Mon, 8 Apr, 2019
How to start a business after retirement
The more mature Australian jobseekers may find it harder to find work. They may not have the skills that younger people have possessed in modern-day education. Or, they may find that when they do have the right skills and experiences that they get overlooked for a younger worker with less wage demands and a long career ahead. This is illegal, and we’ll come back to it shortly.
As time passes and still no job opportunity presents itself, you could always consider becoming self-employed. In fact, the Australian government released a study which indicated that self-employment has risen significantly over the last 20 years, especially in construction, trades, and business. Becoming your own boss in later life can have even more benefits than you may think. Here, we’re going to discuss this option in detail and help you consider if it is a path that you could go down.
Age discrimination in Australia
Australia is a forward-thinking country that has implemented laws to protect its citizens and provide them with equal opportunities. These rulings apply to older people who wish to find work. It is illegal for any Australian employer to not employ a legal Australian citizen or resident based on their age. As a result, many older people are able to fight off younger competition for jobs and secure employment. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare even uncovered that between 2006 and 2018 working people aged 65 and over has increased by 5 per cent.
However, age discrimination still exists, and it is difficult to prove. An accused employer can simply say that another candidate was better positioned for the role or gave better answers in the interview. This also makes it difficult to stamp out. In fact, The Australian Human Rights Commission conducted a survey as recently as 2015 and found that 27 per cent of Australians over the age of 50 believe they had suffered from age discrimination when applying for jobs and when in employment. Interestingly, some elderly people had even discussed dying their grey hair before interviews to improve their chances of getting the job.
Although age discrimination should not be overlooked and ignored, jobseekers do not have time for attitudes to change and better methods of clamping down on age discrimination to materialise. This makes becoming self-employed more appealing to many older people who are out of work but want to work. Age discrimination is not the main reason to become self-employed, but it can encourage older people to go it alone and enjoy a successful professional life.
The benefits of owning your own business
Most of us are aware of the major benefits of owning your own business. You don’t have a boss looking over your shoulder. You can plan your days around dog walks and your other commitments, and you get an overall greater sense of freedom.
Becoming self-employed also allows you to work in a niche that you are more passionate about.
Research has suggested that small businesses owners are happier than their nine-to-five counterparts. Moreover, when you are in the later stages of life, you also get to set up a business that works around you. You can create business hours that lets you see the grandkids midweek and you can choose to work at a pace that you are happy with.
But, how do I run a business?
Many older people were born before the social media boom and as a result are better at communicating with people. Specifically, they are often better at reasoning with people and developing rapport. This gives them an advantage when starting their own business because they can negotiate and talk to customers and clients effectively.
For many people, what is lacking is not business ideas or relevant skills, but the specific knowledge of how to create and run a successful business. A lack of knowledge may be seen as a threat to elderly people, but it really shouldn’t. One study has even suggested that learning capabilities among young and older people do not differ significantly. So, there are no reasons why you are not capable of learning new skills to create your own little empire.
To help older people acquire the knowledge to help them make their business successful, they could enrol into an online or distance-learning course. One example would be a valuable online MBA degree. This course will equip you with the knowledge to create a fruitful business in any area you prefer. Additional options would be to talk to other business owners and get help and advice from them.
Is being self-employed for you?
There are no doubts that becoming self-employed can offer a lot of lifestyle and personal benefits to older people. However, it may not be for everyone and you may need to increase your business knowledge to make it work. Fortunately, there are ways to acquire this knowledge. If you do decide to take an exciting adventure in later life, we wish you the best of luck!