You are a partner who is no longer employed in a law firm.
The good news is that you don't have to retire.
And the odds are that you don't welcome retirement.
Read personal finance advice about retirement.
Likely you'll get the message that you will be run out of money. When I was living in southern Arizona, where many relocate after retiring, that was a common fear.
Retirement used to mean never having to work again. The mindset was to position and package work as, well, a burden from the past.
The new mindset is to not rule out work.
You remain open to work that isn't as demanding as your career had been.
And, the bonus is that you don't have to take working as seriously. No more of that awful knot in the stomach about how the client is evaluating your performance or if revenues plunged and you are a target for a stealth reduction-in-force.
Here in Eastern Ohio, I am observing how that new phenomenon is playing out.
Some of those already accepting Social Security and drawing out of their retirement funds never rule out working. That means they stay tuned to the opportunities to earn income. They let others know they are available for work. But remaining continually employed is not necessarily an objective.
A common scenario is to continue to do what they used to do 70 hours a week for 25 hours a week. Or with different terms and conditions than they accepted during their careers.
The former law partner purchased a tutoring franchise. It's been interesting screening potential tutors in STEM.
The management consultant is only inviting assignments within 100 miles. No more long-distance travel. There will be weeks without work in order to visit the grandkids in Spain.
The former corporate communications director parachutes in to handle social media for a moving company.
The former horse trainer puts in 28 hours a week checking out groceries at Aldi.
The former retail clerk has a paid position at a food bank.
The trick, of course, is getting hired for these post-career jobs and contract assignments.
The way to ensure that is to never stop talking the language of business.
It's through language that you apply by email with a resume and cover letter.
It's through language that you go through an interview.
It's through language that you create a pull force to attract clients and customers.
And it's through language that you send the signal to the world that you are employable.
To keep fluent in the language of business you don't allow yourself to talk the traditional language of retirement.
Common snippets from the language of retirement are:
- "So great to not be working"
- "How I hated that rat race"
- "Am helping out my daughter by babysitting all day"
That kind of talk brands you as not someone who will be hired to do paid work. Also, it embeds itself in your daily conversation. The mastery you had talking like a professional with a clear identity and status atrophies.
America is the headquarters for capitalism. Value comes from working. Without work, we are of less value.
In social contexts, those who are retired tend to receive the glaze-over. Others in the room gravitate to the people who can provide insight and contacts related to professional success.
In this global economy driven by technology, it's all about having an edge. No one looks to the retired to help build and maintain that edge.
Get a second opinion about your marketing and advocacy communications. No pressure. No charge. Please contact Jane Genova, email@example.com or @genova_jane.