Resources for executives, professionals and managers interested in project assignments.
Whether you are a few years from retiring, already retired or are between jobs, this information will be of value.
How to prepare
1. Talk to department heads/hiring managers at your employer prior to retiring and make sure they understand that you are available for project assignments after you “retire”. It is the hiring managers that make these decisions and they are the HR department’s clients. Build a departure network. That does not mean you shouldn’t also network with the appropriate managers within HR.
2. You must be able to identify your value to perspective clients or consulting firms to appropriately market yourself. To this you should:
A. Assess your experience, skill sets, general knowledge, etc.
B. Assess how your experience translates to marketable skills of value.
C. Identify potential market opportunities.
D. Look for a place to start… (When you first start looking for projects either on your own or with a consulting company you will not have a proper understanding of this market and you will not have the proper information to reach prospects to “sell” your value.. This will take time, experience and the development of a referral network that comes from working on projects as a consultant and problem solver.)
3. You should consider identifying and becoming affiliated with an existing consulting firm that serves the markets in which you are involved. Depending on your function and industry consider starting a consulting firm where you can offer your services on a project basis after you retire. Maintain your network as this is extremely valuable to you as well as any consulting firm you may join.
4. Network in your industry with employers who are competitors or at least identify them and if possible hiring managers within these organizations while you are still working so you can contact them for project assignments after you “retire”. Perhaps do so at trade shows, association meetings and other such venues. The location of these firms need not be local as many project assignments involve working remotely and if you need to be on location you could elect to work a project assignment in another geographic location.
5. Identify firms outside of your industry that hire people with your experience and skill sets so you can contact them for project assignments after you “retire”.
6. In some cases consider volunteering using your experience on a project basis. Some of these assignments provide payment for your services while many do not. Volunteering also has other advantages as it builds experience and can sometimes lead to prestigious board or committee positions or invitations.
7. Many executives, managers and professionals do not have the skills to work virtually and collaboratively and should consider getting training in these areas if they hope to be successful in acquiring project assignments after “retiring”. Much of the project or consultative work you get is likely to be done remotely as opposed to on site. You will need “leading edge” communications skills to be successful and if you don’t already have them, you must acquire them—preferably prior to leaving your job.