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Change Your Thinking to Embrace Your Post-Career Life

Change is inevitable – always. We experience change in all aspects of our lives. We will deem some changes as small and hardly significant such as a change in appointment times, a road detour, and the shift from morning to afternoon to evening. We may also seek out certain changes such as incorporating more fruits and vegetables in our diets, joining a book club, or starting a new hobby. These are the types of changes that are easy for us to embrace, look forward to and enjoy. What about the really big changes that happen in life? What about when the time comes to leave your career in the rear-view mirror?

Stephen King said, “The scariest moment is just before you start”. Just before embarking upon your post-career life is likely to be such a scary moment for many. Perhaps this occurs during your retirement party and as you say “farewell” to your work colleagues and friends. For others, this moment may arrive right when you realize your honeymoon phase of retirement is over. This is the moment when you do not know what comes next. The moment when you become aware that there are fewer years ahead of you than behind you. The moment when you ask yourself how to make your life meaningful – now.

Our ability to smoothly navigate this change begins with our thinking. The most common word used to describe this phase is “retirement”. When you hear the word "retirement", what do you think about? What images come to mind?

If you are currently engaged in your career, do you wonder the following:

  • Will I ever be able to retire?

  • How can I think about retirement with all the deadlines I must meet?

  • Retirement is one step closer to the grave and I don't want to go there

  • I don't feel old, so why retire?

If you have retired, does any of the following sound familiar?

  • I don't know what to do after my morning coffee

  • I am bored and all I do is watch tv and play video games

  • All my friends are still working

  • I don't know who I am anymore

If any of the above sounds like you, shifting your thoughts will create a positive and empowering perspective about this time of your life.

Here are some examples of shifts in perspective to embrace:

  • This is not retirement. This is a life change that leads to freedom to make choices that are right for me

  • I have decided to let go of those things which I allowed to stop me from genuinely enjoying my life.

  • I am learning the job of directing my own life

  • I can now explore all that I am curious about and meet others who share common interests

Another shift in thinking is to avoid using the word “retirement” to describe the stage you are embarking upon. Some prefer describing this time of life as their Third Act. I consider this time of life as a place in which to explore new opportunities and rediscover myself. In other words, a time to begin a Life ReLaunched!

Are you interested in discovering what a Life ReLaunched might be for you? Discover more articles and get free guides designed to jump start your ReLaunch into this chapter of your life at

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