As a Career Transition Coach, whenever I meet with retired friends and post-corporate executives over lunch, the conversation invariably leads to discussions on ‘what will I do next’.

Within the first year of retirement many people have already traveled, golfed, and had plenty of family visits.  And, many have contributed their volunteer services by participating on a board, at the library, in a local school or with an international cause.

But after approximately year two of this lifestyle, there seems to be a shift. The search for meaningful work seeps into their consciousness. Real work for real money.  These accomplished people all want to contribute, be active, be engaged and truly make a difference. And, get paid for it.

The motivation now isn’t just getting more money, as many of these folks have done quite well financially.  Neither is climbing the corporate ladder a priority anymore.  However, there is a deep level of understanding that they can still add value.  And, now they want to explore if there is a market for their unique expertise.

Interim Management and Consulting are the most common opportunities. If you prefer to ‘get in, make a difference and get out’ then interim or contract opportunities may be well-suited.  Options like coaching, mentoring and facilitating could fit.  You can now choose to work just a few days a week on an on-going basis, or look for project-based roles requiring chunks of time commitment such as 1, 2 or 3 months.

If you prefer to stay long enough to see the outcome of your initiatives, then long term assignments and entrepreneurship are good choices.  Many of us have 10, 20 and 30 more years of productive time remaining.  That’s a lot of time.  That’s a lot of time to make new things happen.

To determine where you are at now, ask yourself these 4 questions:

  1. What expertise do I want to be known for?
  2. Who will pay me for this expertise?
  3. How can I make that well-known?
  4. Who can help me?

At Boardroom Metrics we offer many services that help post corporate and retired executives make the transition to something new: http://www.boardroommetrics.com/programs-for-accomplished-executives