The third career stage of defining your career is passing the torch.
These are the last years of your career, where retirement is fast approaching, but this final stage of one’s career can be both fulfilling and enduring.
This is another third career stage where you need to adjust, set the right mindset, and prepare for new things.
You have now come full circle and society views you as a leader.
Mentoring is not a one-way street as some belief.
There is a give and take that happens during mentoring, wherein the mentor is productive in the use of knowledge and skills.
The protegé as a result learns.
What you can do in your third career stage
What you know and how you will teach can be a challenge for someone in the final chapter of his or her third career stage.
You can be a professor in a university or tutor kids in your area.
What do you want to pass along to the next generation?
As a seasoned person in the company, how are you going to help the younger and newer generation to succeed in the company just like you did?
This can be a simple mentoring about various work responsibilities, or it can be a handover of position or ownership.
Consultancy is an excellent gig during the final chapter of one’s career.
It means that you have established yourself as an authority on the area honed during the second chapter of your career.
Time Management During the Third Career Stage
You can generally classify different categories in life, such as family, work, health, wellness, teaching, and community.
When younger, often, it is all work and less play.
Now, in one’s 50s, work can occupy less than half of your time, say around 40-45%.
The rest of your time can be devoted to other meaningful pursuits, such as teaching.
This means, though your hours are much the same, now there is more variety in your activity.
As empty-nesters, it is now time to spend more time with your partner and friends and enjoy your alone time.
Health and wellness is an important aspect to focus on too, especially at this stage, so consider joining a gym or a recreational sports team.
Finally, community involvement is imperative in keeping you on your toes. Volunteer for a cause, as this can ease the boredom that you may feel.
How to Pass the Torch
When you are planning on passing the torch, you are helping your protegé meet their duties and productively shape their career.
As a mentor, professionalism should be balanced by showing support for the person whom you are mentoring. Here are some roles of a mentor.
Being a Role Model
This is where you, as a person with vast experience, share how you made an impact in the corporate world.
What did you do in your younger years that lead to where you are today?
Experience is the best teacher, but one is not taught quality in school.
Give professional advice and insights on the performance of the junior-level employees, and suggest where they can further improve.
Your experience is invaluable.
You are there to support your protegé.
Assigning him or her with character-building challenges is essential.
But at the same time, it is your responsibility to protect the person from jobs that aren’t going to be helpful to their career, such as rote, unproductive assignments.
Benefits of Mentoring
Passing on the torch is not done overnight.
You cannot impart your knowledge in just one sit-down. While it may not be a comfortable journey, it is rather rewarding.
Sense of Purpose
Those at the top of their careers find a sense of purpose in taking a junior as a mentee. And they are happy to teach them the tricks of the trade.
It’s just one way of giving back by and leaving a legacy.
Interaction with the younger generation can also make the mentor feel energised and refreshed.
You do not have to be in a formal meeting all the time.
If you cannot commit to boardroom meetings, you can still be a mentor by agreeing to meet somewhere more informal.
Final third career stage
Now that you have come full circle in your career, you can take solace in the thought that you have helped someone shape his or her career path.
Being a mentor is a long-term commitment, so treat the entire relationship with respect, and be honest and open with each other.
Check out the previous article on Defining your career – Part 2: Finding your passion at work if you’ve missed it.