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Psychology of Executive Retirement: From Fear to Passion

Psychology of Executive Retirement: From Fear to Passion


You are an executive, athlete, military officer, doctor, lawyer or professional. You have spent you life preparing for the life of a professional. You have given your all to your profession and achieved great success. You love your job and career. You have become your work. Yet the inevitability of retirement gradually looms. You put this feared issue out of your mind as something to deal with later when you have more time. However and suddenly, this inevitable event is thrust upon you through a global restructuring, downsizing, termination, injury or health issue, etc. The issue is, how do you retire from the career that you have spent your life preparing for and which has consumed your life? Indeed, how can you retire from yourself? You either prepare for retirement in advance which is difficult while giving your all to your time-consuming career. Or, you ignore it until the inevitable occurs. This is more difficult.

The book will help you prepare psychologically for retirement. It will help the professional deal with the feared loss of his or her role, status, power, work and professional relationships, self-esteem, career recognition for achievements, not to mention a large income.

Most executives fail to prepare because they are too busy working. They conveniently think of retirement as being easy, as it is typically presented in the media, a Mediterranean cruise, a life golfing, at the cottage, life in the sunbelt, a permanent RV trip throughout North and South America, etc. This is the vacation model of retirement which fails because the stress relief and enjoyment of the vacation when working hard lasts for a very short time. Boredom will soon set in as the retiree soon misses the structure of the dedicated involvement in one’s life work. This sudden realization of non-fulfillment and anxiety in early retirement, I call retirement shock. Vacation and idleness can never replace the satisfaction of the complex achievements and rewards of your work. This is why it is much harder for the professional to retire compared to more basic skilled hourly workers. The executive’s strong connection and self-identity with work, along with the huge satisfaction from achieving complex results creates the challenge of retirement. In fact the stress of the retirement shock can trigger health issues. Indeed, if you have control over when to retire because you own the company, you may decide to work indefinitely and delay such issues. However, most executives do not have full control over if and when they will retire. No matter when you retire, the same issues will emerge without preparing psychologically.

This personal transitional book will help you develop a strategy; prepare to disengage from your job and organization by reducing your psychological dependency; get to know yourself by introspectively identifying your highest needs; identifying your real talent and passion outside of your job skills and finally by putting together a life plan. This book of personal change is all about your psychological renewal. It aims to help you achieve what Herzberg terms self-actualization through your intellectual, artistic and spiritual dimensions, lacking in almost all jobs. The book shows how to rise above your job with a new personal mission. Given your abilities as an executive, this is a book about identifying and tapping into your unique talent through personal transformation. It is not another retirement book based on financial planning. Instead, it will to lift you up psychologically to attain your full potential as a human being. It guides you through personal renewal through a new mission based on your passion and life meaning. The book will guide you to personal self-discovery. Don’t retire; reinvent yourself based on your talent and passion.


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