Were you enjoying a Memorial Day cookout with friends? I had the pleasure of visiting with friends I previously worked with. A few of the friends have moved on to the next stage of their lives. The lucky ones said yeah, we’re in retirement. Some by their own choice and others because their position was eliminated and they haven’t found another job yet. The common conversation that came up, how are you feeling about this new chapter? Have you heard from former colleagues?
Life in Paradise
One friend I’ve known over 30 years, it doesn’t seem possible! l asked a few questions about a number of things that have changed in her life. I thought Anna was happy in retirement. She lived in paradise, or a wonderful community in Florida. She’s been a snowbird for the past ten years. This visit was different than previously. She recently stopped her northern snowbird travels.
Can you separate your feelings toward your career and your life outside work? That’s an odd question and I know whatever you’re not happy about at work carries over home. Equally I’ve found many who feel disconnected from their work can’t describe how they feel other than throwing their hands in the air. Why is that? It’s because they’ve learned to cut off their emotions and bury them for so long they can’t describe what emotions they have. Does your career force you into a Jekyll & Hyde personality to cut off your feelings to survive?
What makes your day? What’s your reason for getting through the day? The satisfaction that you’ve done your work and you’re comfortable. You stop thinking about how to manage the rest of your life with ease, it’s not possible now.
Are you driven with purpose? Does the structure of your day provide comfort to know what’s possible? Or are you kidding yourself and can’t think about anything until later and can’t even say when later is?
How are you strategizing the next few weeks of more work than time? Do the daily meetings interfere with achieving your goals and confining you? Is there an active daydream to escape with a hike in the mountains or walk on the beach calling you?
Are you procrastinating planning this year’s vacation because of a workflow announcement or early retirement may be around the corner? Yet, it feels like the last vacation was a long time ago.
Are you prepared to start your next chapter? Whether it’s retirement or a less stressful position, prepare your next chapter plan to execute unless something unexpected comes up.
Today there are over 10,000 Baby Boomers turning 65 every day. Some are gladly facing retirement while others have personal circumstances that require them to continue working, to take care of others, have insurance needs, or they’re not ready to stop working.
Today companies hire based on your demonstrated skills to be a high performer rather than a late bloomer or genius in waiting opportunity to show how you can excel. As a late bloomer or genius in waiting, you never know when you will be given the chance to take the leap and step up. When the conversation focuses on what you can deliver, it’s a conversation a late bloomer may never be given a chance.
You know the conversations back as an adolescent that you’ll catch up to others. Little did they understand then, how that earlier conversation stayed with you about being a late bloomer?