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Thread: Retirement date - your thoughts?

  1. #21
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    A friend's husband was sacked from his job of thirty years with absolutely no notice. Fortunately, he's always been careful with money and he was age-eligible for SS. They're having a wonderful time taking day trips and just enjoying life. I say be ready to jump--knowing that you can escape if necessary is very freeing.

  2. #22
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    Jane, I'm half hoping the same thing will happen to me. The decision would be made for me and I might get some unemployment checks. I'm basically ready to disappear one way or another...

  3. #23
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    Hi Gardnr, Yes, I have exhaustively evaluated my finances and have gotten independent opinions from two different financial planners. It's just a matter of a somewhat more or somewhat less lavish lifestyle post-retirement, with "lavish" being defined mostly as *travel.*

    The effect on my physical health (and therefore mental health, as I experience these as very highly connected) is something I'm going to be evaluating very carefully over the coming months. I see this job as very deleterious, and that may push me towards a sooner date.

    Oh gosh, imagining talking to the bosses about the effect of that workplace on my health--funny, maybe not funny in a fun way though.

    Thanks for your comment, it helps to process all this stuff in this forum.

  4. #24
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    How about a p.t. job? I have been teaching a online college class for the past 6 years and the stress is zero.

  5. #25
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    Rachel,

    If the decision is to continue in your current position for X number of years, there may be some ways (both straightforward and devious) to improve your work life:
    Amend your role so as to do more of what you enjoy and find intrinsically rewarding, and to do less of the other job activities.
    Manage stress more effectively. (Do people at work encourage/practice Nonviolent Communication "NVC"?)
    Improve the aesthetics of your individual workplace, your commute (audiobooks?, able to stop at a gym/indoor track before/after work?)
    In my experience, it was an improvement to buy a skipping rope that I stowed in a bottom desk drawer and I used 1-2x per day instead of a "coffee break" at that time.

  6. #26
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dado potato View Post
    Amend your role so as to do more of what you enjoy and find intrinsically rewarding, and to do less of the other job activities.
    I'm very interested in specifics of just how that's done. Got anything?
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rachel View Post
    Hi Gardnr, Yes, I have exhaustively evaluated my finances and have gotten independent opinions from two different financial planners. It's just a matter of a somewhat more or somewhat less lavish lifestyle post-retirement, with "lavish" being defined mostly as *travel.*

    The effect on my physical health (and therefore mental health, as I experience these as very highly connected) is something I'm going to be evaluating very carefully over the coming months. I see this job as very deleterious, and that may push me towards a sooner date.

    Oh gosh, imagining talking to the bosses about the effect of that workplace on my health--funny, maybe not funny in a fun way though.

    Thanks for your comment, it helps to process all this stuff in this forum.
    It sounds like your choice is simple (not), retire or work. It doesn't sound like there are any further options.

    So.....the option is to reframe your work in your mind/heart so that you go home positive every day instead of emotionally exhausting. That's internal work (I know, been there/done that).

    Best of luck!

  8. #28
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    Steve,

    Specifics are most readily identified in an individual situation, but...

    The role(s) that are incumbent on any given employee are defined both formally (as in a written job description, relevant regulations, quotas, previous re-organization efforts, etc.) and informally (by negotiation among coworkers, the employee's history of volunteering and initiating activities, satisficing decisions made over a long period by the employee's supervisor, 1:1 negotiation between the employee and supervisor, etc. )

    An employee might look on amending his own role as a long term work project. As such, a goal initially needs to be identified and stated. The goal might be stated in terms like:
    By (date 6 months in the future) at work I will be devoting more of my time and energies to (a list of 3 priority activities that are intrinsically rewarding, i.e. 1______2______3________)
    and less to (a list of 5 work-related activities that I regard as a waste of time, onerous, unpleasant, outside my job description, and/or stressful, i.e. 1_____2_____3______4_____5______).

    The goal statement may be continuously updated as new opportunities for rewarding activities arise, or there are successes in curbing or eliminating the effort and energy expended on the activities in the second list. In organizations lacking in open and honest communication about such matters, an individual's goal statement with 2 lists would be kept private.


    In certain organizations there is a controlling "chain of command" including an immediate superior, who might be requested and persuaded to approve of changes in the activities of this employee. If so, tactics need to be identified to that end.
    How are suggestions received? (What has happened to people who have made suggestions to this particular supervisor in the past?) Does management boast of "six Sigma" or "continuous improvement"?... if so, I would assume that suggestions have a good chance of being welcomed and approved.


    I have seen (too long ago for me to remember the source) a video on the art of making proposals with a high probability of being accepted intact. As I recall, it advised maintaining at all times a file folder containing 5 written proposals, ready for one proposal to be submitted at any opportune moment. The format for each proposal is SOPPADA. rogerbrucker.com/soppada.pdf


    Aside from working on change (with proposals to the superior) of the formal organization, tactics can be identified for influencing and changing the informal organization by negotiating with peers and coworkers. There may be possibilities for "trade" among coworkers, whereby the employee with greater seniority and status adds rewarding tasks (first list) and subtracts tasks from the second list, making periodic deals with other employees who are amenable.


    A shock tactic for eliminating something from the second list is to create a vacuum. Tell supervisor and co-workers that after a certain date, you will not be doing it any more. A rationalization may be helpful, eg "I started doing _____(activity) due to ________(reason that existed at the time), and _____ (said reason) is now _______ (passed/changed/in-need-of-a-more-comprehensive-response/other)."


    As an individual makes progress in curbing the activities on the second list, I believe it is politically astute to be visible in doing more activity on the first list. Otherwise, one might be shamed by coworkers for "skulking", "goldbricking", "shirking", "evading" or other pejorative terms the workplace gossips might want to use. Expect everybody to have a tendency to resist change, especially any change that portends unpleasantness and difficulty coming their way.

  9. #29
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Thanks, dado potato. All I can say is that you worked at far more enlightened places than I did. At my last place in particular, we ran (too) fast and (too) lean. There was almost zero room for "church work" and a byzantine budgeting/resource allocation process meant that help came v e r y slowly. In addition, I was not high enough in the pecking order to declare that, as of date, I would no longer do "X". That, as they say, would have been a career-limiting move. But thanks for the illustrations.
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

  10. #30
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    We had our job performance standards in writing that we were evaluated on. We did not write them. The people above us did. It didn’t make any difference that we were professionals. I laughed out loud when I read it. But as Steve said maybe you worked somewhere that would fly.

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