As women, we face many transitions throughout our lives. A few of our transitions are truly life-changing, physically, mentally, emotionally, and often spiritually with a few subtle, yet powerful nudges, insights, and awe-inspiring moments. Whether it’s transitioning from our identity as a young girl to a teen and then to a woman, transitions can be daunting and delightful. Always powerful and empowering.
Influenced by societal expectations, we typically transition from being single to being in a significant relationship. We build our lives with a prescribed series of other transitions. We might even return to being single again.
We transition from being a daughter to taking care of our aging parents. Caregiving is a constant throughout our lives.
Along the way, we enter the workforce, develop careers, and continually assess how life and work blend or collide with what we truly want in life - by design rather than by default or by uncontrollable circumstances.
One of the most significant transitions women face is the transition from building careers and full-on participation in the workforce to a lifestyle that we might not have had time to envision (yet).
As you approach the age of 60, making the decision of how you want to spend your time becomes critical. If you are 45, it's time to begin this exploration and you have the benefit of those of us who are living and working through this transition. In this blog post, I will share my thoughts and experience about this transition phase for women and offer some wisdom on how to navigate the decision-making process when it comes to the blend of life and work.
Your Path. Your Transition.
As you approach the crossroads of 60, you might find yourself asking the question – Do I want to continue working or is there something else out there that will bring fulfillment? The answer depends on various factors, such as your health, financial stability (or flexibility), job/career satisfaction, and what you identify as being important to self-actualization.
If you are assessing whether or not you want to remain active in the workforce, you will be inspired by the growing number of options now available for your consideration. As I share with my Executive Encore podcast audience, it's exciting to know that we have more choices than ever before: part-time work, consulting, freelance, independent contracting, or starting or reinventing your own business.
You can design your work and workplace. Like the concept of "traditional retirement", its distant cousin, the "traditional workplace" is being disrupted and transformed. The current rallying cry for change in the workplace is at full throttle. Women in our generation are leading the change once again to liberate us from the "old ways".
Let's take a deeper look at a few common and uncommon options:
Part-time Work: If you choose to keep working, consider part-time work which will allow you the flexibility you need/want while still providing and/or topping up your income. You can ease yourself into this part-time work lifestyle by reducing your hours or working remotely.
Choosing work that you enjoy is critical. You can choose to continue working in a field related to your previous career or try something new and exciting. You have so much value to offer with your well-honed skills, experience, and proven ability to learn and adapt to change. Ensure that you do not simply choose a "job" that undervalues your potential like the proverbial store greeter.
Self-Employment and Entrepreneurship
In a previous blog, I wrote about how shifting into self-employment and entrepreneurship can be done right - ready for you no matter what age - and how to make sure you start off on strong footing.1 Read a synopsis below:
Consulting, Freelance, Independent Contracting: If this is your "dream gig", think about the skills you can bring to the table. Create your personal and professional skill matrix. Businesses look for consultants, freelancers, and independent contractors with plenty of experience, knowledge, and a highly valued work ethic.
You work for yourself, set your schedule, and take on as much work as you want, when you want, where you want*, and with whom you want to work.
*Check out the concept of being a Digital Nomad or a Professional Vagabond. The concept has been around for several years and exploded during the pandemic. A digital nomad is a person who uses technology to work remotely while traveling around the world. On the other hand, a professional vagabond is a type of digital nomad who chooses to work low-skill or temporary jobs to supplement their travel lifestyle. Choose your path. Choose your work.
Your Own Business: For women entrepreneurs in their 60s, there are many opportunities and support available to start a business or to scale an existing business. Identify what skills you have, what services you want to provide, and who would be your target client, your ideal client. Look for new ways of serving your clients' needs and desires. With this information, you can create and continue to reinvent a business that is aligned with your values, purpose, and passion with the added benefit of contributing to your financial security, flexibility, and independence, and have access to opportunities to grow, network, and contribute your legacy.
Your Executive Encore
As women, our lives are full of transitions. Moving into and through our 60s and beyond is one of the most significant transitions we will face. It could be one of the longest transitions we experience with significant impact. This transition is to be revered. It's not necessarily one of stepping back behind the curtain, retreating to the back of the stage, and withdrawing from our work or professional life. It’s our encore. It's about discovering what will bring the most satisfaction and fulfillment into our life.
Whether you continue to work part-time, take to the road or air as a digital nomad, start a new business or reinvent your existing business, remember to be passionate about your work. Be true to your values, vision, and purpose. The transition will be smoother and worth the time and effort that you invest in your plan.
Research and reflect on the factors that inform and impact your decision. Design your Executive Encore to find fulfillment through an exciting new venture.
References and Resources:
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- Are You Ready? The Shift to Self-Employment and Entrepreneurship: Start Right, Start Smart, Executive Encore Blog, January 27, 2023
Your Next Steps
- Explore strategies for finding fulfillment after 60. Schedule a 30-minute complimentary call to explore possibilities. On this call, we will get acquainted and discuss what outcome is important to you. I will explain the application process for working directly with me and provide options that might better serve your needs. By the end of the call, you will have a "quick-win" action plan.
- Listen to the Executive Encore podcast. Women Finding Fulfillment After 60!
- Receive Maestro's Encore blog in your inbox with VIP content and specific exercises, self-assessments, and self-assignments related to this topic and to accelerate your emotional well-being and resilience. Start with your 90-Day EQ Mini-Plan or the mini workbook Emotions Drive Performance: Triggers from Thinking to Results - Predispositions, Self-Handicapping, Self-Sabotage
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