Thoughts about a happy career: The legacy

“The decisions you make about your work life are especially important, since most people spend more of their waking lives working than doing anything else. Your choices will affect, not only yourself and those closest to you, but in some way the whole world.”

—Laurence G. Boldt

After many years of building and sustaining your career, you’re at that point where you’re one of the few people who understand the big picture of your work field. You’ve overcome many obstacles and you’ve been put in many difficult situations when a decision had to be made or someone had to take a chance.

This makes you uniquely qualified to talk about your experience and about having a meaningful career. It gives you the chance to mentor those with less practice than you. “Some of the most successful life and executive coaches are over 50 and have already had other careers from which they draw business experience,” says Amy Logan, director of public relations at the Coaches Training Institute.

Start growing the next generation! It can be extremely rewarding and also advantageous for your professional life. You can read more about the benefits of being a mentor in L. Rose Hollister’s article here. 

Another great way of making the most out of your experience and to build a legacy is to get involved in professional community initiatives. Give back to your community, by investing your professional abilities and experience into projects and initiatives that would benefit from your vast knowledge and understanding.

You should start by carefully analyzing your career path and being grateful for all of your achievements, the big ones as well as the small ones. You’ll probably have the tendency to compare your triumphs with those of other people that you know or people you’ve heard of.

But the best way to honestly evaluate your career is to focus on your path and the significance of every single achievement. Especially the smaller ones. Because they make up your life and your experience and they should make you proud, both personally and professionally. They are your legacy.

Then figure out what the best way to capitalize on them would be. You could start mentoring someone or find out how you could be a career coach for the younger generation. Your experience and your personality will help you figure that out.


Take the time to reflect on your career and to be grateful for it. Have a coffee somewhere quiet for a couple of hours and write down a list of accomplishments that define your experience.

Then think of a way through which you’d be able to convey that experience to other people and set a SMART objective for it.

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