“I can’t wait to be retired.”
Only pros in their 50s and 60s utter those words, right?
A lot of my peers in their 20s and 30s are already sick of working before their careers have even really kicked off. Even though I’m sure many of them say it jokingly after a long week, I’ll admit I’ve thought about it myself.
You may think young pros say this because they want to sleep in, travel whenever they feel like it and workout in the middle of the day. While that does sound nice, I think it’s something more.
I think young pros have a hard time seeing past paying their dues and imagining the success they’ll achieve on the way to retirement.
Instead, all they can think about is how hard the work is now and how annoying it is to take orders all the time. They don’t think about what comes after the seemingly endless to-do lists; when they are the boss and have the chance to make a bigger impact on others.
But no one under 50 should be fantasizing about retirement, because there’s so much good stuff in between paying your dues and playing golf all day.
So how do you survive the next 30-40 years? Follow the three Ps: Project, Plan and Progress.
- Project: If you’re focusing all your energy on the hard work you’re doing now; stop. Save some of it for the future. Project yourself into the next few years, where you’re in the role you want. Image yourself writing the strategy, taking on more responsibility and inspiring others. It will help get you through the moments where you can’t bare to perform one more mundane task.
- Plan: After you image yourself in your ideal role, make a plan to get there. Does that mean asking for more responsibility, shadowing colleagues or seeking regular feedback and guidance from a mentor? Whatever it is, write, rewrite and follow a plan throughout your career to help keep you on track so you stay focused, especially when it feels like there’s no end to your inbox.
- Progress: After you picture yourself in your dream role and make a plan to get there; never stop until you get it. Not just until you’re in your next role, but also the role after that, and after that. Keep rising until your work is nearly done and your impact has been made. Then you can start thinking about cashing in your 401(k).
While retiring now sounds nice, I bet most of those who are out of the workforce have something to show for it. From what I hear, nothing’s better than being on vacation forever after many amazing successes along the way.
Why do you think young pros are already thinking about retirement?