Work Dreams

by Cindi H

Here I thought I was the only one! I've been retired almost 4 years and often have dreams about being at work and being called on the carpet for something I neglected to do or some work I didn't know had been on my desk. Or I'm wandering around trying to remember where my desk is or the names of people around me.

In all these dreams I end up reminding myself that I can retire now (often I'm "filling in temporarily") and I'm often heading for HR to put in my notice.

Let me add that I rarely made mistakes while I was working but there was a lot of stress about potentially missing deadlines or sending something to the opposing atty they weren't supposed to get.

After my latest dream, night before last, I got to wondering if this wasn't some form of PTSD. What does everyone think?

I wonder if there's a way to process this all and lessen the occurrence of the dreams. They really do stress me out.

Comments for Work Dreams

Click here to add your own comments

Work Dreams: Progressive
by: Anonymous

Great post. Helps me to know dreams about work in retirement are some what common.

My work dreams followed an interesting progression over the years. Starting with being late for meetings, they progressed into literally no seat at the table left for me when I arrived.

This moved further to me telling myself "what am I doing here? I don't work here anymore".

Shedding a 40+ worker identity takes time.

Work Dreams
by: Linda in FL

Hi to all,

I retired over two months ago and the first few weeks every night I had work dreams. I worked as a family therapist and in the dreams it was as though the former clients/patients were working through the issues they initially sought therapy for so, it was as if I was bringing closure for all of us.

I think the dreaming is a part of adjusting, of closure, of integrating into this new life. If you think of all the years we were in the workplace it is a reasonable period of time.

This is an interesting topic and one that could have an ongoing discussion. Perhaps that is something to think about on this website. I certainly would be interested in being a part of it.

My Work Dreams
by: Canadian Retiree

No, you are not alone. I'm now retired for 3 years after being on sick leave for 2 years, so really I've not done my job for 5 years, yet I still dream that I am there.

I worked in a University bookstore and I often dream I am there receiving books and GM stock and talking to my coworkers.

I had to get counselling after I retired as I felt I had made a huge mistake in not returning to work for one more year and then retiring.

Perhaps you should speak with your Dr. if you feel you need some help.

Retirement is a huge life step and not always an easy adjustment for some. Good luck.

work dreams
by: Laura in Vermont

When I was working I used to have Army dreams. In them I had been taken back into the Army and was doing my Army job again, living overseas. Nothing much happened in them, it was just being on active duty again.

Now I have work dreams sometimes. Often it's the pressure of getting a paper record to be perfect for State inspection--in a system I didn't work in during the latter part of my career.

Sometimes the dream is from the latter part of my career with the pressures and decisions from then. When it's one of those I am back for a while but am going to retire again sometime.

My first work dream came from the stress of learning cashier work--my first job. I would dream of ringing up a customer's order and roll over to make change! Probably it's not too uncommon.

Bad work dreams and PTSD
by: Wendy, Retirement Enthusiast/Coach

Out of curiosity, I googled "bad work dreams and ptsd" and found there is a thing called PTSD NIGHTMARES.

I am not suggesting that all bad work dreams are PTSD -- but some may be.

I will leave it alone. If you believe you seriously might have PTSD from your work environment, Google "PTSD Nightmares" and read more about PTSD.

I hope nobody has PTSD from their former employment! Yikes!

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Write Your Own Story Here (others can provide feedback).