Older Workers and Bridge Employment: An Exploratory Study


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Virginia Tech


Using grounded theory methodology, the purpose of the study was to examine the transition experiences of older workers who retired from their long-term careers and who were working in bridge jobs. After interviewing 24 participants, a theory emerged that describes the decision to seek a bridge job, the strategies used, the problems faced, and the benefits received. The decision to retire is connected with the decision to seek a bridge job. Participants planned but mainly focused on their finances; no participant sought help from a career counseling professional. They faced challenges such as age discrimination and problems switching to a new position. Participants reported that they live a more balanced life and enjoy their bridge job. The core theme from the study is bridge employment redefines retirement.



bridge jobs, older workers, late career, retirement, grounded theory