Retiring From Job, But Not From Workforce…What Do I Do?

Dear J.T. & Dale: I am 53 years old and am considering retiring from my current job at 55. I do not, however, intend to retire from the work force. When should I begin my job search? Begin too soon and I risk being offered a job before I am ready to retire from my current job. Wait too long, and I risk not having something lined up. — Bob

J.T.: Start the “strategic” phase of your job search right now. Determine which skills and strengths you want to leverage in your new position, and identify suitable careers. Then begin to network in your new field. The goal is to do extensive homework now, meeting as many people as you can and explaining that you are preparing for a job change in two years.

Dale: Two comments: First, the easiest, and usually the most lucrative, transition is moving into a job related to the one you currently hold. Second, I would do nothing that would offer anyone the opportunity to believe that you are slacking off in your current work — talking about retiring will only encourage them to look for lapses in commitment. Thus, Bob, I would offer a variation on J.T.’s “strategic” phase — jump into hyper-learning, but focus on fields related to your current one, with the goal of getting even better at what you do now, all the while building a network that will be useful later.

J.T.: Whichever way you approach the “strategic” phase, the “tactical” phase will begin about six months out from retirement. This is when you proactively apply to all the relevant companies, whether or not they have job openings. Your cover letter should share the compelling story of what you learned during your research phase and how it is you’ve come to recognize their company as one that would be mutually beneficial for you to join. A job search for a professional job takes, on average, four to six months, so you should put yourself in perfect position.

Jeanine “J.T.” Tanner O’Donnell is a professional development specialist and founder of the consulting firm Dale Dauten’s latest book is “(Great) Employees Only: How Gifted Bosses Hire and De-Hire Their Way to Success” (John Wiley & Sons). Please visit them at, where you can send questions via e-mail, or write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10019.

One Response

  1. ernest Says:

    loudspeakers@suzerainty.haggle” rel=”nofollow” onclick=”javascript:pageTracker._trackPageview (’/outbound/’);”>.…


Leave a Comment

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.