Thursday, September 24, 2015

Returning to Work in Retirement-A Seasonal Opportunity

As a retiree on a fixed income, I have (carefully) positioned myself so that work is not a necessity in retirement. By doing some easy downsizing and making some adjustments I am now able to do the things I want (from quilting to entertainment to twice yearly travel), on my fixed budget.  Even so there are still times I choose to work for a variety of reasons.

I previously had a business.  That did not work for me, as it required a year around commitment. I also experimented with turning a favorite hobby into a business, and that did not work for me either. Maintaining a website and an online store were again time consuming, and cut into my laid back retirement schedule. I have discovered that I do like to work, on occasion, just not all the time. Knowing this, I've been exploring two options. One of those is writing, and one is taking advantage of seasonal opportunities.

Believe it or not, I have been guided by my son in this. Since almost every job he has applied for require three full years of uninterrupted employment (which he does not have) he has looked at temporary work and starting his odd jobs business. As I help him advertise and act as his part time "administrative" person, the jobs he advertises and the services he provides change through the seasons. I've taken that solution a step further and decided that I will work the few times a year that it makes sense for me to work, giving me the best of both worlds in retirement (for me)!

Being one of those people who is good at many things (as opposed to being an expert in one or two), there are a wide variety of "working skills" that I do well and enjoy. My experience, work and hobbies have led me to lead children's programs, bake as a profession, be an expert errand and organizing person and of course, sew anything and everything. Using these skills for work force me to challenge myself in a way that even life long learning courses do not, and keep me on my toes-as long as i do them for short periods of time.

Recently, as I was looking at beginning to bake those decorated cookie trays for fall, I received an unusual request.  A local mall has done a complete remodeling and will have their grand opening mid-November. As part of their new direction they will have a large area of center court that will have crafters and food booths from the Grand Opening to the first of the year (instead of those crazy kiosks throughout the mall).  I was invited to set up and sell all of my sewn and quilted items with an emphasis on team items (quilts, place mats, scarves and more).  After some thought I accepted this particular deal.

For me, this is a perfect "temporary work in retirement" opportunity.  While it requires a lot of sewing in a short period of time, there is a definite beginning and ending to this "job".  I rarely travel in the fall except for some weekend trips like my upcoming trip to Mount Rushmore and the Badlands. I don't have to actually be at the mall every day as they will also have a central cash register system (though I like to celebrate the holiday and do demonstrations on sewing and knitting). Because of the central cashier nature, I can still go away for Christmas and be "in business". I'll still have plenty of time for the normal things I do at Christmas.  And finally, of course, at the end of  six weeks of so called "work" I'll have a hefty cash inflow, which is always a good thing and will probably be spent on my six week gulf to east coast trip in the spring.

Seasonal work "works' for me because I can work as the mood hits, I tend to travel at non traditional times and because I enjoy the energy level of short spurts of work. Usually my seasonal exploits are much less involved-a week of providing sweets and wreaths at Easter, for example.

Working year around, even part time, would drastically interfere with my lifestyle. Short term, seasonal creativity fits in with my retirement and lets me experience new challenges (and work with my family, who will all be a part of this particular experience). So, for the next few weeks I'll be attending classes, enjoying the Indian summer of Colorado, doing my normal retirement routine, traveling to South Dakota and New Mexico-and doing sewing and knitting-and plenty of it of it.

And now, I'm off to Mount Rushmore, snapping pictures with my cell phone as I go. Hopefully my picture taking has improved and I'll have lots of photos to share at the beginning of the week!


  1. This sounds like a very good idea. Good for you! Good luck.
    I've been starting to think of seasonal work also. Sounds like fun.

  2. I decided to start a real estate career.I am working a lot to get started, and have my first listing just 2 weeks in! As time goes by I hope to develop a part time business where I can make some extra money and also have time off for vacations and adventures.. I love research, and people, and learning..and real estate provides all 3.. still, in the beginning it is not exactly part time! I guess I may not actually be retired anymore..LOL!!

  3. I figured if you can quit anytime, you're retired. Good deal with the real estate thing.

  4. Very nice! Should be fun to hear about your adventures- both in Badlands and at work.

  5. Sounds like a great opportunity. And like you said, the best thing of all is that it has an end date!


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