Working It? How to find an alternative job @ 70+

At some point we each have thought, we wish we were richer. Maybe, have another income stream as prices rise, especially if our writing dries up. Our co-mingled anxiety has led us to wonder how easy or hard it would be to retrain ourselves in our 70s and find a new job. 

We have a great work ethic, lots of life experience and like being around people, especially younger ones. In fact, we may each rewatch The Intern with Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro to help us teach younger folks, including millennials, that we-and our peers--represent a fabulous applicant pool. 

That's why we have compiled a list of possible jobs based on what we found  online for two women who have few salable skills beyond the pen. We think we're decent at the schmooze. But In our job search, we both are adamant about one thing: We are NOT taking any job that requires us to wear some cutesy uniform. 

These suggestions are for our aging readers. Weigh in if you have any better ideas, please. 

Nursing home aide-Spending a few hours a week in a senior citizens' home except, in many cases, we might be older than many of the residents. We think this might be a little to close to home. No, thanks. 

Nanny--First rule: understand the children in your care. Maybe, learn how to relate to them on their level, coochie coochie coo, especially the littlest ones. That will help earn their trust. This is definitely a possibility, we thought at first, since we really enjoy young children. But then the picture was muddied when we saw ourselves as a modern Mary Poppins--up and down stairs, on our knees and hands crawling under beds and furniture, running after wee ones with our arthritic knees or hips and opening our umbrellas to go up in the air. Barbara hates to fly and Margaret hates heights, so this might not work. All might endanger our health. So, better to put this in the maybe category, if we become desperate. 

Physical therapist--That would probably take a good year or more of training in person since it's not something you can do virtually. Also, this seems a bit ingenuous. Aren't we the ones who need PT not the other way around? We deleted it.

Driver-EEK! We're going to drive people around who can't see? What about us? So many in our age group are candidates for cataract surgery and we're on the cusp, so to speak. We also worry about macular degeneration and are adding foods that might slow it down. Moreover, we're both directionally challenged, even with the assistance of apps like Waze. Off the list!


IT Tech--Forget it! We're the ones always calling our kids for help since we don't have help desks as freelancers. We have to pay when our kids say, "How come you don't know this stuff or get it easily?" Truth be told, we've barely mastered loading apps on our phones. And Barbara's two older grandsons already know more than she ever did. By the way, what's coding mean? We haven't even cracked that. We don't think so. 

Grocery shopper and delivery person--The combo is still in demand even as Covid has waned. It offers pros and cons. First of all, we'd have be able to lift heavy boxes and bags. Since we both do upper body strength exercises, that seems doable. And, the really good part is we both like grocery shopping, though we have to make sure we don't go when we're hungry. Furthermore, the two of us are snobs about what type of food we buy (especially Margaret who turns up her nose at Baker chocolate). Now, for the delivery part-it drives home once again that we are directionally challenged. Groceries can spoil while we try to wend our way through unfamiliar neighborhoods. We'd have to buy special food spoilage insurance which might eat up our meagre salaries. We don't think so. 

Barista/Coffee bar associate at a supermarket or Starbucks--Sounds good since maybe free coffee (which has gotten pricey) and some of those little frosted sconces that Margaret loves-or any cookies and pastries. But standing on our feet? Fear of swollen legs and ankles and varicose veins popping out like a roadmap loom large. Again, maybe, if we invest in some clogs, good orthotic-style shoes and those compression stockings we'd be in better shape. However, we fear then everyone will point at us and say (or think), "I can't believe how really OLD you now look!" This is a no, NEVER! 

Substance use coordinator--We know that drugs are a huge problem today. But fortunately, we don't know anything about substance abuse except for what Barbara has read in the book, American Overdose, about the opioid crisis or Margaret read about the Sackler family in Empire of Pain. Both books made us sick. After reading, we needed anxiety meds. Not a good fit. 

Laundry attendant at a local spa near Barbara--This choice brought forth different reactions from us. It could improve Barbara's laundry skills and folding towel ability for sure, and the idea of learning more tricks of this trade on the job and getting paid sounded promising. Margaret already is a housekeeping whiz, but it's always good for the brain to keep learning. However, the job at Barbara's spa is two hours away from Margaret's home and the train fare is pricey. Maybe, she'd move in with Barbara and we could pretend we're the Golden Girls 2.0. No. 

A scheduling coordinator at a healthcare provider--This type of job holds more promise since both of us consider ourselves people persons. We love to meet, greet, schmooze and make people feel comfortable. As a scheduling coordinator, we could cut to the chase and learn within minutes about someone's family history. As nosey reporters, we at least have these skills so there would be less on the job training. But the downside? We have strong opinions about people, and there are some we definitely don't like. We'd have to fake it and neither of us is a good actress unless we get paid big bucks or have to deal with difficult people under certain circumstances. Oh, another possibility for work? We don't think so.

Open Mike nights--We wish we were funnier in a mainstream Hollywood way. We wish we told hilarious stories about ourselves. Our routine could be: Did you hear about the hilarious thing that Barbara did yesterday as a Walmart greeter? Realistically, just looking for a job, with limited possibilities, has been a series of memorable alternative comedy moments. For now, we'll just chuckle to ourselves and to each other. 

Bank teller-We love the look and feel of real money, not in a Monopoly game. And we think we'd be good greeting customers, but again it's being on our feet, using our minimal math skills. And oh, it would be so tough to see all that money and not have it. Green envy. No way. 

At the end of the day, we know we still enjoy our writing work and don't want to give it up. However, we also know it will never make us rich. Doing another job that might require chasing kids, pushing seniors in wheelchairs, standing to fold laundry, handing out coffee or any of the other possibilities, will be exhausting. And heaven forbid that we fall asleep on the job, especially the evening spa boutique manager. Both of us hate shopping so why would we deal with others who love it? 

In the meantime, we think a better strategy is to expand our list of ways to cut our budgets which is something that will help us all in this age of inflation. Do you think we can monetize this? 



  • Steven

    Oh! …and what about being a stripper or pole dancer? I hear it is good for a cardio workout! 😀

  • Steven

    Very fun! Scheduling Coordinator sounds like a possibility in this age bracket…get to talk to people all day, don’t need to be on your feet, and maybe see people who are in worse shape so you could feel grateful you were in a better situation!

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