So, you’ve retired. You’ve said goodbye to the 9-to-5 grind, and you’re ready to embark upon your new life. But maybe you’re looking for something to keep you engaged with the outside world or perhaps realizing you need to supplement your income but aren’t ready to take on another “real” job. Temping — being employed for a short or determined amount of time — could be the perfect solution.

What is Temping?

Woman wearing a cloth headband proudly displays a bouquet of flowers in a flower shopAccording to Forbes, about 1⁄3 of companies hire contract or temporary workers to keep things running smoothly. Temping can refer to a wide variety of different jobs that all share this one trait: they don’t come with a long-term commitment. So temping encompasses jobs like seasonal work — in retail or at national parks, or recreational places that do a bulk of their business at a certain time of year — consulting, accounting (especially during tax season), or even teaching.

The Benefits of Temping

Taking on a temporary job has plenty of benefits besides supplementing your income:

    • A job gets you going. Maintaining a regular schedule and sense of purpose is essential to your mental health, especially if it was something you were used to before retirement.
    • Most temp jobs offer flexible schedules or “job sharing,” which is when they assign two people to one job so they can split the work days.
    • There’s no pressure of long-term expectations, which can be immensely freeing.
    • You can make new friends and build your network. Who knows when the people you meet might be useful to know later on?
    • You can keep your skills sharp, just in case you ever want to consider another long-term opportunity.
    • It gets you “in the door,” so to speak. Temping is a great way to insert yourself into a new industry or career field.
    • Working through a temp agency can alleviate some of the stress associated with finding and applying to jobs.

Reasons Companies Prefer to Hire Retirees

Man wearing an apron and standing behind a counter smiles at a customer, who is paying for something in a brown paper bagWith age comes experience, and companies often would rather hire someone with years of work under their belts than some flaky twenty-something. They can also classify a temp worker differently on the payroll, which allows them to staff up for a short-range project without the added price of paying healthcare and other benefits. Most temporary jobs that require you to work on-site pay you as an employee, deducting Social Security and other taxes. Other types of jobs, particularly project-based opportunities, classify you as a contractor, paying you a flat fee.

Ways to Find Temp Work:

    • Offer your services to a former employer. You can help fill in during busy parts of the year, assist with special projects, or temporarily replace employees on extended leave.
    • Contact a Temp Agency. Doing this eliminates many of the hurdles to finding a temporary job. Most of the jobs they will have tend to be clerical in nature, but there are also usually positions for professionals and managers as well. 
    • Pursue a Special Interest. If there’s something you always wanted to do but never did, offering to work temporarily could be the perfect way to get your foot in the door. Schools are always in need of substitutes and paraprofessionals, for example, and national parks need seasonal employees. 
    • Woman smiles as she cares for seven catsStart a Consulting Business. If you carved out a name in your particular field and would enjoy continuing your work at a lesser capacity, then consulting could be perfect. It will allow you to pick and choose jobs by the project, and manage your time exactly how you want.
    • Join the Gig Economy. You might not want to drive intoxicated people around as an Uber driver, but tons of other options exist to hire yourself out in the same capacity. By joining Uber, Lyft,, DogVacay, or other similar groups, you could offer your services as a personal shopper, pet sitter, or childcare provider.

Other Articles You Might Enjoy: