I created this blog to share what I’ve learned over the last few years as I approached the end of my career. I stepped away from normal employment and reinvented work on my terms.
My career in the construction industry included roles as estimator, project manager, operations manager and president of a couple turnaround adventures. During this time I also served on the boards of industry groups and non-profit organizations. After years of traveling to assignments in Washington DC, Boston, Albany, and many other stops in between I decided it was time to reflect on how I wanted to spend the later stage of my career.
As I went through my career, I drifted further away from what I really liked doing. I climbed the ladder gaining power, influence and money, but in roles that I wasn’t truly happy in. Looking back, I realized what made me really happy was working on projects, getting mud on my boots and working with the trades helping to build buildings. With the help of friends in the industry I am now a freelance project manager working on a project by project basis. Over the last 5 years I’ve averaged 7 months of full or part-time work a year. The best part, I was doing what I loved.
Somewhere between 18 and 22, most people pick a career path they are supposed to travel along for the next 40 plus years. Maybe it’s the right path, or maybe it’s not. But after car loans, marriage, a house, and kids, there is seldom any opportunity to make a change. People feel trapped and endure a career that provides a pay check but not the satisfaction they felt early on. There is a desire to make a change, to rekindle the fire they felt before. They may know what they want but don’t see a path to get there.
Why Your Extra Innings? Look at your life as if it’s a baseball game.
Your First Three Innings
In the first three innings, you are born, learn to walk and talk and hopefully graduate from diapers. Next comes school, sports, dance and so on. Through this stage you grow and develop towards adulthood. This includes education for the development of a trade, an employable skill or college. The 3rd inning ends with walking through the door into adult life and work.
Innings Four, Five and Six
Inning four starts with you getting your first new full-time paycheck which leads you to your first new car and its payments, your first place away from the nest and its payments, your first serious love and its payments, and then probably kids and their payments. You are beginning the process of buying a house, then a bigger one and then nicer cars, and all the “keeping up with the Jones” stuff. Inning six ends with you being a full fledged member of the Rat Race.
Innings Seven, Eight and Nine
During the final three innings life starts to change. Around the seventh inning the kids will be going through their own first three innings and will soon be moving out of the house. You and your spouses career’s have taken the routine steps up with more responsibility, pressure and hopefully income. In the eighth inning your still have the mortgage, car loans and college loans but you are starting to think about your later years. You probably will go through your mid-life crisis or menopause, which gets you thinking about what you are going to do now? You enter the ninth inning with the glimmering light in the distance called your retirement years. You’ve heard tales about this mystical world. As you get closer and it starts to come into focus you start to wonder “Is it real?” “Do I want it to be real?” “Will I really be able to enter it?”
Your Extra Innings
The game is almost over and you and your life are all tied up. You thought about that new recliner, remote control, fishing rod and that book club you wanted to join. But you are realizing that you may not be ready for that. The prospect of delaying your retirement is a real possibility. You may have to work to live the life you want. You may want to work to continue the life you enjoy. It’s the bottom of the ninth inning and it’s time to plan Your Extra Innings.
Where Do I Come In?
This is where I can help. Through my first-hand experience in successfully making the shift to an alternative retirement, interviewing others on this path and studying the experts in the field, I can provide insights and tools on how you can take control of Your Extra Innings.
Some of the topics I’ll be covering are: Reasons you may want to delay your retirement, Reasons you may have to delay your retirement, How to delay your retirement at your current employer, Staying sharp and up to date, Networking, Proper care and maintenance of you as we age, Un-retirement, Ageism, and Being Proactive and in control of Your Extra Innings.
I look forward to being a guide, mentor, and coach to help people navigate this potentially stressful part of their lives.
Become a subscriber to the blog and you will receive my weekly articles, tips, links to other resources and whatever I can find to help you be in control of these years. In my next post I will dive into the positive reasons people may want to delay their retirement.