The next time you’re at the pool or beach, don’t assume that the tanned and sinewy person in that lifeguard chair is young enough to be your grandchild. Look closer—he or she may actually be your age!
Over the years, young people have become so pre-occupied with sports practices, other extracurricular activities and internships during the summer that it’s been harder and harder to fill those lifeguard chairs. According to a recent Washington Post article, the number of teens job hunting this summer has dropped to a startling 35 percent from 52 percent just two decades ago.
That’s why managers of parks departments, hotel and community pools and country clubs have started casting a much wider net and, in the process, discovered a new—and surprisingly ideal—labor pool: seniors.
What makes seniors so well-suited to don a whistle and zinc oxide? First off, many older folks have the time and are looking to pick up some extra bucks. They often have experience lifeguarding in their youth and have developed a strong work ethic (in other words, these employees may be more reliable than their younger counterparts). Best of all, they’re not glued to their cell phones all day!
Here are a few reasons why you might consider a job lifeguarding next summer:
- Make ends meet without the stress of a regular 9-to-5 job. In fact, pools and beach clubs across the country are raising wages to attract more applicants.
- Stay fit … and get paid for it! One 65-year-old beach senior lifeguard says despite two hip replacements, he’s in the best shape of his life!
- Tired of all the alone time? A summer job lifeguarding will give you the opportunity to engage with people on a regular basis. And there’s no chance of becoming an old fogey when you’re working side by side with teens. You might even learn a few new text-speak acronyms! LOL
- If you were a lifeguard in high school or college, are still a strong swimmer and love being outdoors, what better way to spend the summer?!