Do you dream of retirement as an easy time of relaxing and enjoying your life with simple pleasures? Retirement is an attractive fantasy in comparison to working lives that are overly busy and full of responsibility. But to retire happily requires some complex and important decisions combined with an enormous change in thinking and habits. It can be daunting. It is easy to procrastinate on making such a big shift. And if you don’t do your homework it can be a rude shock to wake up one morning with nothing to do and no workplace to go to.

I learned a lot about this process from one of my clients, who was originally somewhat reluctant to hire a coach, but is now encouraging his friends to follow his lead.  Bob shares what the coaching process meant to him.

“…it’s been a while since we last were in contact and I wanted to drop you a line to acknowledge just how successful the work that we did in 2009 has been. If you remember I was struggling somewhat with the concept of letting go of a full on focus on job and was unable to see a way ahead, yet what actually transpired has been a remarkable 5 years during which not only have I thoroughly enjoyed myself but also I have found opportunity to utilise my knowledge and experience to the work I do with IATA and other bodies while at the same time I have gradually reduced my responsibilities for customer relationships etc to the point now that I have actually handed over 100% of the responsibilities and only now provide background support from a kind of mentor position…. And on top of this I have been paid quite a considerable sum of money over the 5 years which of course has made a very pleasant difference !

“I very often mention how the sessions I spent with you in the latter part of 2009 propelled me in this direction and how I would recommend some kind of coaching support when making this kind of life transition, though I’m not sure how many people actually take this on board !

“It is timely to write this today as I am just off to Mongolia once again tomorrow, again it’s the horse thing, spending almost 2 weeks in a mountainous area towards the west of Mongolia, this will be my 5th such expedition !

“Looking ahead, by the end of this year almost all my links with my past career will be severed, at least from the commercial aspect, not sure yet exactly how it will all fit together but 2015 looks very pleasantly empty with lots of possibilities for choice, a situation that I matter found difficult 5 years ago but which I now rather welcome.”

–Bob Rogers, Independent Aviation Professional, and VP Industry Affairs at Nordisk Aviation Products

If you are planning to retire within the next 5 years, or if you are considering moving into a ‘retirement career’ that can allow you to work with more freedom, flexibility and significance into the next stage of your life, you can make that process a whole lot smoother by starting to prepare yourself now.

Which of the following changes do you need to work on?

  • Developing new daily habits to replace the relentless demands of a working life
  • Slowing down without getting depressed
  • Getting unhooked from an unhealthy, adrenaline-fuelled lifestyle
  • Releasing responsibilities to your successors
  • Preparing your workplace to build on your legacy
  • Finding new interests and satisfying ways to use your time
  • Finding new sources of belonging and community to replace your workplace community
  • Feeling that you are making a contribution and using your potential
  • Being clear on a new purpose and meaning for the last stage of your life
  • Maintaining a strong sense of self-respect and dignity without the status of a corporate or organizational role
  • Building a bridge to slow down more gradually, perhaps through an intermediate career or other projects
  • Creating a legacy that builds on your experience
  • Learning how to capitalize on the benefits of more freedom and autonomy without feeling lost
  • Learning how to motivate yourself so that you stay active and happy
  • Changing financial habits to accommodate new income situations
  • Deciding where to live including setting up multiple homes or settling in new locations

If you have never used a career coach before, you might not have experienced the way coaching can help you move forward much more smoothly than you would on your own. Your coach will guide you through the process of soul-searching, decision-making, mental adjustments and actions that will lead you to the best possible outcome.If you would like to benefit from the same kind of support that Bob received, please contact us!

Angela Spaxman
Angela Spaxman
Career and Leadership Coach , Loving Your Work
Angela Spaxman is one of Hong Kong’s leading experts in professional coaching. She is a highly effective and experienced executive coach, career coach, corporate facilitator and trainer. Angela’s leadership experiences, her decades of personal development, her well-grounded confidence and her natural curiosity give her great insight into how to manage, motivate and lead people to be at their best.