Franz Kapsner TUM Alumnus

Franz Kapsner (Picture: private)

Alumni commitment
Consultant and Coach Franz Kapsner
“The Goal Should Be to Turn Fear into Anticipation”
05. Apr 2022  |  
Reading time Min.
In his work as a coach, TUM alumnus Franz Kapsner (Diploma in Mathematics 1977) helps others to tackle changes and master new challenges. He presents options for every period of life and helps people to identify their talents, inclinations and abilities and express them. KontakTUM asked the long-time mentor about the challenge of retirement.
You have been advising career starters for a long time. What do the challenges of career entry and career exit = retirement have in common, and how do they differ?
One thing they have in common is that the individuals in question are facing a profound change in their everyday lives. The career starters are – as the name already expresses – about to enter their working lives. After completing their education, they are ready to make their contribution to their own future and to the community. The prospective retirees, on the other hand, are ending their working phase. For both of them, the structure of their daily lives changes fundamentally.

There is a serious difference in terms of age. Here, the perspectives are very different. The young people are entering a phase of life in which they are shaping their lives – heading for the peak of their lives. On the other hand, those who have left the workforce usually have the “high” time of their lives behind them.

Another difference is the financial situation of the two groups: Those entering the workforce will generally build up a cushion for their later retirement, and those exiting the workforce will enjoy what they hope will be adequate provisions.

What advice would you give to someone who is dreading their first day of retirement?
It is quite understandable to be afraid of retirement, because a massive change is imminent in the accustomed daily routine with which one had come to terms admirably in the past. The goal should actually be to turn this fear or anxiety into anticipation. How do you do that?

The inner attitude must be prepared for this step: One must first accept the inevitability of the end of one’s working life. This is not easy, but it is made easier by preparing oneself mentally for the new phase of life that now lies ahead.

In addition, it is necessary to identify the fears and evaluate their relevance. Creativity is required to develop a potential countermeasure or coping strategy for each of the fears. Examples could be the fear of loneliness (loss of social contacts from professional life) or the emerging boredom of retirement. Here, it helps to resolutely look for alternatives, for example, to take on an honorary position.
To mentally adjust to the upcoming change is a basic prerequisite to reduce anxiety. In many cases, this even gives rise to anticipation of the new, which can then be built upon to great effect.

What was the biggest challenge for you personally, and how did you manage it?
Since I wanted to start my own business and therefore left the workforce early, one of my biggest challenges was to develop a viable business model. After a highly successful career as an R&D manager in IT, I gained a lot of experience in the human resources field in the last few years of my career. My task was to open up new perspectives for people whose jobs were at risk or had even been lost. For many of these people, it was necessary to support them in the phase of professional reorientation through placement measures. This brought me into closer contact with my current topic of “retirement preparation” and I am now better able than ever to advise people on this subject.
Franz Kapsner

Franz Kapsner (Picture: private)

Franz Kapsner

Diploma Mathematics 1977


Franz Kapsner studied Mathematics at TUM and graduated in 1977. He worked in industry for over 30 years before setting up his own business as a consultant and coach.

He is engaged in the TUM Mentoring by Alumni for Students and has accompanied seven students and alumni of TUM as a mentor so far. Today, he primarily advises people transitioning from professional life to retirement.