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One must adopt a new mindset when looking for jobs after reaching retirement age. The aspirations have changed and are different from those one sought after during younger days. What one cherished most in the past, such as ideals, prospects, are now replaced by the opportunities to share and to find meaning in the things that one does. Emphasis is now on the benefit to the community and the transfer of knowledge to the new generation.

Hong Kong faces an increasing number of retirees and a decline in labour force. Optimizing the engagement of retirees of a high calibre is an effective way to ease the problem of the shortage of talents in the job market. Many government organizations and private enterprises continue to hire retired employees on a contract basis, so that their valuable experience may be retained for the benefit of the workforce. If your performance has always been recognized by your seniors, you may take the initiative to discuss with your seniors about various ways to continue to serve your organizations, but you must ensure that it would not obstruct the chances of promotion for the juniors. Even if you are to stay on, you should make it your priority to pass on your experience and train up successors. When your intention is clear, you will find it easier to be par part of the team and would not be regarded as a threat to them.

Some professionals who retired from big companies are more interested in providing service on a contract basis to small and medium-sized companies or social enterprises. It is mainly because of the greater flexibility in terms of time and the need to be accountable only to the chief in the company. Of course, there would still be the need to work with younger colleagues but the relationship is usually quite constructive as there is little conflict of interests.

When service is provided in the form of a contract, it is common to enter the contract as a self-employed person with a business registration (Chinese only). All income of a self-employed can simply be entered in the personal income tax return and there is no need to set up a registered company for that purpose. Nevertheless, a self-employed person is not an employee, and so he or she is not entitled to the benefits and protections which an employee would be able to enjoy.

There are many headhunters in Hong Kong. They have dedicated staff to collect information on the retirees and initiate contacts so that they are able to identify prospective candidates quickly when undertaking recruitments for their clients. Jobs like interim managers are becoming rather popular in recent years and they are usually filled by headhunter companies.

There are also some Voluntary Organizations, Private Enterprises and Social Enterprises and Government Agencies which provide placement service to help retirees to find jobs, voluntary work or retraining courses.

Voluntary Organizations
The Employment Service of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service provides job placement and retraining services for retirees, and participants of retraining programmes for the elderly can have opportunities to look for jobs upon completion of these programmes.

The Hong Kong Society for the Aged sets up a job website for the elderly called the www.e72.hk. The Society receives donation from the Hong Kong Jockey Club to carry out the Elderly-Friendly Employment Practice and organizes the SAGE Star courses which specialize in assisting the elderly in finding jobs. The courses include those on job planning, adjustment of mentality, interview skills, and even popular terms and expressions used in the job market.

The Agency for Volunteer Service offers service in the placement of volunteers and job opportunities in volunteer work for the public.

Private enterprises and social enterprises
The Association of Retired Elderly Limited is an intermediary platform especially set up for people aged 50 or above and it offers opportunities in paid work/voluntary service for retirees. In addition, they have one-stop value-added services such as pre-employment counselling, job matching and follow-up after contract is signed.

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Happy Retired job matching (part-time/project/volunteer) has arranged retired members of the management of international corporations to work in social enterprises to improve on their operation, and also help young people to start up their business as matching start-up instructors under the youth start-up business project of the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups.

The www.parttime.hk is a brand-new and original recruitment website for part-time, temporary and contract jobs. It provides fast and convenient service to job-seekers who look for part-time jobs.

Government Agencies
The Job Centres of the Labour Department offer free job placement service to retired civil servants. Each Job Centre has special counters serving job-seekers aged 50 or above. In addition, the Employment Services Division of the Labour Department provides retraining programmes for retirees.

The Resettlement Services Unit of the Hong Kong Police Force provides free recruitment and placement services to retired police officers.