Current wisdom suggests we will change careers several times in our working life. In fact, zippia.com reports that the average American will change jobs 12 times during the life of their career. The number of changes matters less, but the fact that your very last career change will be the one you make into retirement. We will all strive to get there, although many say they will never stop working. The truth is you may have less choice in that decision than you feel is true today. There will come a time when you can’t consume change as fast as it is happening or you simply may no longer want to.
My mother was a professor for 44 years. She loved teaching – loved it! She always made a practice of getting to know the students’ names on day one. She told me she knew it was time to retire when she was just learning their names halfway through the semester. Things had changed. She had changed and could not do it the way she wanted to. This is what helped her know it was time to embrace retirement. And so she did. She continued her research and writing since those didn’t require the fast recall that was no longer available to her. She kept the parts she could, and realistically let go of the parts she could no longer do with excellence. This was a good retirement plan for her.
My mother was able to discover her formula for success in retirement, but how do we start to determine what this equation will look like in our own lives? What parts can we keep and what parts would be best to release from our daily lives in the retirement chapter? The more you explore and practice the parts you plan to start or keep, the less challenging the transition will be. The key is to consider and start planning for it now. If your plan is to volunteer, volunteer now. See how you like it. Tinker with it. Refine what it looks like until you get it where you want it. Your future self will thank you. Set a small goal to evaluate and start this process in 2022. I’m excited to see what you discover.
Our theme song is “My Way” by Frank Sinatra (a favorite of my dad).