Cassie (not the client's real name) has looked forward to retirement for her entire career. She has carefully saved and invested in her retirement account with a financial planner. The target date was set years in advance. And yet, as that date approached, Cassie felt fear and doubt, and even dread, at the thought of retiring. Despite knowing that financially, she had everything in order, there was something much deeper causing Cassie to hesitate. She was confused about her fear. Why would this dread be growing as the magic date approached?
This is what brought Cassie to me. She wanted to retire, but emotionally, knew there was something holding her back. After completing her self-assessment, I met with Cassie to review the findings. Yes, Cassie certainly had everything in order financially, but the assessment identified the areas of concern, and they had nothing to do with finances.
Cassie had two main areas of concern. The first was how to replace the structure that work provided; how to fill the time. The second was harder to discern, and required some digging. What she learned through coaching was that she had always assumed she’d be married when she retired. Here, she found herself single, with a retirement that did not look at all as she had always imagined it.
We spent time working through these two issues, digging into their deeper causation. Even after the first coaching session, Cassie started to have hope and see things differently in her life. By the end of our engagement, Cassie was once again excited, and more importantly, ready, to retire. She could now wait for that date to arrive with eager anticipation, reaping the rewards of a long and successful career.
Most of us model our ideas of retirement around what our parents did. For baby boomers, that meant a life of ease. Golfing and moving south, travel, or becoming snowbirds. That model doesn’t work for most of us anymore. The average retirement age is dropping, even as our average life span is growing. That means people are seeking meaningful ways to spend this fabulous time of life. Some follow a passion that has long been pushed to the backseat. Others launch a pet business they’ve always had percolating in their minds.
Most of the ‘retired’ people I know have fully engaged lives. Some have their own business, some consult, many volunteer. But one thing is certain. They are not sitting around on the front porch sipping iced tea. No, those days are gone for this and subsequent generations. “This new definition of retirement encourages us to sparkle as never before, with a new freedom of action and a deepening of the human spirit” says Dr. Richard P. Johnson.
According to Dr. Susan W. Lehmann and Dr. Phillip R. Muskin, “The key to a successful and happy retirement is preparation. Any major change in life, whether it’s getting married, having children, moving, changing careers or dealing with illness or death, causes stress, and stress is a primary risk factor for depression. Retirement is no different.”
Some common roadblocks to retirement people face are:
People often ask me when they should start planning for retirement. I ask, “When did you start saving money for retirement?” It’s really never too early or too late to start planning how you will spend all those post-retirement years
I can’t tell you the number of clients who come to me because they’ve applied for job after job online and not received many, if any, calls. This is true even when they believe they are the perfect candidate for a job! It’s true. I, and many, refer to it as the ‘black hole’. You see, with the online application process, you are not only competing against people in your community, but people all over the world who want to move to where you live, or work for your local companies. I read somewhere that, on average, there are 500 applicants for every open position. That makes for slim chances of getting through the ATS (applicant tracking system). In fact, only 2% of applicants ever get to speak to anyone at the desired company.
First, yes. It’s important to have a good resume that is tailored to the position you’re applying for. Whether you rely on ATS or are actually getting your resume in front of the recruiters and/or hiring managers. They need to see the correlation between the job description and your resume. But, please, please, please, get out from behind your computer if you really want to get a new job.
I’ve written ad nauseum about networking. And the simple truth is, networking will make the difference between getting a new job and languishing in front of your computer waiting for that call. This is not an article about networking. For that, see my other articles.
What I would like to do with this article is simply suggest you try some new things.
It’s well documented that 85% of new jobs are secured through networking. We all know this, and we know we should be enlisting the help and support of our network, but what is the best way to do this?
This short list should help you provide clear, concise information to your friends and colleagues to improve their ability to help.
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Andrea's passion is to see you achieve your professional dreams. Whether you are a corporate leader seeking leadership development for your employees or an individual seeking guidance in building your career or preparing for retirement, she will coach you to success.