Amy Hamilton-Chadwick 10 Jul 2024
Older woman working at desk in office

You might start receiving superannuation at age 65, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re ready to retire. According to the Retirement Commission, New Zealand has one of the world’s highest rates of workers aged 65-plus, with nearly a quarter of our workforce in that demographic. Looking at Kiwis aged 65 to 69, 44% of them still have jobs 

Some people work into their senior years because they love the camaraderie, the mental stimulation, and the sense of purpose. For others, it’s about keeping active and busy. And of course, many people need to keep working to keep paying the bills.  

Whatever your reason for working, it makes sense to think about the kind of job that will be a good fit for your age and skills. And there are plenty of excellent job options, says Ian Fraser, Director of the Seniors@Work job listing website (and, at 71 years old, himself a working senior).  

“The highest hit rates for jobs on our site are on work-from-home opportunities,” he says. “People over 65 tend to want part-time work, and flexibility is often the key driver for people in that demographic.” 

And if you’re keen to keep active, Joel Kloeber, Chief Marketing Officer for Jim’s, says the company has a lot of franchisees who are over 65, with Jim’s Mowing and Jim’s Cleaning both popular options. 

“We have a lot of older franchisees who do Jim’s Mowing as it’s fantastic for the body... it’s also great for mental health,” Kloeber says. 

1. Admin and payroll/accounts  

Ian Fraser says the most sought-after roles for seniors are those based in offices or administration, particularly part-time roles. Admin is great if you’re details-focused, friendly and organised. If you have a background in payroll systems or accountancy, your skills are likely to always be in demand.  

Older Asian woman working at laptop

2. Customer service  

Patience, experience and a level head are all ideal qualities if you’re working directly with customers – along with strong people skills, of course. Part-time roles like brand ambassadors are often popular, says Fraser, where you demonstrate new products in supermarkets.  

Older man in supermarket handing out food samples

3. Dog walking/pet care 

Greg Peters is himself over 65 and the owner of Auckland-based dog-walking and pet care company Paw Support, a company he’s run for the past three years. He used to run a car sales yard, and says he was looking for a “retirement” job that would allow him to still bring in an income and keep active. He says it’s absolutely a great option if you’re older – “So long as you’re fit and are prepared to do a bit of training. And of course, you need to have a genuine love for dogs.” 

Man walking a pack of dogs

4. Warehouse worker or storeperson  

These roles can be varied and interesting and work well for people with strong attention to detail and organisational skills. You’ll typically mix with a wide range of people, which can give the job a great dynamic.   

Older woman in a warehouse handing a stack of boxes to a man

5. Franchisee opportunities  

Joel Kloeber from Jim’s says a lot of older people opt to become Jim’s franchisees – Jim’s Mowing and Jim’s Cleaning are both popular options for over-65s, but there are lots of other choices including Jim's Handyman, Test and Tag (electrical testing) and Building Inspection. 

“[Franchisees] have the ability to work as much as they like where they like... and the community of other franchisees forms a friendship group,” Kloeber says.    

Older man mowing lawns

6. Healthcare and caregiving  

This type of work tends to be flexible and require no preexisting qualifications. It might be in-home personal care for elderly people, for example, or you could provide before- or after-school care for a family.  

Older woman helping a child with homework

7. Driver  

Driving is a popular line of work for older employees. A recent listing for a bus driver on a school route was especially sought-after, says Fraser, who says the job is perfect for a friendly person with strong spatial skills.  

older woman in driver's seat of car looking back at passenger

Sharpen up your CV  

Applying for a job over the age of 65 means you’ll often be competing with younger workers. To give yourself the best chance of success, it’s vital to get your CV looking sharp, says Fraser: 

  • A too-long CV is a common mistake for older job applicants. It should only be around two pages long. 
  • Recruiters and employers are only interested in looking at your past 10 years of experience, so you don’t need to include every job you’ve ever had.  
  • Ask someone else to review your CV’s design and wording, to make sure it’s up to date. Ideally, ask someone who hires people or regularly sees other people’s CVs. 
  • Keep your cover letter short and highlight your strengths. 
  • Don’t forget your transferrable skills – these could well be of interest to an employer. 

“And if you get as far as an interview, for goodness’ sake prepare!” Fraser adds. “Have some questions ready about the company and the role.”