Baby Boomer Tips and Resources

If you are recently retired, or retiring soon, there is no doubt you are thinking about what’s next and how this major transition of life will affect your lifestyle, social life, finances and more. For some, leaving the challenge, routine and social aspects of work can be difficult, and this is why many baby boomers are opting to remain in the workforce; many for non-financial reasons. Some are choosing to stay on with their existing jobs but work fewer hours or to take on project work. Others are reinventing themselves by starting a new business, or pursuing work that is more aligned with personal interests and values. If this sounds like you, the following articles will give you inspiration and ideas from Baby Boomers who are enjoying their retirement years working in the tourism industry!

There are many compelling reasons for retirees, or those nearing retirement, to consider working in the tourism industry, following are just a few:

  • You are in demand!

    With labour shortages already being felt in BC, and getting worse over the next 10 years, it’s projected that there will be 111,350 new tourism jobs in BC created in the next 10 years (2017 – 2027). As a baby boomer you bring a wealth of life, volunteer and work experiences that make you very well-positioned to land work in the tourism industry.

  • Align Your Work with Personal Interests

    Did you know that there are over 400 occupations in the tourism industry? It’s not a stretch to say that you can find a job that will appeal to your personal passions, interests and skills. But beyond that, the following article, written by a seasoned tourism operator shares these top 10 reasons to choose a tourism job. The article touches on how tourism can be an incredibly fulfilling opportunity with the potential to change lives by sharing new experiences here with visitors from around the world.

  • Work-Life Balance

    Depending on the type of job you are looking to pursue, there are many options to work part-time or seasonal positions, allowing you to have time for other interests or travel. And if you prefer full-time work, there are many opportunities as well.

  • Work Where You Live

    Tourism operations can be found in every region of BC, and most likely there are many close to where you live. From city tours in Vancouver, to fishing charters off the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast, or outdoor guiding in the Kootenay Rockies, the opportunities are very diverse. There are tourism operators piloting explorers though Northern BC, businesses making wine in the Thompson Okanagan, and interpreters curating world-class galleries on Vancouver Island. BC truly offers some of the most exciting tourism job opportunities to be found anywhere.

Do you love fishing, skiing or hiking? How about camping or golf? Is your favourite activity exploring art galleries, or learning about history and culture? Or do you enjoy dabbling in culinary creations? Think about what you enjoy doing while you are on vacation, and how this sport, hobby or adventure could turn into your next job opportunity.

In addition, there are many opportunities for entrepreneurial-minded boomers to start a new business. The tourism industry in BC is currently made up of primarily small and medium-sized independent businesses, and with the industry poised for growth, new and innovative tourism operations are needed.

Just like any job search, you will need to do research, and look at updating and customizing your resume and cover letters. As a first step, check out this basic job search information to get started. Our new Career Explorer is also an excellent resource that allows you to fill in your own search criteria to find information on the many tourism job and career opportunities in the 6 regions of BC along with tourism job descriptions, career profiles, tourism training, job-search tips and current job openings.

A resume is the foundation of any successful job search, and it’s worthwhile to spend some time reviewing and updating yours. Provide details of the only jobs you’ve held in the last 10 years. List other jobs beyond that but do not provide the details of these on your resume.

One of the most important things to do, especially if you are looking to transition from another line of work into tourism, is to update your resume with any transferable skills that are relevant for a tourism-related position. Skills and experience such as working with the public, customer service skills, working well with a team, and the ability to make people comfortable would all be examples of assets to highlight.

Be sure to include your education and any relevant professional development on your resume, but there is no need to include the year your education was completed. In general, your education should be on the lower part of your resume, focus on your work experience and transferable skills.

As a general rule of thumb, keep your resume no longer than two pages, and where you list your employment experience, focus on results and what you accomplished rather than listing your job duties.

A cover letter is the other critical piece in applying for a job and it provides you with the ability to clearly sell yourself as the best candidate for the job. It is important to address any potential resistance or covert preconceptions in your cover letter. Remember it is likely that someone much younger than you may be reading your application and believe that you are over-qualified, after their own job, or don’t understand your interest in that particular job. Be open; explain your situation and your motivations for wanting to continue to work. Address also the issue of wages; state clearly that you are fine with the prevailing wage rates. Sell yourself and your fit to the role.

Having a strong resume and cover letter will help to get your foot in the door and to an in-person interview where you can let your skills and personality shine!

If you haven’t been to a job interview in a long time, or if job interviews have always made you weak in the knees, some advance research and practice will help.

In advance of your interview be sure to research the organization, the people you will be meeting with, and the job you are applying for. Phone interviews are often a first step, and it’s wise to schedule a time rather than to take the call then and there. Think about how your skills match with the job, and how your personality will fit into the culture. You can find many excellent interview preparation articles online by Googling “Job Interview Questions”. Practice your answers to scenario-based questions such as “Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer or co-worker”. Finally, be sure to prepare some questions of your own for the employer as hiring is a two-way process – you also need to feel comfortable with the employer.

While it’s becoming the norm to search and apply for jobs online, the importance of getting out there and meeting people cannot be under-emphasized. Consider attending events hosted by your local chamber of commerce, tourism associations, employer open houses and local hiring fairs where you can make connections in person. Are you a customer or season pass holder for a tourism operation? Ask the manager if there are any openings that you may be suited for. In addition, get out there and talk to local tourism businesses, and be sure to let your friends know that you are looking for work as job openings are often spread by word-of-mouth.

Use the Internet to your advantage for your job search. Employers often use Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook to promote job openings. Follow the social media pages of companies you want to work. Set up a profile on to create a digital resume for yourself and to connect with hiring managers. Search sites like the go2HR Job Board, and for tourism jobs in your area.

Herman Schneider, Outdoor Adventure Guide

Yolanta Malkovska, Wine Server

Ingrid Dilschneider, Small Business Owner

Bruce Livingston, Ecotour Operator

Patti Smolen, Tourism Professional

Ellie Marynuik, Airlines to Fine Wines

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