Success factors for Retirement – Work Reorientation ( 1 of 15)

In this series we will discuss some factors that may affect you when you reach formal retirement. The Baby Boomer Generation (born between 1946 and 1964) is not likely to retire like their parents did. The world has changed and different choices are now available for this generation as they reach this new life stage.

The definition for Work Reorientation is as follows: The degree to which you have emotionally distanced yourself from taking your personal identity from your work.

To make a successful transition from work to this new life stage called “retirement” we need to shift our view of ourselves and redefine who we are.

Many may have over- invested in their work and see themselves mainly in their professional role. Our job begins to define not only what we do, but also who we are. Our career becomes the defining issue of our lives. This factor may hinder the growth in your new life stage. We need a significant reorientation of self to help us navigate the future with success.

This process in no way reduces our past success as less important but is more a process of letting go of the culture and environment of where we where and looking to new exciting ways in which we can continue to succeed. For healthy closure we need to celebrate and mourn the past, disengage and move forward to new exciting and challenging adventures.

The future will hold many opportunities for growth and change. Many will want to put their talent, experience and their positive outlook back to work. Each person will manage this change to suit their needs and circumstances. Some will want to do flexi-time work, some will want to volunteer and others may choose to work in a completely different field. The trend for the future looks like many will choose a phased approach to retirement.

To successfully re-orientate ourselves we need to dig deep within and discover “Who I am?” This will help you define who you are beyond your relationship with your work. We come to appreciate our inherent worthiness as a unique person. This internal journey is not easy for most of us: it takes time and significant self introspection before we can develop and become comfortable with a new self-definition.

For many this is not an easy process. They can’t let go of their former self-definition. For them the future is destined to be burdened because they become stuck in the narrow definition of themselves from the past. The old retirement was for many a withdrawal, non-involvement and apathetic approach. Those that do not face this factor may find themselves heading down the same road. For those that want to live with the “new retirement” the process of developing a new self-definition is not an option, it is mandatory.

We must arm ourselves with as much information about ourselves as we can so we can make the best decisions possible. Try to estimate how important this factor is for your life? The degree to which you can answer this question will tell you how strongly you identify with your work and how much energy you have been putting into your work.

We have a tool called the RSP that measures 15 success factors for retirement. This test gives quantitative measures for each factor. This tool is available through the Refirement Network. This is your life and you should live each day to the full until your last.

Most of the content for this article is taken from the book ‚ÄúThe New Retirement‚Äù ‚Äì Discovering your dream by Richard P Johnson… This is the handbook for the RSP tool used by Retirement Options. Lynda Smith is the only accredited coach with Retirement Options in South Africa. She can be contacted on 082 490 2822 or