The concept of work is universal in our culture; it’s one of the first values that we teach our children. We call this inclination to work our work ethic. The work ethic tells us that working is good and not working isn’t. This idea has been reinforced over and over throughout your life. For some people just relaxing is very difficult; they always need to find something to do, some project that needs finishing. Work so dominates their emotional make-up that they simply cannot settle down and enjoy leisure time at all without having some little voice reminding them that they really should be accomplishing something constructive.
Your perception of work in general determines the level of satisfaction you wish from it and the depth of meaning you expect from working. In addition, your view of work, or what psychologists call your work saliency, dictates whether you work in retirement at all, and what kind of work will suit you best in your post-retirement years. What do you want from work? Clarifying the roles and functions that you may want from work in retirement will assist you in making more accurate work decisions and vastly increase your confidence during your retirement transition.
We all give different value to working. For some of us we need to work to feel ourselves; others can’t wait for the time when they can simply relax or play all day long. Getting a grip on you work preferences will be a central issue for during your retirement preparation time.