I can’t tell you how often I hear people who are contemplating retirement say, “but I don’t know how to do anything except my job.” Baloney! You have skills and you have talents. You might have buried them in the back yard, but they are still there. What is more, if you held a job or ran a household — YOU HAVE SKILLS AND TALENTS.
Some people seem to think that the moment they retire, either they forget everything they know and everything they know how to do. Then when they they want to find a way to become involved in the community or a non-profit organization, they think they have nothing to offer. When they think about finding a part-time job, they think they have no skills or talents anyone will want. Many even think they can’t discover new and meaningful ways to fill their time.
The challenge for many people is in understanding that all the skills and abilities and talents they learned and cultivated through the years are still important and applicable to new situations. It is really a simple matter of learning to value ourselves, our abilities, and think differently about how our talents can be used.
For example, if you ran a household with several children, you are probably an organizational wizard. You have time management skills, planning skills, counseling skills, communication skills, plus quite a number of other useful skills. You simply need to learn to think about the responsibilities, functions and tasks you performed day after day and break out individual skills. Once you have done that, you need to think about them in the abstract.
If you managed to get three children to afterschool activities in different parts of town at the same time and got them all back home again, you have planning and time management skills. Those skills are adaptable. You can use those skills to figure out other logistical and time management challenges. You might be an excellent delivery planner for a floral shop — you can chart out a logical order for the deliveries to be made that will meet all the deadlines, save gas, and save time. You’ve been doing it for years! Now, if you want, you can do it for a little extra income.
Were you the person who ran all the fund raisers for school activities for the PTA for a number of years? Are you good at figuring out what needs to happen in what order to put together a successful school fundraising event? Did you break records in finding ways to raise money for band uniforms and travel? You have event planning skills and fund-raising skills. You would be very valuable to a non-profit organization or a community organization.
Do you love art, know a great deal about it, and love sharing that information? Why not volunteer as a tour guide for an art gallery or museum?
The possibilities before us in re-firement are limitless. We simply need to think more creatively about the skills and talents we possess and explore opportunities to use them in new and exciting ways.
If you are stuck breaking free of restricting thinking about your abilities and talents, call me. I’ll help you rediscover your abilities and find exciting and fulfilling ways to transfer your skills and talents.