Processing an Identity Crisis in Retirement

Retirement is a milestone which for business experts can be an identity crisis. The reason is simple work (such as a career, title, and perks) becomes the identity. The transition to not working could result in confusion, isolation, anger, and loss. While this is rarely spoken about, and might come as a surprise, this is a common phenomenon experienced by those who retire. If you’re someone going through a similar identity crisis, here are the top three behaviors you can address to move forward in life:

Take Action
Define What Retirement Means to You?

Retirement is different for everyone. Some choose to spend quality time with their family while others opt for travel and adventure. There are many hybrid options available, but it’s essential to identify what matters most for you. Once you have a clear understanding, explore the world through projects that align with your goals. Ideas could include to work part-time, volunteer, or start a new venture. When you define what retirement means to you, it will open a world of possibilities. Let curiosity be in the driver’s seat.

Embrace Change
Change is inevitable and a constant factor of life. Healthy retirement is one of the most significant shifts you’ll experience in life. Embrace it and be open to new experiences, and expect the unexpected. It’s natural to feel resistant to change and cling to the familiar, but it will hinder your personal growth over time. Change is all around you, in every global industry we know today. Learn to play and evolve into new circumstances. Embracing change doesn’t mean you abandon everything you’ve worked for; instead, move into new adventures and align those goals to your new values and experiences.


Create a Plan
After you envision what you want to achieve in retirement, build a plan. Take action on that plan. As anything new in life, it requires a willingness on your part to try, fail, adjust, and reset. Failure is your best teacher, and remember you are a novice at healthy retirement. Building your resilient muscles will support you to bounce back and attack life again. You may want to build in new skillsets or take a course or pursue a new career. It doesn’t matter what you do. The point is take action on your plan, so that you can live full out just as you designed.

Retirement is a new chapter in your life that can be both challenging and exciting. It’s common for business experts to undergo an identity crisis when they retire. It’s essential to address this behavior to move forward. Defining what retirement means to you, embracing change, and creating a plan are three behaviors that can significantly navigate your transformation with confidence. It’s important to remember that retirement is a time for reinvention and pursuing what you want to do. Take this opportunity to explore new avenues and enjoy this expansive phase.