I was speaking to a friend about my work and recent foray into the podcast world when she mentioned retirees. Her thought was that retired people may want and need to know what makes sense for them to do after their work life but before they feel “done.” This might be particularly true if they have endured and survived many years at a job in which they attained little to no satisfaction. It seems imperative to now engage in work (or play) in which they are really excited. Problem is, how many people know what that is, even after or especially after all these years?
It’s so true. The longer we repress our authentic selves, the less likely we will be able to get in touch with our true purpose. The information may reside in the unconscious mind, long pushed away by our more immediate needs of keeping the job for financial reasons, our obligations to family. This may be the main concern, but there are certainly other rationalizations that occur to cause us to turn away from our true selves and head in an alternate direction. Even if you’ve managed to carve out a semblance of your true desire, it may have been relegated to a “hobby,” as you could not imagine being able to be paid for doing something you love.
This is not to be harsh. I just have heard these stories often and they are unfortunate. At the risk of sounding idealistic, I truly believe that we can all be who we are and live a happy life. So if it comes to pass that we get to do this in retirement, well, as the saying goes, better late than never.
So the answer is yes, an assessment process is advised for one heading into retirement and hasn’t a clue what to do with their time. It would not be advised to retire without some plan of what you will do. Even if the plan is just “to have fun,” it is perfectly fine if that suits you and your lifestyle.
The point is that a if a retiree is unaware of what they will do but knows they wish to do something, some introspection will be needed, with or without the benefit of a professional assessment. What did you leave behind in the dust of your work life that you wish to resurrect? How can you use your skill set and expertise to “give back” in some way that will provide great self-satisfaction? What do you care deeply about? Leave nothing out, write every thought down, as that will assist you in dragging into consciousness that which may have been buried. If all else fails, consider the questionnaire–at minimum, you will enjoy a great conversation about your favorite subject:-}