Slippers and the lounge, nothing much for new retirees to do… More than half of Canadian retirees consider returning to work part time or seasonally, in a tourism job during retirement, to be more intellectually and socially active (and not minding the extra income). Which industry attracts them the most? Tourism!
Pierre, at 64 years old, gives ski lessons three days a week during winter at the centre near his chalet, which has become his principal residence. He likes to share his passion for winter sports with the little ones, passing his days outdoors and socializing with the other instructors. His wife Lucie, at 63, takes care of customer service while keeping warm indoors. The couple makes sure they follow the same working hours. In summer, they disappear onto the golf course, full time…
Work that seems much like… leisure
“Experienced workers who wish to return to the labour market often do so on their own terms: they will not put in 40 hours a week on a rigid schedule in a stressful job… they have already done that!”, says Lucie Dubé, director general of the Midi-Quarante organization, dedicated to the employability of people over 45 in Quebec.
“If the reasons for returning to the job market are not strictly financial, they will choose a position that matches their interests and passions, in which the work-retirement balance suits them,” says Lucie Dubé.
Shorter weeks, a pleasant environment and a position that reflects them… nothing less! However, the tourism industry, which has a situation of labour shortages that increases from one year to the next, does not mind these demands, quite the contrary. According to the Conseil québécois des ressources humaines en tourisme (CQRHT), experienced workers are even the first choice to fill these staffing needs.
This welcome facilitates the job search for retirees and makes the industry even more desirable, according to Midi-Quarante. “It’s important to guide candidates that seek our help towards the fields and professions where they feel welcome to avoid getting discouraged,” says Lucie Dubé.
A perfect match
Aside from a mutual interest, there is a natural balance between the needs of the industry and the supply of semi-retired workers. The part-time or seasonal workload of most tourist industry jobs, which discourages the majority of jobseekers, quite suits this labour pool.
According to the CQRHT, recreation and entertainment centres, hotels and restaurants are the three sectors of the tourist industry with the highest demand for staff, especially in outlying areas. The jobs offered are varied, with some being more appropriate than others for the pool of experienced workers. Receptionist in the village hotel, host in a regional park or garden maintenance manager in an outdoor centre? Whatever the interests, there is no lack of choices!