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The good time to stop working ?

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Stop to work ? When ?

Since few times, some governments in Europe are debating about the legal age to be retired. As the age pyramid begins to be old, governments are facing the problem of pension payments. To face such problem, one of the proposed solutions is to increase the legal age of retirement. But most of the trade unions do not agree with such measure, arguing that people merits to take rest after a forty years professional career.

Does anybody want to stop to work at the same age? The answer to that question is different for each person. There is a relation with the kind of job you are doing, the condition of work and the satisfaction you had from your professional career, and maybe also with your personal goals. People who worked during many years in a manufactory, achieving hard and difficult tasks, will be probably happy to be retired when sixty five years old, in order to take good time for hobbies, for family. It should not be exact to say that everybody is doing the job of his dreams. For some people, the work is felt as a necessity in order to earn money, for the others, work is a blooming source. For this last category, it is sometime difficult to stop working.

Few time ago, I had the opportunity to meet a person, who worked during his career for the chemical and pharmaceutical industry. When he was sixty two years old, the company he was working for, wanted to stop the collaboration and made a proposal of retirement. He refused such plan. He told me at that time, he was still enjoying his job, was still full of energy and projects, and as it was not yet the legal age to be retired, he did not agree to stop to work. Finally, the company decided to fire him.

After a period of outplacement, this person thought to found his consultancy company, providing services based on his competences. You have to know that he has a wide culture, he is fascinated by China, and he is speaking seven different languages. After some training in accounting and legal matters, he finally created his own company, giving advices and helping companies to develop business with Asian countries. The most amazing thing is that the last company where he was employed and who fired him, is working now with him as a consultant. By doing this, he demonstrates that even if you are sixty years old, it does not mean that you are not able to work and to develop potential. At that stage, you are not considering your job as a constraint, but as a hobby, as something you like to do. As already mentioned in other postings, the most important thing is to have a goal, to have always a project. This is a motivation and life balance source. The person I am talking about, realized a successful career conversion, and is often invited by professional associations as lecturer, to tell about this conversion.

My opinion about this, is that we have to let the opportunity of choice to the people, if they want to stop to work or not. I remember the father of a friend who worked as Human Resources director in few companies. He was a very appreciated manager, demonstrating huge talents as negotiator. The last years of his career, he decided to decrease progressively his working time. He said: “When you have the career I had, with huge responsibilities and heavy agenda, and when you like what you are doing, you can not stop your career the day after. “

Personally, I can say when I will stop to work. It does not mean that I will work always on a full time basis. But as far as you will find the energy and the motivation, the interest to be part of a project, as far as you will get satisfaction about realizations and as far as you are healthy, why should you stop to do something you like to do ?

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Written by Eric Saint-Guillain

December 23, 2009 at 18:09

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