Most people have a bit of a routine. We do things in a certain way and often at a certain time. The routine can vary but generally over the long term can be stable for months or years depending on your life. And the majority of people like having a routine and are upset when it gets broken or shifted.
Now I had finally hit a nice routine in my retirement where I got to work on things I cared about like writing or crafting terrain until suddenly I lost like 18 hours of my week to choosing to get a job which tossed a wrench in my routine. The first week I will fully admit was rough. I have previous commitments to finish up and I suddenly had a lot less free time to finish them in. I actually felt stress again which was a bit of a foreign feeling. But then again I didn’t have to get the job I choose this complete with knowing the consequences…it still didn’t make that first week any less rough to adjust to.
And I know, you can almost hear the crocodile tears from all the working people reading this thinking ‘what on earth are you complaining about?‘ I’m not complaining but rather pointing out adding anything to your life that is that much of a time commitment to your week has a noticeable thud sound when it hits. So the question becomes: how do you adjust your routine to a sudden shift in your time commitment?
Now this is largely a matter of preference. Some people just feel stressed and deal with it all and adjust slowly over the long haul. Others tend to embrace poor habits about dealing with stress by binge watching TV, eating too much or drinking/smoking too much trying to avoid the problem. While I tend to channel my engineer tendencies and just get more organized and feel less out of control.
During my working life I was hyper organized. My calendar had all my meetings in it (and my calendar was colour coded to which projects I was working on), I put in ‘meetings’ with myself to keep blocks of time to finish tasks and I had multiple to do lists going to track it all. So when I left work I went far to the other side of spectrum and ditch all of those things. Actually in fact I went a bit too far the other way to just living in the moment and a bit of disorder. Now with the new job I have a shift back just slightly to a bit more organized. So my shifts are loaded into my calendar and I use a to do list on things I need to get done this week. I tend to think of this as more ‘organized lite version.’
The point is to make me feel better about this change and make sure I’m getting things I want to accomplish done. Eventually I know this will just end up being the new routine until the next big change happens (what ever that ends up being).
So how do you adjust to a shift in your time commitments? What works for you?
Well yesterday was my first shift at the new library job and wow I was impressed.
It started off nicely with a staff meeting so I could ‘meet‘ most of my co-workers all at once rather than introducing myself to everyone for the next month. The odd thing is this is my local branch so I actually know most of the staff by sight as I have been going there for years. Now I’m just matching names to faces more than anything and I already know they are all nice people. On the flip side all the staff basically recognized me on first sight. The location also means I can drive to work in five minutes or even walk to it if the weather is nice.
I was given my first two weeks of shifts already but I noted that I might have a few conflicts later on in May with some existing commitments. But I just mentioned the key dates to my boss and there was no problem with accommodating them. Which makes things so much easier when you work for a organization that will be flexible with you.
The only downside to this job is there is some evening and weekend work but I knew that going in and I’m okay with that (after all when your week consists nothing but weekend time you don’t get so upset about working the odd Sunday afternoon). In addition, there is some extra pay for working past 5pm and weekends. Also the hours are only about 18 a week so I really don’t work all that often (about three days a week).
The other funny thing that happened was after the initial staff meeting my boss had to go cover the service desk for a while so he just handed me a cart of books and said to shelve them. No explanation on how or where to do anything. Which given my experience getting books from this location and my time working at the school library I basically could do 80% of the work with no training or questions. I now know why I was hired as I can be up to speed in just a week or two which is great for the library.
Then finally the other thing that really struck me was the absolute honestly of my boss telling me to feel free to apply to other jobs in the library system and not to feel obligated to finishing my current term. I nearly feel out of my chair at that comment. The organization is unionized so even being on a temporary contract means my application would be considered first prior to any external applications which I didn’t consider until I was told. I haven’t really even thought about that yet, but it is good to know that I have that option if I find I really enjoy doing this job.
So overall I’m looking forward to this job and seeing if I want to continue working there more later on. The work is easy to do and honestly my first shift just flew past. It really is a fun job for me.
[Note: The image at the start of this post is NOT my library…I just wanted to use it since I would LOVE to work in a location like that.]
Well depending on the actions of the Internet Retirement Police, I may have to hand in my early retiree membership card because I just got a job yesterday. *Gasp* And according to some people you can’t be retired if you have a job which to me always sounded so silly as I could care less what people call what I’m doing. Call it: changing career paths or semi-retirement or what ever term makes you feel better about it.
Yet in my case, I’ve always said I would be willing to do some work in my early retirement period because honestly why not get paid to do things that I enjoy. I called these ‘fun jobs’ and when I left work I had identified a few that I wouldn’t mind doing. The top options were working at a brewery or a library since working to make beer which I like to drink and handling books which I love to read don’t really sound like too much work to me. As I previously mentioned I actually work extremely casually at a brewery in town (I have put in all of four days of work there so I have a hard time even calling it a job), but I got to do one of my ‘fun jobs.’ Now I can say I’m about to cross another one off my list.
My new job is working at public library as a Page at my local branch starting next week. It is only a temporary contract until August for 18 hours a week but that is fairly perfect amount of time for me as I don’t want anything close to full time. I will be the guy who shelves books, pull holds, scan in returned books and basically do also the same work I currently volunteer to do once a week at our local school library.
I’m actually fairly sure my volunteer work actually got me an interview that occurred on Monday and the fact I took a 20 hour online course on how library’s work out of interest back in 2018. After all nothing says I want to do this work like having over a year of experience at it and some training towards it and of course my volunteer boss at the school library also agreed to be a reference for me. So that is a hint for retirees looking to break into a new field as a fun job; try to get some relevant experience and if possible training towards the job.
And finally I think the other thing that really helped me get an interview is I addressed the obvious question of why the hell an engineer with my experience would want a job like this in my cover letter of my application. I specifically noted that I have recently changed career paths to self employed writing and I had a flexible schedule. I didn’t even mention retirement as, after all, most people could not care less.
But of course I now have a fun issue…what to do with that extra money I will be making? I decided since this is a longer term job I’m going to break up the money into two parts. 10% of my income will go towards me saving up to buy a 3D printer (I don’t need one of those but I do want one). The other 90% of the income will go towards our slush fund to pay for house renovations or vacations. While my wife and I haven’t specifically decided what that extra money will go towards we are leaning toward the idea of replacing our kitchen countertops. As that has been on my wife’s want to do list for a while.
So how do you address work in retirement? What term do you like to call it and what would you do with the extra money?