If you’re heading toward retirement, you’re probably fantasizing about: No more freeways! No more deadlines! No more stress! Working after retirement may not even be a thought.
In fact, you may be thinking, “I’m free. I’ll never work again.”
You may be one of the people who just worked for the paycheck. Or, you might have enjoyed your work, but felt it was all encompassing and took over your life. Now you see the end of your daily grind, and you might be thinking, “Now it’s my turn to enjoy myself.”
Yes, it is your turn. And, yes, it is your time. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll never want to work again. Your career and workplace gave you some gifts that you are going to miss and want to replace. Here are a few.
First, your job gave you an identity. You could describe yourself as a marketer, secretary, banker, director, beautician, nurse or other title. Like most of us, you may have become attached to that title.
Now that you find yourself without it, you aren’t sure of how to describe yourself. This is a good time to reinvest in your personal growth, and figure out who you are from the inside out.
Second, your work gave you a social life. At your workplace you were among others with whom you connected over your job roles, goals, lunches, potlucks and birthday celebrations. Sometimes coworkers even became friends.
Once you leave your job, you will be sitting home alone – unless you find new ways to socialize and develop new relationships.
Third, you knew your schedule. You knew what you were doing 40-60 hours a week for your job. Then you could look forward to weekends, holidays and vacations. All that time was designated.
Now you are going to need to fill that time, or you will feel a void inside of you. That void opens the question, “Now what am I going to do?”
Fourth, at work you had purpose. You had goals to achieve. People were counting on you to deliver results or services or products. Gone!
Yet purpose is so vital to our souls. We need to have something bigger than ourselves to participate in – some way to contribute ourselves to the greater good.
I’ve mentioned before that I love working. I love having a way to use my skills and myself. After my forced retirement I have developed a new business, and I have a life filled with purpose.
I’ve written a book, “Revivement: Having a Life After Making a Living,” in which I help others make the huge transition from traditional work life to renewing and revitalizing themselves in their later years.
I’m speaking and writing on this topic, and using more of me every day. And, I’m having a blast.
Fifth, the workplace and your coworkers stretched you as an individual. You may have been challenged by co-worker relationships. You needed to use your initiative, thinking, creative and other skills to do your job.
You had the resources to support you – budgets or mentors or job assignments – to develop something beyond your own personal needs. Now your personal growth takes on a new meaning. What are you going to do to stretch yourself in this new phase of life?
You would never have received these gifts sitting at home. Yes, although you may have rightfully complained about your job(s) and the circumstances of your work at times – after all we are human – your job(s) has helped fashion you into who you are today. And, of course, you can continue growing yourself to the next level of who you want to become.
If you do want to work again, remember that you decide what that looks like. You may want to continue the work you presently do, but lessen your hours of involvement. Or, you may want to try something totally new.
There are many options. The word work should not deter you from enjoying a next career if that’s what you want. It’s a matter of choice. Like I said, I am loving my third career. And, I’m 78.
In the meantime, if you have any specific questions about retirement life, please email me. I’ll share my responses in my next Sixty and Me blog.
Do you plan on working after retirement? Why or why not? What is your strategy of regaining your mojo once you’re retired? How do you decide whether work is part of your future? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!