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The transition process to post‐working life and its psychosocial outcomes: A systematic analysis of Spanish early retirees' discourse

Antonio Crego (Rey Juan Carlos University, Madrid, Spain)
Carlos Alcover de la Hera (Rey Juan Carlos University, Madrid, Spain)
David Martínez‐Íñigo (Rey Juan Carlos University, Madrid, Spain)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 28 March 2008

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to carry out an in‐depth exploration of early retirement processes from a psychosocial perspective, identifying factors that play a relevant role in decisions for leaving work as well as variables involved in retirement adjustment and possible outcomes for retirees.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative data from nine focus groups – made up of a total of 78 Spanish early retirees from different sectors of activity (industry, bank/financial services and telecommunications) – were codified and analyzed using the ATLAS.ti 5 program.

Findings

The study highlights the relevance of how organizational exit is carried out (voluntariness, perception of justice, etc.) in relation to the adjustment to retirement. The degree to which the labor market exit implies different types of rupture (psychological contract, identity, professional and personal objectives, way of life, etc.) conditions the adaptation to post‐working life. The importance of social support during the transition process from work to early retirement is pointed out.

Research limitations/implications

The study is an initial exploratory approach to the early retirement experience in Spain. Although the sample is not representative, the use of qualitative methods allows for the identification of relevant variables to include in future research. Results should be complemented by means of triangulation method, involving contrast between qualitative and quantitative strategies.

Practical implications

Organizational HRM policies should aim to promote a smoother early exit as well as guarantee “fair play” during the process. Concerning adjustment to early retirement, psychosocial programs aiming to improve coping strategies are needed.

Originality/value

The paper presents a systematic overview of early retirees' discourse, analyzing the role of different variables involved in the transition process from work to early retirement.

Keywords

Citation

Crego, A., Alcover de la Hera, C. and Martínez‐Íñigo, D. (2008), "The transition process to post‐working life and its psychosocial outcomes: A systematic analysis of Spanish early retirees' discourse", Career Development International, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 186-204. https://doi.org/10.1108/13620430810860576

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited