The party that became a funeral for my career
After reading a post a couple of weeks back, John reflected on his own ‘funeral’ experience. He’s not alone in this, which is why it appears here rather than as a comment at the end of the post. This is what he wrote:
Great post with solid suggestions. I retired almost 3 months ago with 100% confidence that it was the right time. I remain confident that it was the right decision but ran into something I didn’t expect.
A few weeks after I retired I attended a party celebrating the 100th birthday of one of my former employers. I got to see many old friends I knew from the beginning of my career. I had a great time, but after a while, I started feeling sad. I realized that my career was over and I was probably seeing a lot of these people for the last time.
I started seeing the party as a sort of funeral for my career.
In preparing for my retirement I didn’t consider the impact that ending my career would have on me.
A huge part of my identity is now in my past. No regrets, really, but it is something that I wish I paid more attention to.
People approaching retirement should consider how they will feel when putting their career in the rearview mirror. Even if you do a good job maintaining contact with your career friends, your career is over and you may have a period of mourning to go through.
Every retirement brings both losses and gains. It’s worth recognising them.
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