At this year’s Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) annual conference, one of the early morning sessions focused on retirement strategies. Honestly, the session was more focused on what employers need to do for employees considering retirement, but as I was listening to the speaker, it occurred to me that these are things employees need to focus on too. So, I wanted to share them with you.
- Reskilling. It’s no surprise that technology has a huge presence in our lives. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I love walking into a room and saying, “Alexa, turn on the bedroom lights.” And poof! they come on. It’s also fun during the holidays to say, “Alexa, turn on the Christmas tree.” But that means we need to stay up on the current technologies: read about them, try some of them out, and continuously learn. It’s not acceptable to say, “I’m not a technology person.” You’re missing out.
- Repurposing. Everyone wants purpose in their lives. The question becomes what is that purpose. I recently took a FREE Coursera course titled “The Science of Well-Being”. It’s the most popular course at Yale University. The subject? Happiness. How to find happiness in our lives and not waste time on hollow pursuits. Professor Laurie Santos talks about the importance of young people finding their purpose. I can see how as we get older, we might need to recalibrate our version of purpose.
- Reducing Stress. As I start approaching “retirement”, I understand the comments about it being stressful. Did I save enough money? How will I fill my days? How’s my health? And the list goes on. It’s important for us to have a sense of self-awareness and create habits and rituals that will help us manage stress. I wrote a post over on HR Bartender about “How to Create a Morning Routine”. It’s one of my favorites. There’s also equal time being given to the idea of creating an evening routine.
- Reverse Mentoring. I must admit on some levels I dislike the term “reverse mentoring”. Why can’t we just call it mentoring? But I do realize that for many people, mentoring conjures up images of an older person passing along knowledge to a younger person. That being said, it’s time to break that stereotype. We should all look for opportunities to learn from individuals who are different from us. Both in terms of age and other attributes. It can help us with reskilling, repurposing, and reducing stress.
- Phased Retirement. It really does make a lot of sense to start test driving retirement before going all in. We can do things like transitioning to part-time employment or starting a freelancing business on the side. This can be a win for both us and the companies we work with. As part of the transition, we can use strategies like reverse mentoring to help us. But it takes being open and honest with the organization as well as having some sort of plan about how we would like to proceed.
The more time I spend writing about retirement, the more I realize how big of a step it is and how much time it’s going to take to prepare. And I’m not just talking about the money part. This is a huge transition in life, sorta like when you move out of your parents’ house, and we need to plan for it.
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby while exploring the streets of Kansas City, MO