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How to know when it’s time to retire

September 1, 2016

If you are easily distracted or frustrated at work, dread Mondays and crave weekends, then it may be time to admit you should retire.

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By Azizi Ahmad

Recently, in an interview on BernamaTV’s Ruang Bicara programme, Cuepacs President Azih Muda proposed that the government create a new policy to extend the retirement age of civil servants to 62, in preparation for the country becoming a developed nation that is to be competitive globally and on par with other developed countries.

“Professionals such as lecturers, judges, engineers and consultants have specific expertise, and the country will lose out if it lets go of these experts,” he said.

Some may welcome the suggestion, and some may not. Some may already dislike their job after having done it for some time.

Not liking your job is acceptable. However when you find yourself feeling frustrated that certain individuals get away with special perks, that double standards prevail, that peers become calculative when working towards achieving common goals, that those higher up the corporate ladder deliver less than those below, then chances are it’s time to retire.

Quiet often we hear of people calling themselves reflective practitioners and yet we don’t understand what exactly they have reflected upon and what positive changes they have made to assist, guide, motivate, empower and enrich others.

It is obvious that if you like what you are doing, you will feel bad about wasting time and the resources of your organisation.

No doubt, there will be those odd times when you are not in the right state of mind to focus on what you are doing. You find yourself distracted throughout the day and work week. You simply cannot get your job done on time and correctly, and you feel indifferent about most things. You find that more often than not, your mind dwells on other things, and you are determined to say farewell.

Educators normally brag about attending activities on weekends. The slogan “family comes first” seems no longer valid. Weekends are to be spent on getting the family together, relaxing, enjoying and doing things that one is unable to do during the work week.

We are all familiar with the “Monday blues” and “TGIF” (thank God it’s Friday} messages posted on Facebook walls almost every week. Moaning about “why does the day seem so long” is another indicator that one should think about moving on.

Most of us feel fed-up when what we try to do for the organisation is turned down. Common goals set-up for everyone must be met.

When your worthiness goes unrecognised by the management of your organisation, start packing.

Remember that the organisation you are working for is an extension of your personal life. It is common to see people who love what they’re doing contribute more work, even after working hours. They make plans for tomorrow and the following days, always looking forward to be at work.

You don’t need to think about work every time but it’s when you don’t think about it at all or if your mind shuts off immediately after you leave the office, that it may be time to go.

If you’re looking at work as just work, then that’s exactly what it is reduced to. Look for what you’re really passionate about and go after it rather than remain working in an organisation that’s giving you a hard time despite you performing your best.

Many people complain about how they dislike their jobs. You have encountered them before but may want to avoid them, so that their negativity does not rub off on you.

When you start becoming like them and actually enjoy hanging out with them, just so you can complain, whine, and rant about work, then it’s time to say goodbye.

Negativity in the workplace is never good. It will drag you down and prevent you from doing all you can to get things done even outside the office. You will be talking about your job dissatisfaction to family members, friends, and anybody who cares to listen.

You will be better off spending your energy doing something somewhere else. Pursue something you’re passionate about, the decision to leave your job is not something you should take lightly.

Your attitude towards work will ultimately be your gauge on whether you really need to leave. You can try changing your perception about work and see if doing that changes anything.

If not, then it’s time to explore other opportunities out there or even “retire.”

Azizi Ahmad is an educator.

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