John Sands enjoyed a long and successful career and in 1996, at age 66, he decided to give retirement a try. That lasted about six months. “I tried to retire but almost went crazy,” he says of the brief stint. “I have worked since I was 12-years-old (had a paper route and mowed yards), and it was difficult to not be doing ‘anything.’ ”
Since then, John’s been working part-time instead. “Fortunately, a friend owns a biotech company and asked me to help him out with his international business,” John explains.
While he didn’t enjoy full retirement, he finds part-time work to provide a great life-work balance. “I have more free time to just relax and spend time with my family,” he says, referring to his wife, adopted dog, daughter and grandchildren. He goes into the office twice a week, has a laptop to stay connected from home, and participates in weekly staff meetings.
Benefits of Part-Time Work
“It keeps my mind active and I like the challenge,” Sands says. “I interface daily with young people and I like to think that that keeps my mind ‘young.’ ”
John highly recommends part-time work as an option between full-time and retirement, listing several benefits:
a) “It challenges your brain (mind).”
b) “You interact with younger people, which gives you different ideas to evaluate. It’s hard for me to put it in words, but this is one of the things I enjoy most about my job.”
c) “My job involves working with international clients, and I thoroughly enjoy working with different cultures.”
d) “It gets me up and moving because I know my company depends on me to do a job for them and create a good example for our company.”
In addition, the added income also comes in handy.
Finding a part-time job is different for everyone depending on your field and past experience. If you can, John recommends first asking the company you are (or were) employed with full-time if there’s an option to work part-time or as a consultant. As with John’s biotech offer, networking with business connections is another great way to hear about opportunities.
Your wealth of life and job experience can be very valuable, as was John’s international experience.
Partial retirement can also be a great time to explore other interests or careers. For example, many professionals enjoy teaching in one form or another part-time. Whatever your calling, seek part-time employment that you find stimulating and gives you a great life-work balance.