RoI for their digital initiative (by educating customers on effective and continual use of tools)
- Increasing engagement
- Reducing internal and external churn
- Enhancing outreach opportunities that cater to an overlooked market
- Provide healthy options to constituents
Attend the growing aging demographic and garnish the future 25% of the consumer market by promoting confidence, empowerment, and learning as a benefit to reduce adverse health problems.
Find out more about how GetSetup can ensure that your organization, institute, or company is engaged, connected, and fighting loneliness.