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Plan Your Post-Retirement Career NOW

When you close your eyes and picture your retirement, what do you envision? If you’re still holding firm to the idea of the idyllic vacation-to-the-grave scenario, we’re not judging. However, if you are someone who is motivated by doing meaningful work and having a positive impact on people’s lives by helping them, you may want to reconsider how fulfilled you will be not working.

If your full-time, full-steam ahead corporate life is something you may not be ready trade in retirement, you may look at some part-time roles as you begin to wean yourself off of the c-suite stride. There are great opportunities to channel your strengths into non-profit board governance, consulting, writing and blogging, or even adjunct professorships.

Think about what you most want from your post-career life while you still have time. How do you feel about the idea of your current career drawing to a close? Do you want more free time? What will you do with that time? Are you looking to travel more…or maybe less? Are you looking to slow down the pace of your day? Do you want more opportunities to give back? Who do you want to be in retirement?

Taking the time to think about tomorrow today will help you to clarify the vision for your future. As you shape that vision, you will begin to identify opportunities in your current career that will create beneficial and relevant experience that you can use later. For instance, you can volunteer with a non-profit or join their board; you may begin getting your writings published now if that is the direction you would like to go. Start building a record of success in those areas. Also, don’t forget to look at your current experiences up to this point and start drawing some correlations between that and your post-retirement career plan.

If you have been doing this “career thing” for a while, you know what you like and what you love. Take this chance to reinvent the parts you would like to forget. Find what energizes you and makes you feel positively powerful. Imagine yourself quieting the noise of phones ringing, long commutes, the inbox that never empties, endless back-to-back meetings and conference calls droning in your ears, high-pressure decision making, and open-door distractions, questions, and interruptions…and then feel the peace and relief wash over you when you imagine life without it.

That, my friend, is where you will find the clearest vision of your life after work.

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