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Manager’s Dad Finds Focus and Fun Working in Hardware Store

A question often asked of retirees, whether their career was spent working in a hardware store, leading an office of employees or teaching a classroom of children, is, “What’s next?”

Many people get excited to devote more time to hobbies, volunteering and traveling, and others want to cut their hours and continue working in part-time jobs.

Dan McGrane knew before retiring from his job in health safety evaluation at a manufacturing company that he wanted to stay busy in his retirement years. So, as he ended his career, he got a part-time job.

He had always been an active DIYer, so he decided to follow his passion and get a job working at the hardware store in Minneapolis where he frequently shopped. His hands-on projects had gotten his children interested in the home improvement industry, and his sons John and Carl had worked at that store while they were in high school.

Dan asked Mark Settergren, co-owner of Diamond Lake Ace Hardware, if he could work part-time at one his stores, Settergren Ace Hardware, where his son Carl is now manager. Settergren told Dan he could pick up some evening hours.

“One of the main reasons I wanted to work at the store is to help make sure I kept a routine instead of just staying at home,” Dan says. “I knew I wanted to work and also participate in various volunteer opportunities.”

Dan’s son John now works in a different industry, but Carl has been developing his retailing career for many years.

“One of my fondest memories, so far, working with Carl has been our time together,” Dan says. “He and I are often the first ones in here early in the morning, so it’s great getting to work together and catch up.”

For Dan, working in the store has been a great opportunity not only to stay busy but also to help people and find camaraderie with co-workers.

As more baby boomers retire and become part of a pool of potential part-time employees, they might find a hardware store interesting to work for. But retirees need to know what they’re getting into if they do decide to apply for hardware store jobs, Dan says.

“If an individual has done a lot of projects and work at home, the local hardware store would be a great avenue to turn to,” he says.

About Renee Changnon

Renee Changnon is the retail outreach coordinator for NRHA. She meets with retailers in their stores and at industry events and introduces them to the services NRHA provides. Renee previously worked as a member of the NRHA communications team. She earned a degree in visual journalism from Illinois State University, where she served as the features editor for the school newspaper. After college, she implemented marketing and promotions initiatives at Jimmy John’s franchise locations across the country. She enjoys exploring books with her book club, Netflix marathons and hosting goat yoga at her apartment complex. Renee Changnon 317-275-9442 rchangnon@nrha.org

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