In my previous HR career, I saw many colleagues retire and at each farewell party, I always asked myself the same question: What was that like? To close the door to the office, to take the familiar road home one last time, to fall asleep without thinking about the pile of files on the desk, to wake up the next day with a start only to remember that no one was waiting for us. Someone else was already in our chair. We weren’t irreplaceable after all. How did that feel? Were they happy, sad, bitter, lost?
I understood that for some, the ones who had been company devotees for numerous years, who had probably sacrificed many a family get-together or bedtime story, the transition would be complicated. I knew it would be hard for them to simply take off their professional label overnight and just slip into their « back-to-self » suit without any further ado.
For them, it would be almost like losing their identity and I tried to imagine the effect that must have had, deep down: were they submerged by emotion or a sense of emptiness ? Were they afraid of not being « useful » anymore or of being perceived as less « worthy »?
It was then that I decided that, one day, I would help future retirees with their transition. Help them to be better prepared so that they could look forward to retirement rather than looking back with regret or frustration. But how could I do this ?
I’ve found the answer since then.
I realized that future retirees were going to need to take on a new role: that of detective. They were going to have to solve a mystery – the mystery of themselves. They’d need to investigate everything: their values, dreams, emotions, needs, beliefs… And I’d be their faithful companion, assisting them with their findings.
There was work to be done: they were going to need to take stock of the situation, identify the way forward, find meaning, pinpoint red herrings, discover new paths, uncover a new network. But what a pleasure it would be to unravel their own mystery!
So, when are you going to get started on YOUR mystery?