I retired seven months ago, after almost 36 years of working for one of the largest global corporations in the world. Working there was one of the most amazing, wonderful and challenging opportunities of my life. I was so fortunate to have met so many incredible people and to have experiences that truly enhanced and changed my life. However, I realized that my entire identity was tied up in the company — I had lost “me” along the way.
My exit interview was over the phone. I signed and sent back all the necessary papers, rushed to UPS, put my badge, American Express card and my PC in a brown box and shipped it off to my manager. I’m not sure what I felt as I put 35 ½ years of my life into that box and said goodbye.
No party, no fan fare, and not even a kiss goodbye.
Even though I was excited and truly prepared to leave, I was feeling like I had just been “kicked” out of an airplane, and was “free falling”. HANG ON FOR AN INTERESTING RIDE was all I kept telling myself!!!!
Interesting has been an understatement — AMAZING is more like it. And now my worst nightmare is that the phone will ring and it will be HR saying “you can come back now, it was just a joke.”
While I was still working, the company offered coaching for leadership classes and I attended. After the first 10 minutes, I knew I had truly found my passion. I was able to get my professional coaching certification, work with an amazing coach, and coach executives and professionals myself.
Wow, I had finally found something that I felt was giving back to others and truly making a difference. More importantly, I found “me” again along the way. So now I am a professional coach and my passion is not only to make my second act better and more fun than my first, but to help others do the same.
PS. My chute opened and the view is AWESOME!