A Day of Work

So the other day I actually went to a workplace and did manual work for almost 8 hours. Did I fall on my head? Nope. Did I run out of money? Nope. I actually did it because I wanted to and I didn’t even bother asking how much I would be paid.

The job in question was actually a casual position with a local brewery. They occasionally need help with canning the beer depending on what they are doing and they put out the word a while back to the beer club I belong to. So I put my name on the list and then as they need help they just work their way down the list to find someone who can come in that day.

So I got the call at shortly after 8am and I was ‘working’ around 8:30am. The job was totally easy to learn as it was basically just manual labour for the day. My primary job was collecting beer cans off the end of the line and snapping plastic six pack holders onto them and then loading them on to pallets. I also would pull unlabelled cans off the line in the event the label marker was down but they didn’t want to stop the entire beer canning production line. During this I learned that the canning equipment occasionally has issues so dented cans or under filled ones are put aside as rejects.

Overall it was dead easy work but I sort of enjoyed it for two reasons. First off, it was nice to actually try to do something new and learn a bit more about the brewery. For example, I didn’t know they did contract brewing where they will brew and can other brewery’s beer. The second reason was a bit more obvious I was told to go through the rejects and take some home at the end of the day. The beer is fine they just can’t sell it since it is under filled. So I got 16 cans of craft beer for a day of work which at the retails price makes a bloody good bonus for the day.

Now I wouldn’t want to do this as a full time job. It’s just too much physical work for my taste but as an occasional thing I don’t mind it in the slightest. Heck, I would even be willing to do it up to once a week. Which leads me to believe that most work would actually be okay for just about anyone on a shorter term basis. The issue is far too much work is full time positions which can drive people nuts. Some people don’t want to do boring repetitive work such as data entry, or manual packing of goods for eight hours a day for five days a week. But once in while, it can be just fine.

I think the trick for work in retirement is to find things you don’t mind doing where the benefits make it worthwhile for you personally. For example, I won’t want to do manual work for most things but I love beer so if I get some as a bonus for a job I’m okay with the work. The pay is really secondary to getting to learn a bit more about breweries and the free beer. Which by the way I was $13/hour at the brewery so I got just under $100 for the day. The benefits out weigh the pay for me. Or for another example, my volunteer time at the local school library. I do it because I enjoy the work and the fact it helps the students and yes the occasional thank you gift of a book or bookstore gift card also helps. Again the benefits out weigh any pay issues for me personally. And as a added bonus I now have gotten to try two of my ‘dream’ jobs in retirement which I’m grateful for.

Now obviously everyone will have different ideas of what they are okay doing for work and what benefits matter most for you. Yet the reality is I think work can be a useful thing to a retiree as long as it doesn’t take up too much of your time. I don’t think I would be okay doing either of those jobs more than half time.

So do you see doing some work in retirement?  If so, do you have any ‘dream’ jobs you want try out?

10 thoughts on “A Day of Work”

  1. I work a day or two a week for entertainment mostly and social contact. I do not need an income but it is still kind of fun to earn it. In my case it is similar to some of the most fun stuff I did in my 9 to 5 days without the yucky stuff. I also have two non paid volunteer jobs. That still gives four day weekends every week for tennis, hiking, running, fishing, off roading and my other hobbies. Work adds to my retired life.

  2. Shortly after I started my retirement I already had the thought of working / volunteering at a hospital someday, and I don’t mean working as a nurse or medical staff because you need a degree for that. I would not mind working at the reception for things like checking in patients / booking appointments / providing information at the information desk. I like observing people and I think a job like that would allow me to help more people and at the same time appreciate the things I have (which sometimes I forget to do). I’m pretty sure it’s possible to find volunteering jobs at hospitals but I have not started looking. Eventually I think I will.

  3. Solar panel installer is my current fantasy job; as a casual/seasonal helper. It would satisfy my labour requirements, and make me feel like I’m helping the environment.

    Casual bartender for events, coffee shop helper and casual service jobs. Something low key where you get the perks of meeting random people.

    Tax time volunteer for straight up volunteering.

    Although, your brewery gig sounds way more fun.

  4. Stopped working recently, once October hit and we began losing the daylight noticeably I began to get antsy. Applied at A large warehouse retailer for seasonal. Brought on mid November, thier part time is 25 hours a week , five five hour shifts. I also volunteer at my local YMCA .
    The YMCA gives a free membership after 30 hours and the retailer is just min wage pay.
    It solved my antsy winter problem but the five days a week is more then I want. It is seasonal so I will stick it out make contacts and maybe it will be an annual thing.
    I am new to retire early (age 52) and still a bit nervous over the recent market downturn, keeping somewhat busy lets adjustment set in and a bit of money makes the burn rate feel less.

  5. After quitting my job, I applied to be a Language Assistant in Spain. I spend 12 hours a week helping the English teachers at a high school, and have the rest of the week to take Spanish lessons and explore Spanish culture. It was a way for me to fulfill my desire to live in Europe again. I’m paid a stipend, which is just enough to cover my living expenses. I’ve never taught before so I have the added bonus of learning a challenging new job. Teaching ESL is not something I want to do long term, but I’ve accepted the invitation to renew my contract for a second school year. I don’t need to work, but it’s nice to let my investments grow untouched for a bit longer, particularly in this volatile market.

  6. When I retire, my intent is to still work part time doing something. But what I really want to do is volunteer doing something like Meals on Wheels. I find now that I’m in my 40’s, I’m really missing my grandparents and would love to be able to help the elderly.

  7. “Which leads me to believe that most work would actually be okay for just about anyone on a shorter term basis” – So true. I enjoy my current job – what I do, the people I work with etc. But it feels like I spend way too much time there and I’d like to just do something totally different for a day each week. A new experience.

  8. I’m also retired but going back into the work force part time or a temporary assignment aren’t completely out of the question. I see want ads for employers seeking help but all are full time permanent and they complain they can’t find enough people to fill jobs. Meanwhile there are a lot of retirees who would be willing to work part time. I think that if employers were willing to take on more part time or temporary workers a lot of applicants would suddenly, like magic, appear out of nowhere.

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