Retirement Gives New Meaning To Your Identity
If your identity is tied into your work you will be in for a big surprise when you retire. Retirement is less about who you are or what your work skills consist of and more about designing a 2nd phase of your life. The transition from the work life to retirement can be difficult for some people because work gives them a feeling of importance and value.
If letting go of your work identity means giving up the meaning of who you are as an individual, maybe you need to lighten up. Locking in on a work identity without allowing for a little wiggle room can be psychologically dangerous. You are what you tell yourself. If you tell yourself you will no longer be important or valuable once you retire then you need to put work into context before you retire.
Your job served you well over the years by providing you an income and social networking; it was not your identity. A healthy reflection of one’s life usually centers around family, friends and all of the good times you had not on how fast you generated work related reports or kept under the company budget. See the difference?
Who Isn’t Replaceable?
Another fallacy pre-retirees fall into is the idea the idea that they are irreplaceable. It’s easy to convince yourself that you are indispensable at work. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but regardless of what you think, your boss and your company or organization will operate fine without you. Let it go.
If you want a smooth retirement transition, understand that in retirement you get to find a brand new identity. You get to follow your passions and set your own personal challenges.
Your work gave you a sense of purpose. At the end of a work day you probably felt good about the things you accomplished. If you are concerned about loosing that sense of purpose, replace your job with something meaningful and you will not feel the void. In retirement you can find new ways to get that same feeling of accomplishment through your hobbies and perhaps volunteer work. Go get ’em.