So much wasted talent and potential! Why experienced professionals need a new approach for life beyond large organisations.

So much wasted talent and potential! Why experienced professionals need a new approach for life beyond large organisations.

Much is being written currently about the great resignation* and experienced professionals leaving the workplace. But what comes after the resignation and life in a large organisation for those professionals?

Along with my former colleague, Mike Mister, I have been focusing on this issue for several years now. So much so that we’ve written a book over lockdown on the issue: From work life to new life – reinventing retirement for smart professionals.

But how did we get to this place (and why a book)? Over our careers working inside large organisations, we observed a great deal of highly experienced** talent leaving organisational life never to return. Many of them having spent most of their careers in one or a handful of organisations. Some left to retire. Most left because they knew they no longer wanted what they had but were unsure what they wanted to move towards – beyond potentially a few advisory or board roles, spending time with family and friends, and some rounds of golf.

During our working lives, the age at which we have seen experienced professionals leaving large organisations has been getting increasingly younger. Where once they might have worked to their early to mid 60s, we are seeing a trend towards early 50s and even mid to late 40s. We can feel the wasted potential walk out the door in a world that desperately needs the skills and experience these individuals have to offer.

We knew we had to do something to support these individuals to harness their potential as well as work with organisations to identify different approaches for them to support professionals on this major transition. Through our coaching and consulting work, we started to explore further to understand the issues and what might be needed – this ultimately led us to writing the book. Crucially my co-author and I have also trod the path out of large organisations into creating fulfilling encores in our late 40s and 50s.

What helped us and others like us on this transition? A blend of surrounding ourselves with experienced, supportive professionals (oftentimes referred to as our personal board of directors), focused coaching and a firm understanding that this was not it for us – a belief that we had so much more of value to offer to a world that needed our skills, experience, and a commitment to experiment and iterate in order to find a fulfilling encore career that works for us. But many experienced professionals are not so fortunate and quickly get stuck and even lost in this transition as received wisdom and the supporting infrastructure has not caught up with the current reality.

In our book, we have distilled our research, experience, and insights into a practical step by step guide to inspire and support experienced professionals before or at the point of leaving organisational life to understand, explore and plan their next steps into fulfilling encores for themselves. It’s due out later this spring and if you’re interested in knowing more about it and our work, please check out There are some useful free templates to get the ball rolling available to download on the website.

If you’re thinking of leaving or have left large organisational life due to retirement or for other reasons and could do with some help to work through your options on how to create a fulfilling encore for yourself, we would love to hear from you! Equally, if you think your organisation could do with some help in this space, let us know.

There really can be life beyond large organisations – life is too precious to not have the encore you deserve!

#coaching #businesscoaching #midlife #transitions #midcareer  #fromworklifetonewlife

*WEF forum The Great Resignation is a phenomenon that describes record numbers of people leaving their jobs after the COVID-19 pandemic ends. 

** 50 plus

If you’re interested in learning a bit more about navigating mid to later life transitions as part of a coaching conversation, I would love to talk further. You can contact me at or

Get in touch with Wise Sherpa today.