Enjoying your work after 70 – Picking the right location and the right clients

You can sign up to our LinkedIn newsletter here.

It is well worth considering the options that you will have around the location if you want to enjoy your work after 70. It may be that what suits you best is to work from home, to have a minimal amount of travel and then find the clients that will respond to that.

Alternatively, you may have a whole new freedom, and you want to be able to work part-time whilst you are travelling the world.  So again, you will want plan to use remote working.  As far as your clients are concerned you will be working from home, but you might be doing that while travelling to South Africa, or being in the States, or travelling to the Far East.  There are some real choices about whether you need to be present in person for the work you do but if you are not planning to work from home or become a digital nomad then what is the right location for you?

Enjoying the buzz

For many years I would travel down to a member’s club in London and work from there.  I liked getting out of the house and being in another place.  I liked that there were other people around and having the opportunity to meet people in a neutral space.   This really suited me.  Maybe what will suit you better will be to have a much more peripatetic workstyle so you visit a number of different locations responding to the locations of your various clients.  Now you are intentionally establishing a workstyle that involves travel and in person, on-site interaction.  For many years I worked with a charity founder.  When he was younger all his meetings were in London.  As he got into the 2nd half of his 70’s his charity bought him a great hybrid vehicle and he started travelling all over the country.  He loved going for a drive, staying overnight, meeting new people and doing the work in different parts of the country before coming home.

Being intentional

What is your right location?  Do you want to find a hosting environment like a club?  Would prefer a hub-style workspace that you regularly use that people come to?  Do you want to commit to regularly travelling from home and have an overnight stay?  What is going to  bring you the most enjoyment, meet your needs for variety in your life, satisfy your desire for in-person interaction and  give you the flexibility that you will prize even more after 70?

Right clients now and in the future

I would suggest you need to think about the right clients and, in my view, you’ve got the luxury of working with the people that you really want to work with.  As you get older this maybe fewer of them.  Choose the people you really want to work with.  Post-70, you have fifty years of wisdom and experience.   Your professional experience probably extends to a range of different areas and the opportunities to provide regular part-time input to clients become wider over time.  It may be that the way that you want to engage with clients changes over time.  Are you at the age where you want to work with early-stage start-ups, being, if you like, the grandfather to the next generation? Or do you want to come alongside senior executives in larger businesses who are perhaps 15-20 years younger than you and want to have the wisdom of an older generation? Or perhaps the place you want to work is with the generation of middle management who are aspiring to the top jobs, and work with them to enable them to get to the next level.

Individuals, organisations, locations

First of all, define who is it you want to work with. What is profile of the kinds of individuals you want to work with.  Consider life stage, career stage, ambitions, character preferences, professional background, sector, personal values.  This is commonly described as an ‘avatar’.

Now, identify what are the characteristics of the organisations that are likely to employ your ‘avatar’.  What size will they be?  Headcount is an easily identified characteristic.  What maturity do they have: start-up, scale-up, scale-out, optimising, second wave or turnaround?  What is the ownership structure: charity, Community Interest Company, government funded institution (e.g.school, hospital), family business, partnership, founder controlled, private equity/VC backed, public or part of a company group?

Now consider where you want to work: which organisations are going to match your location and travel requirements.

Transitioning your offer

As you reflect on your future, some wider possibilities.  Perhaps this is the time to build a speaker reputation, do some part-time lecturing at an educational institution, act as a patron or president of a charity.  You may recognise that volunteering is a powerful a way of engaging with organisations and as rewarding as paid part-time fee-earning.   Perhaps you will move from a traditional fractional director role where you take part-time responsibility for a function at your client to increasingly acting as a board advisor to the CEO or supporting senior executives as a sounding board and mentor.


As you set out your plans for enjoying your work after 70, spend the time to think about the right location. Place can be very important.  Consider what kinds of people you want to work with.  Think of the clients that will enable you to do that work.  And finally, don’t ignore the possibility that perhaps you will really enjoy bringing your wisdom to groups of people through teaching or through speaking.


Charles McLachlan is the founder of FuturePerfect and on a mission to transform the future of work and business. The Portfolio Executive programme is a new initiative to help executives build a sustainable and impactful second-half-career. Creating an alternative future takes imagination, design, organisation and many other thinking skills. Charles is happy to lend them to you.