I recently had coffee with a friend who just had his early retirement. What prompted that coffee chat was his request that we meet because he feels bored and have an awkward feeling.
I found out that his decision to retire early has a downside. Though he got a large amount of money, he felt that he has been under an emotional roller-coaster. During the first two months after retiring, he enjoys the freedom from not waking up early or doing over-time works in the office. He watched movies, traveled a lot, had his house renovated. He was enjoying.
But soon this joy was overshadowed by loneliness and boredom. At age 40, retired and no work, wife still working, his two children working abroad, he is left at home alone. His physical activities like jogging, gym and biking were not able to ease his feelings.
What my friend is experiencing is what we call a “retirement shock”. It is a feeling like you are in exile or stranded in an island alone. It is a mixed emotion of loneliness, boredom, and feeling of being unproductive, feeling left out and obsolete and a lot more of feelings.
So how can a retired person overcome this feeling?
One way is looking for another job. If your physical condition still allows you to work, then why not work again. Question is, are there companies that are willing to hire you considering that if you take a look at job advertisements there is always this age qualification requirement? Sad as it may be, discrimination because of age is very common in the Philippines as compared in some western countries.
So where will you work? Try your luck; there may be companies out there who are still willing to hire you. If you had a higher position prior to retiring, chances are you are still sellable. And if you are a rank and file, the best option would be to apply at call centers where age doesn’t matter. As long as you have the communication skills and fluency in English language, then your chances of being hired is high. I know some who are on their mid-forties and early fifties who are working in a call center. The question then, can you stand the evening work schedule?
Other than working in a call center is looking for a part time job. Be a freelance writer, an accountant or bookkeeper. Be a tutor for Koreans. If you love children, be a tutor for pre-schooler’s or elementary students.
Other than that, you can have your own business, go on part time teaching. Or perhaps make a blog or develop and spend more time with a hobby. Or whatever it is that diverts your attention from that feeling.
After all, coping up with this dilemma depends on you. You know better what you want to do. Your friends and family members are just here for you to support you. So, rise up, think positively and go get a new world. There is a vast of opportunities waiting for you.