More and more retired executives are discovering “retirement” doesn’t mean just spending time on the golf course or babysitting grandkids. Sure, taking some time off to decompress is good, but for women who’ve lead a fast-paced life that can get old pretty quickly.
Many newly retired executives, male or female, describe themselves as workaholics. Being a workaholic doesn’t allow much time for anything else. In fact even before leaving a company many of these executives would say they always assumed they would work again. It’s in their DNA.
For successful businesswomen over 50 who are pondering what to do next, here are four ideas to consider:
Just like you stepped down from leadership so have others in your community and across the country. There’s not always an overlap between the exiting executive and the incoming officer. You may be the perfect candidate to fill the gap on a short-term basis. It’s a great option if you still crave the prestige and pace of the executive life. The good news is you could still have the flexibility to enjoy time off in between assignments. It’s an interim role that offers not only prestige but also a professional salary.
You have a lifetime of experience and a wealth of knowledge. Don’t let that go to waste after you retire. If you enjoy mentoring this may be a perfect way to give back to your profession. Coaching allows you to set your own hours, work from just about anywhere with an Internet connection, and the satisfaction of helping to mentor the next generation of leaders.
Of course you could take mentoring to a whole new level as a classroom teacher or an adjunct professor. Even if you don’t have an advanced degree, many institutions of higher learning place great value on your real world experience. For some, a downside might be adjuncts don’t make a lot of money and it would likely cut into your ability to travel or pursue additional interests. But with the advent of online colleges, there are possibilities of leading a class from a beach chair on a Caribbean island.
Many retired executives derive a great deal of satisfaction volunteering. There certainly are many worthy organizations that could benefit from the professional expertise you can offer. Granted even though some nonprofits depend heavily on volunteers, most, even local groups, have some paid staff. You are a professional and you should expect to be paid for the expertise you bring to the organization.
There are other professional options for retired executives. Of course the primary second act that comes to mind most often is that of a consultant. That makes sense. You have a great deal of work experience, contacts, and expertise to bring to the table. And you may already know your first client. Many new consultants start by consulting to their former employer on a project-by-project basis.
Here’s another idea. You might be able to share your expertise as a paid speaker including trade shows, business retreats, industry conferences and company sponsored events.
The good news is you do have many opportunities. You can stay very busy in a productive and enjoyable way.
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