Sunday, January 29, 2012

Working on my Terms in 2012

When I retired early a little over four years ago, I was a very good corporate employee.  I understood and supported the corporate priorities.   I put in a lot time on my career, working 60+ hours a week and investing time in professional and personal development.  I was a very good corporate employee, doing what was needed and working on the company's terms.

I took that attitude with me to the part time jobs that I did after I retired.   However, after four years, I've decided to change.  I will continue to do great work for the companies.  However, I will be doing on my terms, instead of the companies' terms.

Here is are my terms for working in 2012:

  • Scheduling hours that are convenient for me.   Initially, I gave my availability as any hours I didn't have scheduled activities, which often included weekends and evenings.  Before I retired, I was used to working 24/7.  However,  I found that I sometimes was scheduled to work during times when I rather would have been at a family activities.  Now I provide only limited time commitments (e.g. no weekends) that I know won't conflict with potential family activities or vacations and that includes taking the entire summer off.  So far, all my employers have been comfortable with my new scheduling approach.

  • Working at my pay grade.  In the past, I used to expand my work past that for which I was responsible.   In my career job, this approach was clearly the norm, especially if one wanted advance.  However, I've learned that working above my pay grade is typically not appreciated nor rewarded in my retitrement part time jobs.  In a couple cases, my supervisor objected to me doing parts of his job.  (I attributed it to job insecurity :-)  In other cases, the company would seem to ignore the improvements I was doing.  Recently, I told my supevisor that the company's request to "help make it better" was way above my pay grade, which is slightly above minimum wage.

  • Focusing on what I love to do.  When I was working full time, I may have loved the work about 10% of the time.  As I tell college students, there's a reason it's call work :-)  and people are paid to do it.   However, in my retirement part time jobs, I'm finding that I mostly love doing the work , about 80 to 90% of the time, because I focus on leveraging my strengths  .  Also, I don't worry about doing performance appraisals, not getting a pay raise or being terminate for under performance. :-)

  • In 2012, I plan to fit work in when it's convenient for my schedule and I definitely will avoid being over committed as I was in 2010.

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    This is not financial, retirement or career advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

    Copyright © 2012 Achievement Catalyst, LLC


    Daniel Milstein said...

    That is true. As an author and business man, I can relate to how you said, "When I retired early a little over four years ago, I was a very good corporate employee". I hope more people discover your blog because you really know what you're talking about. Can't wait to read more from you!

    Financial Freedom said...

    It is good to know that you have achieved financial freedom. I will get there one day too. The only thing is a matter of time. Keep up with the good postings. You are an inspiration.