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Retirement - just another bend in the road

RETIREMENT, often, evokes varied emotions and responses. Some look at it as the end of life as it were, while others consider it as an opportunity to indulge in avocations or hobbies they have always been interested in but could not due to the demands of their jobs; yet others view retirement, as unlimited leisure time.

Some of the things an employee approaching retirement or a retiree could do:

Work: As cliched as it may sound, you could revert back to work, if you are a workaholic and believe in evolving career-wise, or you are facing financial stringency.

You could take up a part-time job, with your employer; as you are familiar with the work environment and co-workers. You would certainly feel at home. Besides your employer knows your strengths and limitations too. Many organisations hire ex- employees on contractual basis. It is a cost effective and viable option for both.

This is the best time to treat yourself to a career you have always envied and wanted. It could be a long-cherished dream or something that captivates you. A change of career helps you make the most of both the worlds, the one you aimed at and the one you have worked for.

Another interesting option could be making a vocation of an avocation you are passionate about. In other words, you could convert a hobby or an interest into a full time job. This dispels boredom and gives you a sense of achievement.

A word of caution, before you start work again:
Be ready to accept revised salary figures, which could be less than your earnings, previously. The contrary is not far fetched. With your experience and skills you might even get a better offer. Ensure you get the best deal. Refrain from compromising easily.

Patience is a virtue, at this stage, a job hunt could be time taking, more so if you are looking out for an entirely new job.

Finally, you should be open to adapt to changes and alterations that have taken place in the field. You might need to acquire additional technical skills, to stay on the job. It's never too late.

Volunteering: If you want to render services without any mercenary motive, volunteering is a good option for you.

You could train young people, who are new entrants into your field of specialisation. This way, you could become their mentor, offering your expertise and skills to the younger crop of professionals. It empowers you to aid young professionals and students, who seek guidance from you, to tap their potential and offer guidance in establishing a lucrative and satisfying career.

Offering your services to the society at large to plough back some services, through various societal programmes and foundations would also be a good idea. This way, you could satisfy your humanitarian and spiritual interests while people benefit excessively from your services.

Learning: If you are someone who believes that learning has no end, this one is for you. You could take up new courses or learn a new skill and flash it on your business card too.

Your learning could be related to academics. Classroom learning, for instance, is something that many retired people pursue. Back to school is always enjoyable and welcome.

Travel learning is also something that has caught the fancy of retirees. You could travel, research on topics that interest you; and earn your credentials for something that catches your fancy.

Learning new skills is an option, to get in touch with your artistic or technical side; depending on your personality. You could join classes and courses that offer to teach you an art form that you have always wanted to learn, or some latest technical subject.

You could choose the simplest of them all — distance education or education through correspondence. The latest mode of self-education, e-learning could be another option.

Finally, a pastime that never fails to interest the academically oriented.

You could catch up on your reading if you are not particular about earning money or credentials. It offers a wide plethora of knowledge, besides serving as a great mode of dispelling boredom and monotony.

So, beat those retirement blues and adopt a new take on life. After all, retirement is not the end of a period... it is the beginning of a fresh phase of life, wherein you get to enjoy and live life, as on your terms.

The Hindu - Education Plus - Wednesday, Februry14, 2007