AARP Foundation Blog
Posted on 10/03/2017

Working for Yourself Takes Planning

Have You Ever Dreamed of Being Your Own Boss?

Working for yourself takes planning, and here’s how you can get started

The gig economy: It’s a growing trend. Permanent, full-time positions might even become a thing of the past. One study has predicted that by 2020, 40 percent of American workers will be independent contractors, working for a variety of companies on a temporary basis — shifting periodically from gig to gig.

Finding those jobs can be challenging. It takes time, energy and commitment. In some cases looking for a job becomes a job. And it can be especially challenging if you’re over 50 and are used to an era when people held a single job for their entire working life.

That’s why AARP Foundation created Work for Yourself@50+. It’s designed to help Americans age 50 and older learn about self-employment. By providing entry-level entrepreneurship assessment, information and resource referrals, Work for Yourself@50+ is the only approach out there specifically tailored to the low-income 50+ population. For those who have been struggling to make ends meet, Work for Yourself@50+ shines a light on the potentially life-changing opportunities of self-employment.

It’s a tough job market out here, especially for older Americans. But that doesn’t mean seniors — especially low-income seniors — can’t be active participants.

Michele Higgs Dec 2016

Michele Higgs attending a Work for Yourself@50+ workshop.

Since Work for Yourself50+ launched in November 2016, more than 900 low-income seniors have attended the in-person workshops. Michele Higgs is one of those attendees. Through a series of blog posts, Michele has allowed us (and you) to join her on her journey to self-employment. Using AARP Foundation’s “Work for Yourself@50+” Toolkit, Michele, who calls herself a “Shape-Shifting Jobseeker” and a “Habitual Hustler”, walks through the Five Steps to Self-Employment. Learn more about Michele as she takes you on her Journey to Self-Employment.

To learn more about this program and to take the first step on your own journey to self-employment, visit Work for Yourself@50+ online and download the toolkit. You can also call 1-888-339-5617 to request a copy of the “Work for Yourself@50+: 5 Simple Steps to Get You Started” toolkit.

Creating and owning a business has long been heralded as a path to financial success and economic mobility; low-income older adults, however, face unique hurdles when re-entering the workforce in a nontraditional capacity. At AARP Foundation, we seek to improve the lives of vulnerable populations by supporting and advancing effective solutions. If self-employment isn’t right for you, check out our other workforce programs: BACK TO WORK 50+ and AARP Foundation Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP).

*Updated 10/03/2017

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