The recession, high unemployment and our sluggish economy have taken a toll on workers of every age, but the nation’s youngest and oldest workers seem to have taken the biggest hit. College grads are struggling to find jobs that make use of their new skills. At the other end of the employment spectrum, Baby Boomers nearing retirement have seen their dreams of leisure and travel slip through their fingers as mergers, downsizing and corporate bankruptcies have booted them into the unemployment lines. Once within reach, retirement has been pushed into the future by economic reality.

There are jobs that value the experience senior workers bring to the job (see our previous post); but job longevity and potential health issues become greater hiring impediments the closer you get to 60. Many job sites recommend that senior workers seek jobs in service industries such as healthcare, retail and hospitality; however, these may be unsuitable for those with mobility issues. Some sites suggest volunteering as a possible path to employment which is fine unless you need income now. For many mature workers, the most dependable path to employment and income generation is self-employment.

Certain jobs have always lent themselves to self-employment such as bookkeeping, freelance writing and website design. Today, cost-cutting necessities have broadened self-employment opportunities considerably. Rather than invest in full-time workers, the business community is turning to contract workers, regular part-timers, seasonal help, consultants and freelancers to perform specific tasks as needed. Not only has this created a ready market for the skills experienced workers have to offer, but it allows mature workers to control their workload and work calendar. Having the ability to decide how much work you’ll except and schedule jobs around other activities offers retirement-age workers the best of both worlds: income and time to play.

The biggest hurdle to self-employment is finding people who need and are willing to pay for your services. Zoondy offers a solution. An innovative employment marketplace, Zoondy provides a platform that brings together workers with skills to sell and people who need those skills. Click here to find out how Zoondy works.