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    March 2017

    I am about to retire

    I’m About to Retire from my Law Firm. What Now?

    1024 766 Elizabeth Zelinka

    If you are one of the many talented, educated, capable, dedicated and otherwise high-achieving lawyers who is on the brink of retirement, you might have a strange mixture of excitement and trepidation.  After all, this is the moment you have been working for your whole career – but everyone is asking what you will do next, and the nature of your current career may have left little time to ponder that question.

    I have enormous respect and admiration for anyone who can thrive for decades in Big Law.  I started my career there, and frankly, ten years was more than enough for me.  I retired from my firm seeking a more balanced life, and although it was an exhilarating decision, I wish I’d had the insight to employ a transition coach as I embraced my new life.

    Working in big law firms is excellent training when it comes to thinking on one’s feet, handling stress, multi-tasking, building confidence and otherwise testing one’s mettle within a structured and defined environment.  It does not train one, however, for stepping into the unknown, finding one’s independent self-worth, valuing time more than money or cultivating talents not required for the execution of legal assignments.   In fact, I found that the experience tends to create a fair amount of tunnel vision, and it can be difficult to define what success looks like outside of the big firm paradigm.  Without some perspective and a game plan for the future, walking away can create feelings of self-doubt, anxiety, fear, insecurity and confusion.

    This is where a good transition coach comes in.  A good coach can quickly get you past the negative emotions I just described and into forward motion and genuine excitement.  How?  It is all about a new perspective and expanding possibilities.  When was the last time you:

    • Controlled your own time?
    • Thought about what really makes you happy?
    • Clarified what you really love about your work?
    • Imagined the perfect day?
    • Entertained entrepreneurial ideas?
    • Set your own agenda?

    Retirement is the opportunity to create a life composed of exactly what you want.  If “exactly what you want” is a complete mystery, then don’t try to go it alone.  Invest in a good coach to partner with you to get clear about the future and to get moving in the right direction.  You are standing on the brink of an opportunity of a lifetime.  Make the most of it.