Your career involves activities and routines you’ve become so accustomed to it seems like your life has always been this way. The job defines what you are and it may even contribute to your social life.
When you leave the workplace you leave behind friends, power, status, prestige, self-esteem and challenge. You may also leave behind stress, boredom, unpleasant colleagues and a lack of appreciation.
Naturally, you’ll be happy to forget the negative factors. The goal now is to replace the positive attributes with equally meaningful ones in retirement.
Human nature dictates that people seek out methods of stimulating the mind. We all have a basic need for mental arousal coming from involvement in the world of everyday living.
You can join a club or an association involved in something that interests you. There’s usually a committee to keep the organization running efficiently; involvement in the finances, the promotion, or the educational aspects of the group can substitute for the kind of mental challenge experienced during your working career.
If you are not the joining type maybe a breakfast club is more your style as it is less formal and structured. There are also many volunteering opportunities in which individual input is needed. You may wish to keep on working at your chosen career indefinitely or you may wish to start another part time job.
Whichever path you take, it’s highly likely that you will gradually find that you have more time on your hands as you advance into this new phase of your life.
The concern is about quality of life. For many, when work disappears, some sense of purpose disappears too and this can have a negative impact on mental well being.
Be prepared by getting involved with activities that provide the required interest level before leaving the workplace as this can provide a smooth transition. Find out what will lead to a well balanced, fulfilling, stimulating and satisfying lifestyle and do the preparation well before you need it full time.