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Working in Retirement: The 3 Rs That Will Help You Find Your Passion

By Hilary Henderson February 18, 2024 Mindset

Many of us do not even consider stopping work as an option in retirement. We may plan to work in a different way, different hours, or even utilizing totally different skills. I find exciting the notion that many of us decide to use this opportunity to work at something we are passionate about.

Without the pressure to invest money for retirement, most of us work to supplement retirement income, or for some lucky people, it is working for a non-monetary reward or the feel-good factor. For me, it is to have discretionary income that I can use to travel.

Redefine “Work”

First though, we may need to change our understanding of the word “work.” If you look at its broader definition, it refers to tasks that need to be undertaken; tasks that require physical or mental energy in order to achieve a purpose.

Looking at work in this context, not many will dispute the fact that almost all of us will continue working until we are no longer physically and mentally able.

Beyond redefining how you work, you may need to reinvent yourself if you want to enter the workforce for remuneration. Living in the 21st century, this seems to apply now more than ever.

Take for example someone who has been in high-level management for many years, typically their skills lie in general management. They probably wouldn’t be considered for another job in management once they turn 60 or 65.

However, what they can do is unpack their skills and then repackage them into something that the marketplace does require. In other words, make a long list of all the things that you are good at, that make up your total skill set. Then look to see what goes together naturally.

Repackage Your Skills

A helpful way to describe it as the process of designing a plugin. Those familiar with website management or design will be familiar with what a plugin does. As Wikipedia puts it, a “plugin is a software component that adds a specific feature to an existing computer program.”

In the same way, you can take someone’s skills, particularly the ones they are good at and love doing, and create a plugin for middle management going up the corporate ladder or for small business enterprises.

It may be applied in the form of mentorship or consulting, or simply creating a new job, but the essence is that the assistance is applied in one specific area.

For example, the marketing director, when she retires, realises she really understands and loves using Facebook for marketing. She is also passionate about how this can help small business.

She then “repackages” her marketing skills and applies them to help others with their Facebook publicity. She would be reinventing or repackaging herself as a Facebook Marketing consultant.

Subsequently, she could either teach businesses how to optimize their marketing through Facebook or she could offer to research and schedule posts for them.

With the latter, she would need to immerse herself in the industry in order to become familiar with what is needed, and then schedule the posts for the client, perhaps accumulating them a month in advance, so they can be approved by the business owner.

Reconnect with Your Passions and Potential

To quote Margaret in a previous blog, reinvention isn’t about becoming a different person; it is about reconnecting with your passions, dreams, and potential.

There are many ways you can reinvent yourself creatively in the workspace. It starts with changing the way you perceive work, followed by a creative exercise in which you need to think outside the box.

I give an example of someone who is an office administrator. She has excellent organization skills and is good at logistics. In retirement, she might reinvent herself as an event planner, managing weddings, birthday celebrations, or even retirement parties.

Wouldn’t this be a more creative, fun way of using her skills? Perhaps one event per month would be enough to supplement her retirement income.

Reinvention is a process of working out what you are good at, which of these you really enjoy doing, then creatively packaging these skills into something that is needed in the world around you, and for which you can ask a fee.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

What is it that you have always wanted to do, but have not had the freedom to explore because you have had to pay off the mortgage, get the kids educated, or put money away for retirement? What do you see yourself working after 60? What specific skills do you enjoy most? Does repackaging sound like an idea you might be interested in? Please share with our community!

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I’m 73 went back to work part time as a cashier at a thrift store. I always enjoyed thrifting perfect job for me. The extra income will provide opportunity for me to travel


I have a Bachelor’s degree in French language and literature. During my years of work, I did not make much use of this degree. However, when I retire later this year, I plan to use my French knowledge as a language tutor or as a part-time teacher. It’s my passion!


This article gave me a lot of encouragement. How can I connect with you? The links don’t seem to work.


This was so helpful! As a senior health care executive for 25 years, and now retired for 3, I want to do something but not sure what. Repackaging never occurred to me!

Jeanmari Speer

I’m an RN and have worked for many years in Pediatrics, nursing education, long term health care and have leadership experience. How can I reinvent myself as I do need to work part time ?
I’ve also been a pharmaceutical representative for 5 years…
Im a people person!

JB Perkins

Same here… an RN with over 30 years of experience but do not wish to return to a medical setting. How to repurpose myself for a part-time job?

The Author

Hilary Henderson is a Retirement Coach She brings to her coaching her experience as an Occupational Therapist as well as an entrepreneur. Her mission is to help people find relevance, purpose and meaning in their retirement years. Facebook is one way to reach out to her.

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