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Retired not out: Helping elderly people pursue a second career

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When Priyanka Gothi saw her mother struggling with life after retirement after a long career as a teacher, she attempted to help her find another job. To her disappointment, very few employers were willing to offer her mother a job because of her age.

The experience of helping her mother find another job prompted Gothi to think of ways to help other elderly people pursue another career after their retirement.

This is especially relevant in Hong Kong which has one of the longest life expectancies in the world: the average lifespan for men is 81 years, while women live to 87, meaning many Hongkongers will have up to 30 years of life after retirement ahead of them.

The government projects that by 2064, 33% of Hong Kong’s residents will be 65 and above. Gothi felt the extended life after retirement of Hongkongers created a need for tapping into the retiree talent pool.

In June last year, she launched Retired Not Out, a job marketplace that connects organisations with experienced and skilled retired professionals.

“Retired seniors are a huge untapped pool of talent and it is our strong belief that with relevant jobs and working arrangements we could leverage their expertise to create an immense and positive impact for businesses and communities,” she said.

As of now, the job search platform has more than 400 members and has placed 25 jobs so far.

Facing an ever-changing business environment, she understands the importance of helping retirees stay ready for the workplace. She runs a senior school programme providing training for retirees who wish to upgrade their skills, which also acts as a confidence builder.

“We run programmes to upskill seniors when it comes to technology or personal development and professional skills so they can become more employable,” she said.

For retirees considering a return to work, interest, not money, is the top priority according to a study conducted by Retired Not Out.

“Money was the fourth thing in their priority; the first was area of interest – ‘it should be close to what I’m looking to do’,” she said.

With interest being a number one priority, she has certified coaches to run retirement transition management programmes for retirees to recalibrate and find opportunities to find meaningful work after they retire.

“To help match retirees with the right job, it is important for them to understand how the world has changed since they last left (a job) and what they need to do to be ready for it,” she said.

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