What will you miss about work?
Consider what to keep (and what to leave behind) when you cross the bridge from work to retirement.
By Jon Glass - 3 min read
A little about Jon
Dr Jon Glass* runs retirement coaching business 64PLUS. He coaches individuals to a clearer understanding of the issues they will face post work. He has studied counselling and coaching at The Australian College of Applied Psychology and The Institute of Executive Coaching and Leadership.
No time to read? Watch the video and let Jon tell you himself.
Retirement can be a wonderful phase of life; however, as you may have up to 10,000 days of living post work, it needs some thought and planning to make retirement great in all respects. Whatever you are currently thinking about your retirement, it will take some thoughtful self-analysis to start the journey well.
It is important not to underestimate the significance of the transition from a working life to a retired life—whether you leave your working life abruptly, or transition through part-time work.
This transition involves an emotional movement from a working life to a retired life. I call it ‘crossing the bridge from work to retirement’. Potentially you will cross the bridge to new activities and a new social life. As with any journey, it's worth asking yourself questions before you set off.
What do you want to take with you?
You might answer, a sense of joy, of anticipation and excitement, and, in particular, your curiosity—as you go forth to conquer this new world of your retirement. At the same time, you may have some apprehensions—what will you do with your free time, or how will you fit all your plans into each year, to take two extremes.
Have you left anything valuable behind? Can you replace it?
There will be aspects of work that you will miss—a sense of purpose or the opportunity for social interaction, for example. If you want to replace such elements, some self-analysis is required. So, let’s move from abstraction to give some examples you can chew on.
- Your work may have given you some status and relevance to others. Post-work loss of status can show up as “Relevance Deprivation Syndrome” or RDS for short. You may feel that suddenly, you’re not as important to others as you once were—and it hurts. If that is an issue for you, then how can you feel more relevant in your retired life?
Possible solution: Get involved in charitable works. There are lots of opportunities out there if you search for them.
- Work provided you with a social life and, importantly, colleagues across the age span. If you’re missing those connections, can you find ways to build a new social life?
Possible solution: You may want to stay in touch with certain work colleagues, so make sure you get their details. Or join a club and meet new people.
- Every job confers a level of validation upon the worker from time to time: job well done, task achieved, boss happy. What forms of validation could you hope to achieve in retired life?
Possible solution: Being a reliable grandparent? Organising matters at your local sporting club, book club or gardening club?
- You may miss the large printer that your workspace provided. I'm being frivolous, but the serious point is that work perhaps supplied you with useful resources, such as an IT infrastructure. You should think about how to replace those.
Possible solution: Hire an IT consultant for a few hours to tune up your home IT network.
- Believe it or not, many people realise in retirement that they truly miss the banter at work. Sounds trivial but it’s true. As you no longer have a communal area, as there may have been at work, where can you find banter?
Possible solution: Build connections with people in your community with whom you can engage on a casual basis.
Whatever you decide, crossing the bridge from work to retirement is always a complex matter. The more work you put into your thinking, the better the quality of the outcome for you. Good luck!
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*The opinions expressed are those of Dr Jon Glass and 64Plus. Russell Investments does not endorse, and is not accountable for, any views expressed by Dr Jon Glass or 64Plus.
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