Coming out of retirement

Just over a week ago, I received an unsolicited email from a recruiter who found my profile on LinkedIn.  For years, I have received all sorts of inquiries from recruiters, asking if I would be interested in a job.  I always told them that I was already happily employed, and was not really looking to move.  I know my strengths and weaknesses.  I also let most recruiters know that it would be a very rare employer who would want to hire a person who was over 70 years old, regardless of how great an employee I would be.

Last year, when I was forced to retire by the government shutdown of the aerospace industry, I was pretty sure that it was really about time.  I reluctantly applied for Social Security and Medicare, and became resigned to never having earned income again.  The recruiter this time, however, said that the position she was recruiting for was very short-term, about a month, and that caught my interest.  We spoke on the phone, I sent her my (updated) resume, and she said she’d pass it on to the employer.  The next day, she called and said the employer was interested in having me interview for the job, and I did so last Friday.  The employer is right near my home, and a short distance from my former employer!  I thought the interview went fine, and the job would use all my skills.

On Monday, the recruiter said they wanted to hire me!  The recruiter asked my when I could start, and I told her Wednesday, to give me a day or so to get ready.  Well, she called me back an hour later, and told me that they wanted me to start Tuesday.  Well, that was very encouraging, so I said yes, and started my new temp job on Tuesday morning.  The worst part of it was that I had to totally reset my internal clock, as I had become used to the new “night-owl” norm around our house (hubby has always been a night-owl, and I changed to closer match his schedule).

I have now worked most of a full week, and I am thrilled by how well I am doing, picking up their ERP computer system quickly, and getting familiar with the plant and its procedures.  The company is in the aerospace industry, and most of their suppliers are familiar to me.  Their products are entirely different from what my old company made, and i am learning about the other side of the industry.  I think this will be a great place to work temporarily, and the people I work with are great.  The staffing company involved is new to me entirely, and I get the idea that their other employees are mainly higher-level consultants and IT experts.  I really like the idea that I do not have to fill out a time-card and report on paper-they have an online time system where I will report my weekly hours.  It’s great to be trusted to accurately account for my work hours.

So now I will have a bit of earned income, and I can feel more able to pay my own bills, and not have to draw from my retirement savings (even though I really should be prepared to draw down my savings, since that’s what savings are for).  With earned income, I can also contribute new money to my “play money” Roth IRA individual stock account.  That has been great fun investing.

When I think about it carefully, it seems to me that I really did like being retired, not having to worry about getting up early and getting to work on time.  The “scamdemic” shutdowns made the past year extremely uncomfortable, and I am quite happy that most restrictions have been lifted.  I will refuse to go back to wearing a dehumanizing mask, and “social-distancing”.  For the time being, I am back to being a productive member of society, and I am going to give it my best; but I’ll be happy to go back to being retired for a couple of weeks before leaving on vacation.

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