If you heard a business person use these words, what would you think? “Passion about what I do, setting and achieving goals, seeking new challenges, mentoring and coaching, creating new structures, putting pressure on myself to achieve more.” Right, you’d think that’s just how people with careers they love talk about their work. Well in Grace’s case, these are the words she uses to describe her RETIREMENT CAREER!
By way of career background, she never set out to be a banker, but fell into it and then thrived. She moved up the ladder of a local bank and survived a number of mergers until one last acquisition by a foreign bank. Not uncharacteristically, they assigned coveted jobs to their own staff, while quashing the jobs of highly paid career employees in the acquired company. Undaunted by she leveraged her non-profit banking experience and contacts to take on a senior development job at the State Community Foundation. Several years into this, she spent an agonizing 6 months analyzing whether to retire. Bottom line, there were parts of the job that just weren’t satisfying and she decided to move on to Retirement.
One of the very early…and still lingering biggest difficulties Grace faced as she moved out of the working world was accepting the word “retirement”. In her world view, THAT word applied to someone else—not her! When your identity has been tied up in your career, who are you when the words “here’s what I do” no longer define you? Definitely, she was not about to lose her identity to the lack of a title or job description.