The Great Resignation Has Turned the Table on the Great Recession...And Proven the Value of Experience That Comes With Being 50+
Remember the aftermath of the Great Recession of 2007-2009? Nearly 9 million Americans were laid off. “Mature adults”—those age 50+ were being laid off in record numbers and couldn’t get hired to another job no matter how hard they tried.
Employers that were hiring wanted eager young people just starting out...those willing to work for vastly lower salaries.
Many older people that were laid off during those years decided enough was enough...they’d retire and be done with the work-week slog. More than a few of them moved to less-costly overseas locales where retirement income would go farther.
For good or bad, the strategy of hiring younger didn’t work out so well for employers. The youthful eager beavers generally proved to be “job jumpers.” Once trained, they were off to greener pastures.
Fast forward 15 years. We’ve gone from the Great Recession to the Great Resignation.
Record numbers of people of have resigned from the traditional workforce. Having worked from home for most of two years now, they’re not willing to go back into offices or sacrifice the personal time they’ve come to value.
Baby boomers, and those on either side of that generation, are now highly sought after.
According to U.S. News and World Report, 70 percent of human resource experts believe older workers have a strong work ethic.
“We need older workers now more than ever,” says Newsweek.
With “almost 60 million Americans are freelancing part- or full-time,” says Forbes, “freelancing is not only for the young.”
Forbes goes on to report that most freelancers today earn as much or more income now as they did when working as a traditional employee.
“For some seniors it’s a second act, for others an additional source of income and opportunity...the size of the senior freelance community is growing,” Forbes says.
Real-world success stories. “I average $75 an hour.”
Sharon O’Day, age 73, says that for her, freelancing is about freedom. She works primarily from her home in South Florida right now, but pre-covid planned to take her “earn-from-anywhere” income on the road as she travels.
Over the last couple of years, she’s worked steadily at building her stable of clients and increasing her hourly earnings so she can reduce her time commitments.
“My goal is to average around $75 an hour,” she says, “which I do. Depending on deadlines, I put in between 15 and 20 hours a week.”
Another senior says, “I retired at 64 and have been doing [freelance] work from home ever since, with a few months off here and there. I've saved most of the extra money I've earned these past several years and will be able to pay cash for a 2019 high-end compact SUV.
“I've also supported several charities and a scholarship fund for homeless students with the extra funds. I took my 10-year-old great-niece to a park and then on a little shopping spree; she told me it was the best day she ever had! That made my day!
“I encourage retirees to consider part-time consulting--it keeps you active and engaged but you work when you want to doing work you enjoy. So far, I haven't had trouble finding work--I am very grateful for the opportunities that have come my way.”
The Ultimate Inflation Beater
If you’re worried about your income not keeping ahead of your expenses, online freelancing may be the ultimate way to beat inflation.
That’s because you’re not locked into a set salary and your earning potential is up to you.
And if you do as some freelancers are doing...earn in dollars and spend those earnings in a good-value haven overseas, your dollar can go much farther...a big built-in bonus.
One friend of mine, for instance, began earning steadily enough to fund a four-month journey through Central America.
Today she lives in the lush, tropical highlands of Panama and says, “I have a couple steady clients and am able to pay my bills and traveling expenses. I only accept jobs that excite me and make working a joy.”
She never could have had this kind of exotic, adventure-filled life if she’d stayed in the States, she says, nor if she hadn’t discovered how to both augment and stretch her retirement income.
How Do You Get Started?
If you have an internet connection, you can work from anywhere you happen to be...on a beach, a balcony, a boat, or even your own backyard.
It's the best way I know of to put some extra money in your pocket for retirement, travel, or to supplement some other income you have coming in, like Social Security or even your current job.
And the great news is that if you're 50 or over, you're in big demand as an online freelancer. You're the perfect candidate to be earning somewhere north of $20 to $40 an hour—many people are doing just that.
That’s because you have the experience, temperament and can-do spirit hiring managers are looking for.
Online freelancing can provide the ideal middle-way. You maintain control over your schedule and gain the flexibility and freedom to earn from anywhere.
And I get it....older workers especially don’t necessarily understand how they can fit in, how they can capitalize on the extraordinary opportunity that’s out there today.
That’s why I created an innovative program to “pull back the curtain” and show folks exactly how to capitalize on skills, experiences, and know-how they already have and turn that into a portable, flexible income online....and how to navigate these online opportunities and get solid results from the outset.
If you’re looking to put extra money in your pocket and capitalize on this growing trend, there’s no reason to waste time.
My team and I have a special event, in fact, coming up very soon.
It’s called the Fund Your Freedom Workshop and it will take place over two-and-a-half days April 22-24 in St. Louis, Missouri.
It’s a program that’s designed to show you how to:
- Tap into your specific "domains of knowledge." Everybody has unique areas of expertise accumulated over a lifetime and my teamand I will help youidentify these.
- Showcase skills in the best possible light. This is different—and much bigger—than building a resume—it's about positioning you and your talents in a way that gets the most attention from the best clients. This is really key: You want a sustainable base of reliable clients that pay well.
- Put skills on the global marketplace. Thereare thousands of freelance platforms out there...some are worth focusing on, depending on your skillset, and others are not. Discover where energy is best spent and create a plan of action for freelance success immediately.
If you’re interested in seeing if this might be right for you, check out the details here.
How to Successfully Rise Above the Challenges
We all get sidetracked, I get that. The “distraction factor” we’ve experienced over the past two years has certainly been a major disruptor. Every time we turn around, it seems, there is a major event vying for our attention.
At the same time, the freelancing industry itself has evolved and changed.
There are more opportunities and job postings than ever before. There are more job platforms and networks (including highly specific niche platforms) than ever before.
Every time a new workforce event occurs, the landscape changes again. And the way you attack it must change, too.
It can be easy to be overwhelmed by all this...to not know how to get started and to maintain your momentum. Once you veer from the path it can be a challenge to get back on course.
The key is to surround yourself with “motivators.” While that may sound incompatible with the concept of being an independent contractor, it’s really not.
In fact, the most successful freelancers out there will tell you they couldn’t do it without ongoing support. And they surely need to stay current with emerging industry trends.
Start With the Basics...and Let Ongoing Peer Support Drive the Path Forward
One-on-one support is an essential element of all this, in fact. And it’s the reason I am so adamant that our Fund Your Freedom Workshop is a live and in-person event.
You come with your sleeves rolled up and ready to work. Our team of certified coaches works one-on-one with you to create your personalized plan of attack so you can quickly and efficiently capitalize on the opportunities of today’s historic workforce revolution.
You’ll have lots of valuable resources on hand, in fact...like a photographer taking professional headshots to help you “put your best face forward” in your online profile.
(And that’s another thing: you need a profile that gets results. Don’t think of it as a resumé. It’s far more than that. It’s the inverse of a resumé, to be truthful. You have to focus on those domains of knowledge not just a career timeline.)
It doesn’t stop there. Once you leave the Workshop, even though you’ll be set up and ready to start earning immediately, you need to continue your forward momentum.
In addition to recoding every session so you can go back and review the information shared, we provide long-term support in the form of ongoing one-on-one consultations with me and with your personal designated coach.
You’ll be invited to attend our weekly interactive webinars—close to 44 hours of individualized, ongoing support over the course of a year—where we focus on emerging trends, and exchange ideas, tips, and strategies.
We often have guest speakers on those calls who have incredibly insightful input to share.
You get the idea, I’m sure. This is no one-and-done. It’s an investment in your future. There’s a video, here, that explains it very well.
But the bottom line is this: When you can generate funds from anywhere, you gain a tremendous amount of freedom. And not just the ability to pick up and go, to spend part of the year in one place and part in another....although if you have wanderlust as I do, this is a big deal.
You gain the flexibility to earn from home (in pajamas on your terrace or a bathing suit on the beach if you so desire) and you can make that home anywhere there’s an internet connection.
This is an opportunity that puts you in control of what your days look like. And it’s something anybody can do—regardless of how “non-portable” you think your professional background may be. Really.
About the author: Winton Churchill is founder of Barefoot Consultants and author of The New Retirement: The Rise of the Gig Economy and How You Can Profit from It. He’s been involved in a variety of senior sales, marketing and management roles for, Apple Computer, Oracle Corporation, Spinnaker, Contact Software (ACT!), Sun Microsystems, Legato Systems, and Netfish Technologies (now IONA) and served as Past President of the South Bay Association of Chambers of Commerce serving more than 53,000 businesses in coastal Southern California.
Since 2007, he made Mexico his primary residence and divides his time between Huatulco and San Miguel de Allende.