Each of these 8 transferable skills opens doors to rewarding work – paid or voluntary. Which is yours?


A key to flourishing in retirement is to keep active – in mind, body and spirit. One way is to find work – paid or voluntary. Though in a less demanding and time consuming role.

But what if the job you have done doesn’t have a part-time equivalent? Or you simply don’t want more of the same?

Don’t worry, as there’s hope. The secret, when looking, not to think ‘job role’ as there may not be a round hole waiting that matches the one you once had. Instead, focus on the ‘life skills’ you have developed – because they open doors.

Indeed, there are 8 distinct transferable skills that can lead to a rewarding role. That’s what RestLess, an organisation helping those who are ‘older’ find rewarding roles, have identified.

And here they come. Check out which are yours and explore the opportunities.

1. Communication skills

Being a good communicator tends to mean you are a good listener and able to express yourself clearly and concisely, verbally and in writing

If you’ve a track record in a role requiring that kind of ability you have something that’s much needed.

Opportunities include: Teaching English as a foreign language, Counselling, Teaching assistant, Receptionist, Customer service.

2. Planning, organisation and time management skills

Employers love organised people because they get things done. Such people are great at setting goals and planning the steps needed to complete them. Don’t that? Then you are on your way.

Opportunities include: Party planner, Project manager, Admin assistant, Personal assistant, Travel planner.

3. Creativity

A creative person uses their imagination to think outside the box and bring new light on old ideas. And there are plenty of roles that call for such skills.

Opportunities include: Florist, Art therapy, Photographer, Furniture restorer.

4. The ability to keep calm under pressure

Not everyone can keep calm in a high pressure environment. If you’ve previously held roles where you have been able to keep calm and carry on you may be an ideal candidate.

Opportunities include: Doula, Emergency call handler, Carer.

5. People skills

People with exceptional people skills tend to have high levels of emotional intelligence, empathy and compassion. They are able to put themselves in other people’s shoes, consider how they may be feeling, and produce a response that the receiver will be particularly receptive to.

Opportunities include: Counsellor, Customer service, Call centre, Tour guide, Personal shopper.

6. Leadership skills

A strong leader takes charge of situations and motivates and inspire others to achieve their goals. They are also problem solvers who delegate, plan and coordinate.

Opportunities include: Become your own boss, Franchise owner, Project manager, Youth worker, Volunteer team leader.

7. Technological skills

Whether you have skills in coding, databases or social media platforms, there are roles out there waiting for what you have learned over the years.

Opportunities include: IT consultant, Video editor, Social media officer, Digital marketer, Charity back office support.

8. Numeracy skills

Good with numbers and happy to keep crunching them? There are openings depending the level of responsibility you’d like to have and how sociable you wish to be.

Opportunities include: Book keeper, Maths teacher, Credit controller.

Now for some final words of wisdom from RestLess – who did this thinking and have lots more resources to help. They say, ‘Always remember employers are looking for talented individuals first and foremost. And many are happy to offer training for those with the right transferable skills and attributes’.

For links to a mass of opportunities and wisdom on working in later life see the website RestLess.

You’ll also find ideas and resources on the AfterWorkNet webpages under Opportunities and Serving.

If you have found this helpful do please share it using the links below.

Peter Meadows

Peter is AfterWorkNet’s Programme Director. He’s still working part time in his 70s, helping churches and resourcing inter-church initiatives. This is alongside enjoying his eight grandchildren, escaping to Spain and spending his kids’ inheritance.

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The word retirement is not even in the Bible. What is taught in scripture is transition. There is nothing that says you work most of your life and then get to be selfish for the next 20 years

Rick Warren, PurposeDrivenLife