Retiring or Just Reworking One’s Career

When I have been asked to comment on the impact of Boomers on the college labor market, I usually say that we will be able to contend with the first round of boomer retirements (there will be some disruption in some sectors) but it will be the second round of retirements that will cause the real labor shortage. Many boomers really do not want to leave the workplace–either they wish to find the fulfilling work they always wanted or they perceive needs for products and services they and their peers want–so they leave one job and create new jobs. We are beginning to see stories that this movement has actually started. Some boomers who have had their careers disrupted by the recession have moved into positions in which they find fulfillment creating something or serving others. Now we have boomers retire and immediately start working for non-profits, educational services (not necessarily teaching), small business advisers, environmental and natural resource programs. They are going back to their roots. In doing so they are expanding the job pool. When they retire, the challenge will be to fill the positions they have created in post-retirement. Catch the article on USA Today January 28-30 for a peek at what is coming.