September 30, 2019 BestCompaniesAZ

What is Forced Retirement and What Happens Next?

Here at BestCompaniesAZ we provide informative and current information on careers for all sorts of job seekers, whether it be to a recent college graduate or to a well established business person.

If you’ve been in the workforce for several decades, then you’re probably no stranger to the hiring and layoff process. However, as technologies rapidly evolve and the speed of knowledge acquisition increases, older workers may find themselves at a disadvantage. Why?

Over half of all workers aged 50 and older lose their long-held jobs because they were laid off or otherwise forced to leave involuntarily. Therefore, we believe it would be helpful to provide an overview of forced retirement and the steps based suited to confront and overcome it.

Beyond providing just an overview of what this form of retirement is, we’ll also dive into how workers later on in their careers can find jobs after an unexpected retirement.  After all, the end of a career at one company should not mean the end of a career overall!

What is forced retirement?

At a high level, what makes a forced retirement different from a normal retirement is who elects to end the employment relationship. In other words, if an employer chooses to end an older worker’s employment earlier than anticipated, he or she is likely retiring earlier than expected. Unfortunately, an earlier than anticipated retirement is not common in an era of work focused on consolidation and efficiency. Companies downsize, demand skills for the newest technologies, and sometimes even close. All these factors contribute to the forced retirement of older workers.

On the other hand, it’s also common for older workers to step down from their positions due to other unforeseen circumstances. For example, health issues or family member care often happen later in life. When it comes down to making a decision, personal well-being often takes priority.

What can you do about it?

The first step after your last day at your current job is to give yourself time to think about and process the situation. The involuntary end to a career at a workplace you love is tough. In addition, it will likely require some time to work through. Giving yourself time to reflect and relax is the ideal method to avoid rushing into another job out of fear. This can disadvantage you from a career perspective, especially if you are overqualified.

After some time to process the life change, consider reentering the workforce as an option. Employers who push out highly experienced employees often do so to their detriment.

To quote Susan Weinstock, vice president of Financial Resilience Programming for AARP,

“Research shows that these employees are loyal, productive, motivated and possess the very ‘soft skills,’ like calm under pressure and ability to solve problems, that employers say they need.”

Emphasize what you can bring, be it experience or soft skills, seems to be a key to reentering the workforce.

With the above information in mind, the sooner you can begin looking for jobs the better. Luckily, you have a substantial advantage over recent college graduates in both your years of experience and network. Reaching out to your peers who work at other companies is a great way to start your search. Many companies struggle to find workers with not only specialized knowledge, but also a demonstrated track record of success.

What to do next?

Fortunately, there are tons of online resources to use to find a job after forced retirement. Several can match the skills you’ve acquired throughout the length of your career. BestCompaniesAZ offers up-to-date listings of stellar positions at some of the best companies in Arizona for you to check out.

Brush up your resume, then start looking at some of Arizona’s most celebrated employers!