Why Continuing to Work After 60 is Important for WomenApr 28, 2023
As a woman business owner, entrepreneur, and executive who is 60 plus, I am often asked why I continue to work when I could be enjoying "traditional retirement" or pursuing a full-on leisurely lifestyle. My response is simple. I choose to work!
My choice to continue working brings me many benefits that I summarize under the term "fulfillment". Work adds purpose by utilizing my skills, experience, and wisdom, honing my personal development, adding to my accomplishments, and enhancing my financial flexibility and independence. I understand that my choice is not for every woman in my age group. But, we are fortunate to have more choices than ever before.
In this blog post, I share my thoughts on why continuing to work is important, what benefits are inherent in work, and why I support other women in their choice to look for other sources of fulfillment. I dedicate this blog to fellow women business women, entrepreneurs, and executives who are approaching or are at a crossroads in their careers and are looking forward to finding fulfillment while being curious about what lies ahead.
Purpose and Fulfillment
For many women in our generation, work is not just a means to make a living - financially. Our work is a source of purpose and fulfillment. For many women, work is what drives them every day and fuels their passion to make an impact on their/our world. Even as we age, this sense of purpose does not diminish. Continuing to work is key to staying engaged and making a difference.
For me, one of the greatest things about staying committed to my work is that there’s always a new challenge to tackle and something new to learn. This has never been more relevant and true than in this era of a constantly changing world. Working in a profession that we pursue passionately, keeps our minds active as we must stay up to date with advances in our profession and in technology itself. These challenges can help us improve our skills, advance our own professional knowledge and qualifications, and ultimately bring a sense of personal satisfaction and self-actualization as we gain more wisdom and self-trust.
Structure and Organization
When I ask clients to share what they would miss if they did not return to work (next Monday), some are very quick to acknowledge that work gives them structure and organization in their lives. Many will be happy to change pace from the hustle and bustle and the collision of life+work priorities. But, many appreciate the sense of structure, routine, and organization that is important in living our lives well. Work gives us something to wake up for each day, reason to show up as our best, and motivation to keep learning and growing.
Staying Active and Healthy - Grey Matter and Grey Power
Research has shown that working in a challenging and engaging profession can help keep our brain active and prevent cognitive decline. Maintaining social connections is a key factor in staying physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy as we age. Work provides us with a sense of purpose, self-worth, relevance, visibility, and belonging that can help us maintain a positive and healthy outlook on life.
Network Expansion and Relationship Building
My decades of work has motivated me to be goal-oriented, to show up as my best, and to engage and connect with other like-minded and motivated people. As I continue to work on new projects and meet new people, those connections and relationships grow. My personal and professional network continues to expand to include amazing people in all generations. The more I learn from the people I meet, the more opportunities arise, and the broader and valuable my network becomes. My network is an organic support system that keeps me engaged and visible through the high-times and low-times. I often express that my women's business network is my greatest asset in my professional and personal life. I declare that like "good-will", my women's network deserves to be listed as an asset on my financial balance sheet with a "Note to Reader" regarding the impact on the success of my business.
Financial Flexibility and Independence
Another important factor that makes continuing to work worthwhile for women after 60 is financial flexibility and independence. For some women, they feel that "have to work" for financial security. Many of us have experienced one or more financial challenges in our lifetime. However, I invite women to not internalize the "have to work" for narrative and opt to "want to work" for financial flexibility. This reframing of the narrative will boost your sense of joy in your work. Your choice of type of work and the value you place on your work will be different and more rewarding.
This is an excellent time to leverage your experience and expertise with newly developed wisdom to attract lucrative self-employment and entrepreneurial opportunities.
Financial flexibility and independence gives us the freedom to live life on our terms, pursue our dreams while maintaining peace of mind and self-trust in our ability to support ourselves and our loved ones.
While "traditional retirement" after a long and successful career is a reasonable choice, many of us thrive on having financial independence that provides options to explore and try new things. Continuing to work allows me to enjoy a fulfilling profession, continue to earn an income, and invest in what is important to me.
Leaving a Legacy of Impact
Many women business women, entrepreneurs, and executives view their work as a way to leave their mark on their world - a lasting impact and legacy. Most of us hope to create something that outlasts our time on this earth and makes a positive contribution to society. Continuing to work is a way to keep our visions and passions alive, and share with future generations. In my work, I am inspired by the women entrepreneurs in all generations who are taking on risk to start and scale businesses that have social impact.
Choose What's Best for You
You don't need my permission nor any one else's to look for other sources of fulfillment other than work. While continuing to work may be fulfilling for some, let's understandable that others might look for different sources of fulfillment in their 60 plus years. Pursuing a passion project, volunteering, or travelling the world are a few of the many options.
Happiness, purpose, and fulfillment can come from many other aspects of life besides work. A state of equilibrium, ease, and flow in life is different for each one of us. This is important to honour. We are done with assessing our fulfillment and thereby our worth in comparison with someone else's.
To sum up, continuing to work can bring a sense of purpose, fulfillment, financial flexibility, health benefits and an opportunity to leave your mark on the world. However, everyone's journey is different and there is no right or wrong way to age gracefully and be awesome at any age. Whether you want to continue working or explore other sources of fulfillment, the choice is yours. The most important thing is to find what brings you joy, satisfaction, and self-actualization. Pursue what's best for you with verve and vigour. For my fellow women business owners, entrepreneurs, and executives, I hope this blog post provides some/many insights and encouragement to stay true to yourselves. Please pass on the message to your peers at every age.
Take care of yourself; do what's best for you; and don't jeopardize what you have built for yourself! (my Dad's quote that has become my mantra to share with others)
References and Resources:
All links have been verified as current and safe as of date published. Please hover on links to verify title accuracy and safety.
- Are You Ready? The Shift to Self-Employment and Entrepreneurship: Start Right, Start Smart, Executive Encore Blog, January 27, 2023
- Embracing New Transitions: Navigating Life and Work After 60. Executive Encore Blog, April 21, 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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