Case Studies - Late Career



“Marianne is like a professional friend. At a certain level, sometimes you don’t know that there’s someone who can help you with what’s on your mind.” – Richard, 55

Richard found late-career comfort in the professional and personal choices he had to make.

An extremely successful, high-powered litigator with an enviable 35-year career in Manhattan, Richard found himself at 55 considering the possibility of retiring at 65 or even earlier. What would his career mean for him after that, he wondered? Also, he struggled with how to reconcile a deep interest in screenwriting and songwriting that had awakened in him in his mid-forties.

“I didn’t know the questions to ask, I just knew I wasn’t fulfilled,” Richard said. 

Optima guided Richard to an understanding of the passions that really drove him, and helped him identify practical options for the next phase of his career.

“Marianne has good navigational systems and an aerial view,” Richard said. “Lawyers tend to think that the skills needed to solve these sorts of things are soft skills – just common sense.”

After several discussions and homework assignments, Marianne raised the idea of training to qualify as an arbitrator, which would let Richard stay within the legal profession and continue using his quick mind. This gave him the option to create a mix of client work and other, more flexible, work in the law. 

“People in high-powered endeavors often take on the mission others give them,” Richard said. “You open the paper and it tells you what you want and enjoy. But Marianne really got me to think.”

Richard re-engaged with his work at the firm, including renewed vigor in client work, and began developing additional skills and credentials as a mediator/arbitrator, extending and deepening the satisfaction of his earning years. And he is writing extensively. 

“Marianne got me more comfortable with the choices I was making about work – what to focus on and what not to. And she enabled me to envision having a creative part of my life, to make a place for it in my plan instead of keeping it hidden or having to justify it.”