Covid-19: “The Dress Rehearsal”

Lawrence Ross - Jan 26, 2021
One of the silver linings of the COVID-19 shut down has been that many people have had the opportunity to experience a retirement dress rehearsal.

One of the silver linings of the COVID-19 shut down has been that many people have had the opportunity to experience a retirement dress rehearsal. A complete change of routine – or loss of routine. Having time on their hands has been a “be careful what you wish for” experience for some.

The idea of not doing your regular job day to day has gone from a vague concept to reality. So far in my discussions with friends and clients I have observed that the experience has brought on one extreme or the other.
Some have had to completely shut down and hit pause on their careers – it’s been a total mini-retirement. The hard part has been that, due to COVID restrictions, they haven’t been able to take full advantage of the activities they might well do if they really were retired. Additionally, their worries about finances have made it difficult to experience the mindset of one who is transitioning to a new phase of life. 
However, one benefit for this group is that it has become easier to determine what part(s) of their job or career they miss the most – which helps them to think about what components of their working experience they would like to maintain when looking to adjust their work/life balance in the future. Many people have mentioned they miss the interaction with people, the daily routine, problem-solving challenges, helping others, and collecting a paycheque. Parents of small children have experienced a really difficult offshoot of this pandemic – it’s difficult to work with them at home and even harder to find a good balance between work and personal space.
On the other extreme, some people such as me have been able to work in a hybrid scenario, where we can continue working full-time from home. Of course, many of us have expressed a sense of gratitude for being able to work through this pandemic. However, we still have concerns over not seeing people, lack of camaraderie and not being able to separate and balance our work-from-home and life boundaries.
Regardless of where one sits on the continuum at this time, if we think about it, we can gain some insights on how we would re-align our careers to better suit our individual needs. From thinking about what other hobbies or interests we can pursue, finding ways to spend our time in an enjoyable manner, to recognizing what elements of our career we like to maintain.
What is interesting at this time is that many companies are now looking at how people can and will work going forward. My own company is getting a lot more progressive in its thinking around how and when people can work from the office versus home, giving many a say in how and when they can work. This is an amazing opportunity for some to begin the process of “retiring” from certain elements of their current work scenario; for example, by eliminating long commutes and finding quick, uninterrupted chunks of time during the day or week to focus on getting personal tasks done.  
Once again, we have been gifted (some would say force-fed) the opportunity to rethink the status quo. Hopefully this is only temporary. And hopefully it results in some real soul-searching and kick starts new thinking and new lifestyles.
Contact me for a remote, hygienic discussion on strategies that can help you live the life you really want to live, now.