Tips on emotionally preparing to leave work

25 May 2016
Leaving the world of work can be a huge transition. Here we offer some tips on making sure you're thoroughly prepared.

Leaving the world of work for good represents a moment of huge transition in anyone's life - and as such it is not to be taken lightly.   

While many people look forward to no longer having to return to the office - or even reducing hours to become a part-time worker - it can have a big emotional impact. 

Jobs can become such a big part of our identity that suddenly cutting them from our lives altogether can be very jarring. This could be one of the many reasons why a transition out of work is becoming more popular. 

By planning for the future more carefully and thinking about what you really want from life, you can prevent the change from being too disruptive. 

Sedentary lifestyles

Some people still have an old-fashioned idea of what is involved in retirement life, imagining a sedentary lifestyle of relaxing in an armchair with your slippers on. 

This is understandable - particularly if those who have been working in high-pressure jobs for a long time are yearning for a simpler life of little stress and more downtime. 

However, the reality of the situation can be quite stifling. If you do not take charge of your own life, goals and ambitions then you could easily find yourself frustrated at being in the same house most of the time.

Emotional changes

Another thing well worth consideration is the emotional circumstances associated with leaving work. 

Planning ahead for the financial side of retired life is something most people are aware of - and this can accommodate considerations such as where you want to live, whether your want to downsize, upsize or live abroad and so on. 

However, the emotional side of things is just as important to think about. You may be used to spending your free time a certain way while in work - as well as carrying out household chores - but it is really important to make the most of your circumstances and avoid low mood brought about by inactivity if you are no longer going to be in work. 

Planning for the future

Planning for the future in this context can be a very liberating and exciting experience. Think about your life expectancy. This may sound morbid, but it needn't be. You could live another 20 or 30 years, which is a large portion of your life. 

Make a list of things you want to achieve. You can think about hobbies or interests that you would like to pursue, but you can also be more ambitious. 

You could pick up new skills or expand your knowledge by taking evening classes. There are so many free things to do such as going to museums or galleries that can be an excellent way to complement this. 

Expanding your social circle is just as vital - and this can started by anything from joining a book club to simply inviting a neighbour in for a coffee. 

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