Dear Coach Joan: Career Advice
Retirement is not a period. Retirement is a comma! Many people go into retirement planning for up until the day they retire. They put a lot of time reviewing the financial aspects of retiring, carefully considering where they will live, and they might make some travel plans.
What’s missing is that often when people retire, especially this generation of baby boomers, they still have a lot of energy and good health. That translates into possibly decades ahead of that valuable commodity called TIME! They have time to spend. Time to give. Time to use.
They need to put time into planning wisely for how to best use that important phase of life.
Many people look forward to spending time on the golf course, time with the grandkids, and perhaps some special travels they’ve been looking forward to doing.
But I’d like to suggest that there is a new way for those who are fortunate enough to have good enough health, good enough wealth and perhaps decades ahead to plan and use wisely.
I call it, Great in 8: 8 Steps for a purposeful and vital retirement.
It is a process that extends from early in your life, forward, and from the inside out. It requires some reflection and some deep thinking.
Here’s the 8-Step way I suggest you use in considering your retirement.
- Let’s Start at the Beginning: Think back to some of ways you enjoyed your time as a child. That will often give you insights into your essential preferences. One retirement focused client remembered the joy of the shows she and her sibling performed in their yard for neighbors and decided to re-ignite that passion by getting involved in community theater. Her community theater involvement has opened up an exciting new dimension of her life and added new friends with common interests.
- You are only given one body: As we age we need to put more intention and care into our physical wellbeing to sustain good health. Consider ways to improve your eating habits, sleeping and exercising. Research to find ways to join others in exercise and healthy lifestyle changes and practices.
- Extract from your career life: Even though you might be relieved to be done with work, there might be aspects of it you want to continue doing. Some business people enjoy working with a senior organization that provides business advice to young entrepreneurs. Some who have worked for decades in the healthcare profession enjoy doing volunteer work in that area.
- Your life force never retires: By this I mean your inner psychology. Maybe this is the time to work on the long buried issues you had with your mother or father. This might be the time to invest in working with a psychologist or counselor to unburden some lifelong conflicts. You can also improve your quality of life by reducing or eliminating nagging inner problems.
- Give Back: Often we feel drawn toward making a difference in our world once we have the time to do so. Explore how you can volunteer and help others now that you are no long burdened with full-time work. By creating a legacy of giving back you will be both empowering yourself and improving our world!
- Let’s look at your family relationships: Maybe there’s a sister or brother you’d like to reconnect with. Perhaps you want to get closer to one of your children you had a tough time with earlier in life. This is the time to really examine and perhaps improve your family relations.
- Ya gotta have friends! Make sure to socialize. It is one of the key dimensions of a full and happy life. In retirement you have time to develop your hobbies and interests, and you just might meet up with new people with similar interests and have a great time together! Also, this is the time to seek out old friends who you’ve lost touch with who you really enjoyed!
- The NEW! Yes, you finally have time to develop new interests and hobbies. Travel to new places. Read new books. Take classes. Expand yourself (though try not to expand your waistline!)
Onward to that next and important career phase — Retirement! Remember, retirement is not a period. It is a comma!