The celebration is over. No more early morning noise from the alarm clock. Rush hour traffic? A thing of the past.
That long anticipated retirement gave you the freedom you had hoped for. You took a cruise. You returned home and tackled the “to do” list. But now all of this is getting old. You are used to being busy, accomplishing things. You realize retirement isn’t all you thought it would be.
It’s an easy transition for some. Many enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle, spending more time with hobbies or with family and friends. But other retirees experience anxiety and even depression. For them being without a professional identity creates debilitating feelings of loss.
Think of this in the simplest terms. That familiar old question, “What do you do?” takes on a whole new meaning. How will you describe yourself? It’s important to understand and accept a new identity now that you’re not “on the job.”
It’s important to keep in mind that once you retire you are not the same person you were during your everyday work life. During most of your life you are identified by your career. Once retired you have to reinvent, or re-identify yourself.
What do you really want?
Face it. Switching to fulltime retirement is abrupt. That’s why more and more people are making the decision to opt for a phased-in retirement, gradually transitioning into full retirement. More than a third of the people surveyed by the HSBC and Cicero Group say they want to stay on at their present job at least part time. They’re opting to scale back work over a period of years instead of retiring cold turkey.
The concept of phased retirement is not new. According to the US Labor Department’s Report of the Working Group on Phased Retirement, there is an increased emphasis among individuals to stay active and stay involved. Because the labor market is very tight, older workers are more in demand. They are valuable commodities.
If this option appeals to you and you’ve made your plans for retiring known within your organization, don’t wait until it’s time to walk out the door to explore the option of staying on with your company either part time or as a consultant. Use your last year of fulltime employment to build a foundation for your post-retirement career. This gives you time to plan for life after fulltime employment while you still have the security of a paycheck.
Become an “encore entrepreneur”
Tired of working for someone else … or sticking around if you are selling your current business. Perhaps starting a new company makes sense for you. The Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City reports the highest rate of entrepreneurship in America has shifted from the younger set to men and women in the 55-64 age group. And people 55 and older are almost twice as likely to be successful with a start-up company than 20-35 year-olds.
Identify your skills through self-assessment
Start this process with an honest and thorough self-assessment. Put everything on the table and this goes beyond your work history. Consider your skills and even your likes and dislikes. Don’t overlook general skills that are easily transferable to many professions. Be sure to include skills developed in your personal life apart from your profession. This assessment will help reinvent or repackage yourself for Life 2.0.
There is no magic wand for reinvention. It’s a process and it takes time. But a thoughtful, planned approach is well worthwhile.
Recalibrate Strategies help companies grow their business. We apply proven market-driven systems to recalibrate their business and their brands by collaboratively creating a success blueprint. We facilitate a process that harnesses insights, generates new ideas and provides a strategic roadmap. Our founder and lead consultant has 30+ years of experience as a CEO, entrepreneur and marketing expert with exceptional leadership and facilitation skills.
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