With my research into meaning after fulltime work, one of the areas is around identity. So much of the conversations we have when we meet someone is around our work. The first question many people will ask is ‘so what do you do?’

And we tell them about our work, or more specifically.

I’m a barrister, an HGV technician, a psychologist.

But we are so much more than our job title.

Staying with the conversation about our job we could talk more about what our job involves. So, for me, rather than to see ‘I’m a psychologist’ or the slightly more specific – I’m a career psychologist. I could expand on my work and say something like

… you know that many people are unhappy in their work? Well, I help people to understand what is important to them and to make a move to a job which better fits the person they are now and the life they want to lead.

But once we retire … do you want to talk about what you used to do? I was a Barrister, I used to be an HGV technician …. But that’s the past.

I love working with clients who think about life after retirement and helping them to think about what they do want to do. Where do they see their place in the world.

If someone wants to write a novel, they may feel that they are not there yet, so how can they possibly use that to describe themselves.

An option is to say – I’m an aspiring writer or for someone else I’m training to be a massage therapist.

But that’s for the future, why not step into the role today.

Tell the world that you are a writer and see how that feels. Really feel this in your body. Accepting and embracing this title can help you approach situations in a different way.

What is it that you want to become? Can you take a first step today? And if you need a guide along the way, please get in touch.

Image by Myriams-Fotos from Pixabay


This article first appeared on the 50plus coach blog

Published On: May 9th, 2021 / Categories: Job Search, Personal Development /


  1. Sasha May 13, 2021 at 6:04 am

    Hi Denise,
    Lovely blog post. This is so apt even before retirement. I am in a transition phase, not really sure what to do next, and when people ask me what I do, I don’t want to say I am looking for a job because I am doing so much more than that. It’s a really important time for me to learn that I am not defined by my job, I am more than that, but when you don’t have a job, you feel a bit outside of society.
    Thank you so much for this post, it’s helping me think about what I am aspiring to and I’ll try and start embracing this.
    Best wishes

    • Denise Taylor May 13, 2021 at 7:42 am

      Thank you, I appreciate your comment. You may like to make a note of all the things you do and want to do and weave them into a story. That may help with your decision making. Best wishes, Denise

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