I’ve now been retired almost 2 1/2 years. I can’t say the time has flown by, but boy have I learned a lot about myself! What makes me happy, what I need to make me happy, what works, what doesn’t, how I want my life to be defined going forward, and how to overcome chronic insomnia! (vape pen with CBD oil!)
I tried volunteer work last year and while I enjoyed it, it didn’t give me that sense of purpose I was looking for. Truth be told, I like earning money. Call me crazy, but fulfillment is different for all of us. For me, as a sales person for the last 25 years of my career, I need to be working towards something — to write a ticket, as those of us in trading used to say. I need something tangible.
I started by rewriting my resume. I hadn’t written a resume or added to one in years. Having been at the same company for 19 years, I had gotten comfortable and settled. Resume writing is so easy today with templates for every style and font you might imagine.
Once this was completed, I was ready to test the waters. The beauty of looking for a job at this stage of life, my 3rd chapter, is that I don’t feel pressure. There is no career track. I don’t feel I have anything to prove, except to myself. I knew I wanted to work again, but not a “big” job with a title and long hours, but rather what I dubbed a “little job.” I wanted to have purpose again, to have structure, to be in an office environment with people, camaraderie.
Though, I have worked as an independent rep for the last 10 months, my post retirement gig, as I call it didn’t provide fulfillment. I have enjoyed getting to know my new community selling to small businesses, meeting restauranteurs, shop owners, yoga practitioners, architects, landscapers, organic farmers, etc, but something was missing. I have never loved working from home. While one of my daughters enjoys the freedom of working remotely, I felt isolation. There were no people to bitch and complain with about your job, your boss, your work space… Who do you discuss the latest episode of “This Is Us” with? The dog just wasn’t interested!
I started applying for jobs on various websites, not really sure what I was looking for, but hoping to play off of my skill set. I am a sales person and I have always believed, once you have sold, you can sell anything! I knew I didn’t want to be in a boring job, so I thought about the kinds of businesses in my upstate locale that interested me. Much to my surprise, I actually had people respond to me!! Wow, maybe I wasn’t over that hill after all! (That’s the proverbial hill!!)
I applied to an auction house, a spa, a yoga retreat center (think discounts!), an upscale customized vacation company that does “glamping” on a local farm (glamorous camping by way of luxury tents) and an organic purveyor of Fair Trade coffee, nuts, dried fruits, etc.
I have been made 2 job offers and I will make a decision next week as to which one I want. This time, it’s about me. I’m not supporting a family, paying a mortgage, putting money away for college or retirement. It’s for my need to be useful, productive, engaged. This is what I need to be happy.
Some people can’t wait until the day they retire. They are happy to piddle around. Maybe, they are better than I am at structuring their day. The beauty of the whole thing is that if it doesn’t work out, it’s okay. I will try something else. I’m thankful that people who interviewed me were willing to take a chance on little ole me!
As my mother Muriel always said, you can sleep when you’re dead!
-Listen to the voice in your head, not to others. Only you know what makes you happy and fulfilled.
-Give yourself time to adjust to this new way of life, but if you do want more, don’t be afraid to get out there and search for it.
-Never underestimate what a senior person brings to the table. Your wisdom, experience, and guidance just might be the right mix for your future employer. Old is just in your mind and age is merely a number!
Enjoy the ride!
xox Barclay & Joy