Existential Driving Forces to Work after Retirement: The Example of Physicians’ Mentoring





Health, Working Environment & Wellbeing, Learning & Competencies, Gender, Ethnicity, Age and Diversity, Identity, Meaning & Culture


The article addresses physicians who work as group supervisors or mentors in a training program after having formally retired. The driving forces to continue to work are analyzed in terms of the development of existential meaning of work at a particular stage of the life cycle. We argue that a deeper understanding of the existential driving forces, that both cause physicians to accept post-retirement mentoring tasks and that is awakened and developed in this specific work, would contribute to a deeper understanding of why individuals continue working into old age. However, in political discussions of an extended working life, similar aspects tend to be disregarded. Understanding the existential driving forces that cause an individual to continue working after retirement may be crucial to comprehending how we can take advantage of the resources of the older workforce and, thus, realize human potential at a later stage of the life cycle.

Author Biographies

Mattias Bengtsson, University of Gothenburg

Associate professor, Department of Sociology and Work Science. E-mail: mattias.bengtsson@gu.se

Marita Flisbäck, University of Borås

Professor, Department of Work Life and Social Welfare


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How to Cite

Bengtsson, M., & Flisbäck, M. (2021). Existential Driving Forces to Work after Retirement: The Example of Physicians’ Mentoring. Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies, 11(4). https://doi.org/10.18291/njwls.127776