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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Work And The Transition To Retirement

   First of all let’s define work as behaviour that contributes to society for which we get paid. In the case of volunteering, we do it for free.  Getting paid is society’s recognition of our usefulness. Retirement may be seen by others, and us, as a form of laziness.  In extreme cases this, building on ageist stereotypes, envisions a world where seniors, “live off of other people”.
     Being engaged in our work is an important factor in our productivity and job satisfaction.  Engagement is work related and characterized by energy, commitment and absorption. There is a strong correlation between work engagement and work satisfaction. Key aspects of our work besides pay are recognition, organizational support and the work environment.
     What happens when we retire? According to Ernie Zelinski, in his very popular book “How to Retire, Happy, Wild and Free:” What will you do with your time if you have never learned to enjoy your leisure?  He goes on to say, “What may be missing is a sense of purpose and some meaning to your life.”
   Nancy Schlossberg, in her recently published book “Revitalizing Retirement: Reshaping Your Identity, Relationships, and Purpose.” one of the key aspects of successful work is “mattering”-- being “noticed, appreciated, and depended on.”
In the book Schlossberg, asks us to respond to the following Concerns:
1.    “ Who am I?  I feel that I am no longer off any use.”
2.  “ I have to work on marital relationships because we are now eyeball to eyeball”
3. " I have lost my buddies. I have to adjust to not seeing as many people each day.
4.  I am struggling to regain my sense of purpose.”
       In summary, a large part of our transition to retirement involves preparation and strengthening of our social relationships and developing new ways to contribute to our community.

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