A report by The Wall Street Journal that the average retirement age has increased to age 66 as Baby Boomers prefer working to maintain a comfortable income and to stay busy in a job they are either good at or they enjoy.
However, even if a person loves their longtime job, switching up the routine and transitioning into a new area could increase happiness, even for those content with their current positions.
“Because jumping ship — even if jumping would seem to make little sense — could be the best way to remain productive, happy and healthy into old age,” the WSJ said.
Although continuing to work during later years keeps both the mind and body active, working the same job for decades can lead to complacency and a lack of internal analysis of one’s true feelings about his or her daily life.
“You have done it and you know how to do it, and that’s comforting. But if you repeat yourself, the highs aren’t as high and the lows aren’t as low, and you start to lose that passion,” said Sherry Lansing, 70. Lansing left a comfortable job as chief executive of Paramount Pictures’ Motion Picture Group to run a foundation.
Embracing a new opportunity may result in a greater feeling of achievement and a new sense of appreciation for work that was lost in the routine of doing the same job every day of the week for years.
It’s not just the workforce veterans who are taking a second look at their career choices.
Mike Lam, former programmer for investment banking firm Goldman Sachs, quit his job three years ago to become a dog-sitter in New York and is successful in his new field, said The Dodo, an environmental and animal welfare publication.
Leaving a job at Goldman Sachs to babysit dogs may seem borderline crazy, but Lam said he was fed up with corporate culture and prefers to play with dogs than go to the office. Can you blame him?
“When I was at Goldman, I couldn’t see myself lasting more than two years. But now, if this is my life for the next 40 years, I wouldn’t ever look back and regret it,” he said.
I imagine many of the students in the PR Lab are nearing graduation and I wonder how many of us are brave enough to do what Lam did.
Would you quit a job that’s great on paper to find an occupation that is more fulfilling and enjoyable?