If you are dreaming about retiring from your job within the next few years, have you been tempted to kick back and put your work performance into low gear? Try to resist that temptation!
Even though you might be at the height of your career, now is not the time to slow down. There are still many ways to make the most of your remaining days at work. If you stay motivated and focused, you’ll be able to retire knowing you did your best for the company, for your career and for your reputation. Here are four steps to make this period profitable not only for the company but for you as well.
First, decide how much time you have left in your working life.
When do you plan to retire? Will it be the standard age of 65? Or sooner…or later? Whether your timing is a matter of months or several years, think about how you want to spend that time. Are you happy in your present position or have you always longed to be transferred to another department? Perhaps your dream job is at another company. Pursue those opportunities and dreams now while you can. Don’t retire with regrets.
Second, prioritize what you want to accomplish before you retire.
What would your boss like you to accomplish? Analyze the company’s pain points and see if there are any opportunities to use your specific skills and talents to solve those problems. Talk with your boss to determine the game plan for the rest of your time with the company.
Your third priority should be to prepare the younger employees around you to succeed in carrying on the processes and procedures you have established.
Look for people who are keen to be mentored and teach them what you have learned. You can also share your knowledge by getting articles published in the trade journal of your industry or by teaching or speaking at an annual conference or trade show. Either way, you will be passing on your expertise to those who will need that information in the future.
Fourth, make sure you stay current with the technology and trends within your industry.
With the end of your career in sight, this is no time to slack off. Keep learning and sharing what you learn. And speaking of current, make sure your Linked In profile is always up-to-date. Even though you plan on retiring, you never know when someone might be looking for a part-time or short-term contractor with your type of experience. After a few weeks of being retired, such an opportunity might be welcomed.
Even though your retirement is approaching, it’s important to maintain your motivation and focus on the company’s priorities. Keep contributing and sharing what you know. Stay engaged and current.
By doing these things you will not only make the most of your remaining time on the job, but you will also leave behind a fantastic reputation and solid example for those coming up behind you.
Editor’s note to my fellow data nerds: There are some great resources available for this topic. Here’s a short list if you’d like to delve deeper.
Older People Working Longer, Earning More, US Census Bureau
Productive Aging and Work, The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
Aging Workforce Challenges: Trends, Statistics and Impact, Digital HR Tech