Instead of blindly writing down the way you’re currently doing things, we will work with you to decide if the systems you have in place support your goals and future growth. If not, we will help you develop the systems that work for you, and automate them! Below are some examples of clients…
Susan, 58 is an administrator and one of three partners of a small business. She wants to be able to ‘step out’ of the business for a one-month vacation with her husband who is also a partner.
Because Susan was among the most experienced administrators and a partner in the business, she was the ‘go-to’ gal for all of the other administrators. More than an administrator, Susan understood the other positions in the company, and could pick up tasks from most of the other positions. She realized
- that she had a natural ability to be a liaison between people and positions
- her personal sense of fulfillment came from her work
- she enjoyed helping fellow staff members, yet people depended solely on her to solve their problems
- her administrative duties were a lesser part of the job
- she often found that she was the bottleneck in the business
After streamlining the processes and teaching Susan how to empower staff, Susan began leaving for home earlier in the evening. Automating systems that had been in place for many years saved the equivalent of one full-time position. A new employee training process saw new hires performing duties confidently after two weeks rather than the traditional two months. Susan and her husband even took a one-week vacation as a trial run for the one-month vacation.
Confidence in Staff
Susan found that once her load was lightened and structures put into place, she began to enjoy the work once more and looked forward to her time at work as well as her time at home. She saw fellow staff members ‘step up’ when she was out of the office, and was able to return to a calm work environment where business had continued while she was away.
George, Business Owner
Work also defines to varying degrees who we are and how we fit into society. For many, the loss of work can result in a corresponding loss of personal identity.
Prior to moving into the next stage in life, George was the Owner of a company. He was responsible for the well-being and productivity of over 100 workers and $200 million in sales.
Although financially well off when he retired, George suddenly went from days packed with responsibility and decision-making to feeling as though he didn't know who he was anymore.
Through coaching George became aware of just how important his title and the responsibility that went with it were to his sense of identity and well being. At the urging of his retirement coach, George compiled a list of issues he felt strongly about. As a result of a previous volunteer experience, George rated homelessness very high on his list. George approached several non-profit organizations in his area that dealt with homelessness to see how he might be of service.
One of these non-profits desperately needed an interim executive director for six to twelve months while the board searched for a permanent replacement. George offered to fill the position without pay and the agency quickly accepted. Although George had limited experience in this field, his management skills were of vital importance. In addition, there was a strong middle management team in place to support him.
Through this experience, George came to understand that a key component of achieving a healthy retirement is to begin basing one's sense of worth on who you are, rather than on what you do.
With the expansion of a "knowledge-based" economy, workers must achieve higher and higher levels of interaction, communication, and cooperation in order to get things done. Not surprisingly, a strong sense of connectedness can result from this type of work. Knowledge workers lose an important source of socialization, camaraderie, and friendship when you retire.
Work shapes our days, our weeks, even our years. Without work, many people have difficulty organizing themselves. How often have you heard someone say regarding a day off, "I just couldn't get my act together; I had things to do, but I wound up sitting in front of the TV all day and accomplished nothing!"
For others, work is the primary way of staying connected with daily life. When that connection is lost, we feel cut off, resulting in a sense of social isolation.
When Barbara retired from her marketing position with a high-profile company, she experienced:
- an odd sense of detachment from life in general, as though the world were passing her by.
- feelings of isolation
- inability to move forward and resulting depression
After a few weeks of coaching, Barbara started volunteering at a local hospital, writing their monthly newsletter. This activity gives Barbara something to structure the rest of her time around, as well as providing a sense of purpose and value to her life.
Sense of Utility
Like Barbara, many of us gain a feeling of purpose and a sense of worth from our work. For many, work is an expression of their mission in life. Teachers, police officers, fire fighters, and people in the service industry for example, typically invest a high degree of "self" into your work. In fact, research shows that public service workers exhibit the highest rates of depression and suicide in the first year of retirement.
Helen was an administrator of a prestigious graduate school when the school initiated a staff reduction.
Because Helen was among the most experienced and highly compensated administrators, she was among the first to go. More than her job, Helen missed the students terribly. She realized
- that her personal sense of fulfillment came more from her work with students
- she enjoyed helping them find grant and fellowship opportunities
- her administrative duties were a lesser part of the job that she missed
Upon retirement, Helen began a consulting practice, helping students from several area universities find grants and fellowships, including the school at which she had been previously affiliated.
Sense of Purpose
Today, Helen's sense of purpose is thriving along with her consulting practice.