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Colorado seniors turn to gig work for unemployment solution

Former Loveland attorney Scott Walker started his own petsitting business
Colorado seniors turn to gig work for unemployment solution
Posted at 4:45 PM, Oct 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-03 23:02:26-04

LONGMONT, Colo. — Some people say do what you love, but Scott Walker did not always take that advice.

When we first introduced you to Walker in April, the former Loveland attorney had lost his job and needed help navigating Colorado's unemployment backlog.

"I'm 67 years old and not in the best health," he said then.

After Contact Denver7 starting asking questions about his case, he finally received his unemployment assistance. Fast forward a few months, and Walker had a different story to tell, as his job search came to an end.

Colorado seniors turn to gig work for unemployment solution

"I was sending out like 25 and 30 applications and resumes a week, and it just wasn't happening. I think part of it was they didn't want to hire an old lawyer," said Walker with a laugh. "I don't blame them. And it occurred to me that the right way to do this was probably to start my own business."

His petsitting business, Critter Sitter Scott, is now listed on sites such as Rover and Facebook, where, Walker said, his age is actually a selling point.

"It is absolutely a benefit. The gray hair instills a certain level of trust in people," he said.

Walker is part of a growing number of senior Americans finding a second act in the "gig economy." Some studies show Boomers not only make more money in the gig economy than younger workers, they are happier in the situation.

"They're less stressed out, and I think that may be because some of them also have Social Security and Medicare, and that's a that's a little bit of a safety net there," said Angela Cortez with AARP Colorado.

Cortez pointed out that many older workers face age discrimination, so starting their own businesses or doing gig work can be a flexible, and even fun, solution.

"It's a great time to decide what you've always wanted to do and do it," she explained.

Walker has always loved dogs, and now, he said he has found a job he loves.

"When I meet somebody for my work, they're happy to see me. This is not the case with practicing law," he said with a smile. "Social Security does help. I mean, let's be honest. But if you love what you do, the money tends to take care of itself a little bit. And I know that sounds terribly New Agey, but it's true. As long as I can walk and drive, I think I see myself doing it. Because I just love it. It's so much fun."

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