Three Ways to a Post-Career World

What does success look like in a post-career world? 

As more and more workers lean in to a post-career world, just what does that entail?  How does one actually do that?  Can it be done?

According to the WSJ, here’s some surprising career statistics:

  • Fifty million Americans quit their jobs last year.
  • One-third are currently re-negotiating their work environment such as remote/hybrid work environments, flex time, extraordinary personal leave, etc.
  • 75% of workers say they plan to look for new work this year.
  • 33% are already actively seeking a new job right now.

Workers are restless. 

Why these shifting standards?  Many workers, even older workers, are redefining how they view their careers.  Many now reject the standard linear progression of getting to the top.

 Most depart their jobs within three years now. 

My take on how to make a post-career scenario work for you:

The One Thing: One of my favorite movies of all-time is City Slickers starring Jack Palance and Billy Crystal.   In the movie, Palance plays an old, grizzled cowboy leading a cattle drive of novice city clickers. 

While riding horseback together on the dusty trail, Palance explains to Crystal (the city slicker) what the secret to life is.  He holds up one finger and explains it as, “The One Thing.” Palance goes on to explain that once you figure out what that one thing is for you, the rest is easy. 

It was an epiphany for Crystal.  And he found what he came looking for on the cattle drive…that one thing.

I life coach insurance executives to use this same simple logic:  Take some quiet time to reach within and figure out what that, “One thing” is for you.  The answer is inside of you.  You just have to discover it.  Maybe you need a course correction in your career. Maybe not.

Success is Purpose-Driven:  60% of people admitted in a recent study cited in the WSJ that their biggest turning point in their career resulted in the same or lower compensation, but that it was the best move they ever made. 

If you discover your true purpose, but are in a position where you are living paycheck to paycheck and cannot afford the luxury of changing jobs to pursue a passion, then consider doing it as a side-hustle.

You work 40 hours per week and sleep 50 hours per week.  This gives you more than 60 hours of free time to do whatever you please.  Invest 20 hours or so per week into a side-hustle.  Side hustles often lead to greater things.

Technology is the new side-hustle enabler and allows people to pursue just about anything. 

Seasons of Success:  We deal in reality.  We have families to support and kids to put through college.  Unexpected health issues.  I get it.  Not always the right time to make a bold post-career move.  I have always considered my career stages as separate seasons. 

When my kids were in high-school, I ramped up my professional life to make enough money to send them all to good schools.  That was not the right time to make a drastic career change.  But now that I am an empty-nester, I work less and experiment more, both professionally and personally. 

You can do the same.

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