C-Suite roles are richly rewarding. Throughout your career, you will have felt a sense of purpose, meaning and status. You’ll be used to days filled with structure, and time spent crafting and building relationships. You’ll have gained a wealth of knowledge and skills, and handled a range of challenges and opportunities.
So, what’s next?
Maybe you want to keep working. Maybe you want to retire completely and fill your time with family, friends and the things you love? For a lot of leaders, the idea of total retirement is daunting. They’re used to having a challenge and constantly growing and developing.
If you’re in the position of being able to choose what you want to do, rather than what you need to do, the number of options available to you may be overwhelming. So where do you start?
Here are three things to do that will help.
Download our free guide - Life After the Executive Suite - for more tips on successfully planning your post-leadership life.
Plan your exit
When it comes to planning your exit, it’s never too early. You never know when your situation may change. With thorough planning, you can ensure that your path to exit is a smooth one.
There are three golden rules to follow to do this successfully:
1. Take it slow and plan ahead
Exiting a business takes time. You’ll need the time to find a successor. Communicating the news to clients, employees and suppliers will take time. You’ll also want to ensure you leave a long enough period to reassure your team and clients alike. Ultimately, leaving your business in the best possible position going forward won’t happen overnight.
2. Know your number
What will your finances look like going forward? What do you need to do to ensure that the amount of money you’re left with is enough to fund your future lifestyle?
Sitting down with a financial planner early on in the process is vital to make sure you’re where you want to be financially.
3. Consider your options
Once you’ve determined where your finances need to be by the time you leave, you can decide what to do with your business. Of course, this won’t just depend on finances. It will also come from whether or not you want to leave a legacy.
You might wish to keep your business in the family. You may sell, or decide to liquidate your assets entirely. Whatever your motivator, the right strategy is the one that meets your goals and expectations.
Decide whether retirement is right
Retirement is the right option for some CEOs and business owners. After decades in the workforce, they simply want to kick back and relax when their C-Suite role is over.
But it’s not for everyone. Very few former CEOs describe their current lifestyle as “retirement”.
Interested in passing on your wisdom and knowledge after you step down? The Vistage Chair role could be for you.
Stepping away from the C-Suite life and straight into retirement can be overwhelming. Many former CEOs find themselves getting restless. They have a feeling that they’re missing out, and are desperate to be back “talking shop” and leading a team.
Only you can decide whether true retirement really is the right choice for you.
Ask the right questions
Deciding on your next step - and making the right choice for you - will require a lot of self-reflection. Like many things in your working life, asking the right questions can make the right decision easier, and the next stage in your life more enjoyable.
There are eight questions that we suggest CEOs ask themselves before deciding on their next path. Here are four to get you started:
- After working so hard for so many years, what do I want the next phase of my life to look like?
- What would give me a greater sense of meaning, purpose and fulfillment?
- What do I have to give back?
- How can I leverage my decades of experience, knowledge and acquired wisdom?
You’ve already scaled great heights as a leader. But with multiple paths to choose from ahead of you, do you keep on climbing? Do you take the gentle slope down to retirement?
By clarifying what’s truly important to you in this next stage of your life, you can move forward in the direction of your dreams.
That’s exactly why we’ve created our free guide.
Life After the Executive Suite. Click here to download the guide to explore the above topics in more detail, including simple exercises that will help you determine your next steps.