There are many things that can go through your mind if circumstances beyond your control force you into an early retirement. Your first reaction may be to “start looking for another job”. Understandable. However, depending on demand for your skills, you may discover that the job that you were used to doing may not be there for you again. Maybe work, during this next stage, takes a different form. To help with this transition, one of the most important things you can do is to maintain and strengthen your personal network.
The extent of a person’s social network can play a significant factor in helping guide a successful transition, both personally and professionally. From a personal perspective, building relationships can help your focus on “what is next” as you talk to others who have experienced what you have. Simple conversations and connections can ease the solitary nature of this phase. Spending time with people you like can also help bring significant meaning to this part of your life. Finally, potential job ideas can also come from these conversations.
If you are in a situation where you recently left work here are some simple tips for maintaining a social network with your professional connections:
At the same time, focus on creating a fresh network so you can add some balance to your social circles and your life. This can help you branch out and perhaps uncover new activities, friends and yes, even work. Here are some ideas to pursue:
Your attitude will ultimately determine the end result. This next phase is a new opportunity in many ways for anyone forced into retirement, if it is embraced that way. Things may have changed, but this next phase can become a time of exploration and further growth. Your social network can be a big assist and provide enjoyment and engagement with people you like along the way.