Retaining job satisfaction when you’re retired

Just a little while longer and you will finish a very important period: that of your working life. A period of regularity, working with goals, consultation with colleagues and keeping track of new developments, will pass into a period in which there will be more room for you as an individual. Now of course it is attractive, with the retirement date in sight, to already shift your focus to the period after that. But that probably won’t make you very happy. In this blog article I will give you a few tips on how you can keep your happiness at work with retirement in sight.

If possible, take on tasks that suit you well

Over the years you have gained a good idea of the tasks that suit you. In consultation with your team and HR, try to take on the tasks that challenge you, but don’t make you tiptoe around them. Don’t go for routine too much, but make sure you create a nice variety of tasks in which you make use of your good qualities.

Try to agree on your working hours and role

Consult with your manager and with HR also about your working hours and role within the team. Look together at how the organisation can best make use of the enormous wealth of knowledge and experience you have built up. If you especially like to start early because you can concentrate better then, please indicate this. And if you like to share knowledge, or fulfil a certain role in which you feel very comfortable and in which you are also very good according to the assessments, see if you can give more substance to this.

Go coach young colleagues

Through the many years of work you have built up a lot of knowledge and experience. Experience that young colleagues can benefit from greatly. By sharing your knowledge, you will see your younger colleagues grow and become a bit more confident in their work performance. Something that gives you and the organisation an enormous boost.

See if a demotion is possible

Sometimes developments in the workplace move so fast that you have to take various courses to keep up. It is conceivable that, at the end of your active career, you will no longer have much motivation to do so. Discuss this with your manager and with HR. Also check whether it is financially possible for you to work fewer hours (demotion) with a supplement in your part-time pension. This way, you don’t cost the organization much in additional training and you stay motivated.

Provide a pleasant workplace

Despite the fact that you are still very vital and have a very healthy body, during the later phase of your working life the first physical discomforts can appear. Try to take care of your private health as much as possible. But also at work, make sure you have a nice workplace, a good chair and a pleasant monitor. Inform HR in good time when you experience physical discomfort and together see what you can do about it.

Don’t be bothered by small inconveniences

It could be that after so many years of working you are longing for retirement. You may notice that you are slowly distancing yourself emotionally and feeling less involved. However, try not to get annoyed by minor inconveniences like a leaking coffee machine or inefficient procedures. Talk about it in a positive way with the person who can fix it. If necessary, find a solution together. And then: let go!

Stay involved with the organisational plans and HR

If you come across important aspects in the organisation that you cannot let go of, then report this to your manager and/or HR. Whether it is a structural understaffing that causes you to see the stress in your colleagues or a mismatch in people and roles: discuss this with your manager. Then stand back. While spotting them is greatly appreciated, solving them is not up to you. Also, keep going to quarterly meetings where the organization’s plans are discussed. In this way you stay informed of what is going on, you can continue to participate in the plans and you do not become an outsider.

Set yourself small goals

To maintain job happiness, it’s important to make progress. Together with HR and your manager, decide what your role will be within the organisation and how you can fill the period up to your retirement date with useful projects and subtasks. Make a schedule with goals and monitor progress every so often. Then you can be sure that you are spending your time usefully in that last period too!

Keep celebrating successes

If your team brings in a new client, if a client is satisfied with the result, if you have increased your turnover: keep celebrating these kinds of successes with your colleagues. Give and receive positive feedback, enjoy the moments when things are going well. Stand back. You are and will remain a person in development.

Talk to the home front about your impending retirement

Retirement is a very pleasant prospect for many. But it can also be stressful, for yourself and for the home front. From one day to the next, you and your partner will be together 24 hours a day and you will have to fill a lot of time with your free time. This can already cause a lot of stress and also affect your job satisfaction in a negative way. When you can discuss this exciting future change together, it gives peace of mind and work and personal happiness come back into balance.

Want to know how to best prepare for retirement? Then download our ‘Your pension in sight’ checklist! Want to learn more about how to prepare for your retirement years? Then take a look at our retirement in sight training.


Are there older employees in your organization who will be retiring soon? Or are you curious what else Essenburgh can do for you? Then take a look at our retirement in sight training.

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Ans Withaar

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