Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Next Chapter

By Barbara LaBier

Today’s retirees will live longer than other generations and still have working on their minds. For many, a second career will supplement social security and offer opportunities for new areas of self-fulfillment. Many people have told me that finding work different from what they did during 40 years of their lives will add a new dimension to living where they are better able to match their passion with doing something they like.

This attitude is prevalent among retirees who come from successful careers who are seeking opportunities to make more money while finding self-fulfillment through work.

Instead of taking any job after retiring, experts say it is time to focus on a career that brings you some pleasure.

“It has been a voyage of self discovery according to Sam who worked as a salesman and real estate broker for Long and Foster for 30 years. Sam always knew that he enjoyed the teaching and training aspect of his career. When he retired, he soon found that he was bored and broke staying at home playing the stock market. After visiting a career counselor, he learned to evaluate what turned him on about a new career and chose coaching for real estate professionals. Now, Sam teaches strategies for building real estate businesses through career coaching seminars and retreats for professionals looking to build their sales and businesses. He enjoys the travel and participating in retreats and public speaking where he earns thousands of dollars for his advice.

Rob who spent 30 years in the restaurant business as an owner, manager, chef, bartender and server was burned out. He wanted to retire and utilize his skills in the restaurant industry in second career in a job that was easier on this body.

After a few sessions with a career coach he was able to redirect his career skills to a large corporation where he is working in the area of corporate sales in the retail and industrial food services area.

“Sysco was delighted with my skills because I had intimate sales knowledge of purchasing equipment, recipe planning, food services and sales. When I meet new clients in the corporate world, we speak the same lingo, ” Rob said happily.

But what about the folks who retire and feel devalued by the experience? Many people are enraged about loosing their title, job, and income as well as the way they were once defined by society. When they start a new career their seniority is gone, they make mistakes and stumble, they have lost their mentor status, they are reduced to the status of an apprentice. Comparing themselves to a youthful culture is often painful.

Cynthia who is in her middle sixties will be retiring next year. For 35 years she worked in the IT industry as a technical writer and now is getting ready to embark on a second career as a Financial Planner.

“I am very excited about trying something new.” she said. “A career that capitalizes on my love of people, interest in stocks, companies and business and my delight in creating strategies to help others succeed is what I want. ”

But what about failure? For Cynthia her long career filled with ups and downs has made her philosophic.

“During my working life, I developed wisdom about how to fail gracefully and recover. Not everything has to be achieved in a day. My youthful impatience of expecting over- night success has been replaced with an inner confidence, knowledge and an expanded sense of humor. I know that I will be successful given time,” she added.

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