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Oklahoma Baby Boomers Get Creative To Stay In Work Force

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Sandy Hardy has a new career as a dog sitter and trainer. Sandy Hardy has a new career as a dog sitter and trainer.
The former hairdresser said being with dogs makes her heart sing. The former hairdresser said being with dogs makes her heart sing.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

More and more Baby Boomers are getting back to work either because they are switching careers or looking for something to do after retirement.

Sandy Hardy is in her mid-50s and recently made a big career switch.

“There's freedom money-wise. There's freedom time-wise and energy-wise," said Hardy.

Hardy started as a hairdresser years ago then became a full-time mom. Now, she is back in the workforce as a dog trainer and pet sitter.

“It just makes my heart sing to watch dogs all day long,” said Hardy.

She is not the only one working at a different job. Her husband Jeff worked in the oilfield 3 years ago. Now, he drives for Uber.

“Corporate America has gotten kind of harsh,” said Hardy. “They're not very flexible, they don't see people's needs like they used to. Pensions used to be the reason people would work in one place for 40 years and now pensions are you know, you hope for a pension."

Pro-recruiters president and CEO Carey Baker has helped many baby boomers find jobs over the years.

She says she has noticed people with similar concerns.

“So, I've seen a lot of people who go from an executive level position to becoming an Uber driver because they love dealing with people, they like interacting with the public,” said Baker.

“But, they don't want the stress of managing a department anymore and they also want to be able to pick and choose the hours that they work.'

Hardy says before she started working for Rover.com she tried other avenues and believes some businesses did not want to hire someone over the age of 50.

"I went back to beauty school to become an anesthetic and I filled out, gosh, 20 applications at different places and never a call back,” said Hardy.

Baker says while she sees many success stories with folks over 50 going back to work, there are some things to keep in mind.

“Those individuals that keep their skills fresh and relevant - and they keep their technical skills up to date - are going to be much better off than those that just let it fall by the wayside," Baker said.

And, she says sometimes, it's not about a lack of skills - but too many.

"I think one of the biggest challenges is making sure that they can communicate to the company that's hiring that they are not overqualified," Baker said.

While Sandy still doesn't know why she never got called back, she's glad to find the job meant for her. She says she hopes other people aren't discouraged by today's workplace and find the right fit for them.

"Nobody's going to tell us no," she said.

If you are thinking about getting back into the workforce, Carey Baker said make sure to play up the things you can do - and be open to learning new things that maybe you haven't done before.

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