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Giving retirement a try and paying it forward

For the past year, I haven’t had steady employment. During much of the time, this was a conscious choice in order to:

  • Dedicate fulltime to learning — reference my Mega Resource List and LinkedIn Profile ‘Licenses & Certifications’ section for evidence of the ground covered. This is a data point for the “insatiably curious” phrase on my resume.
  • Test-drive retirement — where I prioritized family and previously neglected house maintenance. After this experiment, my conclusion is that I don’t much care for retirement. Laugh. Candidly, finances also push me back to the workforce. Where I have enjoyed retirement, is the luxury of daily yoga, meditation, and bicycle rides. As I prepare to go back to traditional employment and a commute, these personal commitments will need to reduce in length and frequency. What a shame.
  • Work for UPS during the holiday season. By design, this provided some time away from my learning journey, social media, and the job search. The time away opened up even more time for deeper reflection regarding my next career move. This reflection led to my recommitment to Business Analyst, Product Owner, and/or Knowledge Management roles…and setting aside my 2018 thoughts of returning to manufacturing after a 25-year absence or moving into the logistics sector, which had become a new-found passion interest.

With this luxury of time, I also prioritized seizing opportunities to work pro bono and to “pay-it-forward”. My resume there:

  • Created the Mega Resource List,
  • Created this blog you are now reading, with the intention of not only providing further evidence of my learning path but to also share information that benefits readers more generally.
  • Provided an extensive written “exit interview” to my previous employer that included constructive positive and negative feedback and SWOT analysis.
  • Provided UPS with similar extensive constructive feedback regarding the onboarding process and their smartphone app used to review and record each delivery.
  • Provided Massachusetts government with extensive constructive feedback regarding the Affordable Care Act websites and processes, then
  • Joined the volunteer Massachusetts website usability test team.
  • Copy-edited Nir Eyal’s upcoming book regarding overcoming distraction.
  • Copy-edited the third edition of the book Repurpose Your Career.
  • Moderated a Slack Channel for the Data Visualization Society.
  • Provided the Greater Boston IIAB chapter with the member onboarding process and website usability feedback. I’m now looking forward to further volunteer work to implement some of the suggested improvements.
  • Beta tested the Airr podcast app. This, among all of these bullets, has been the most satisfying and closest to being a portion of my envisioned upcoming fulltime employment. Many (too many?) years ago I began my professional career in Quality Assurance, and a piece of that mindset is (and always will be) a part of me.

I am now looking forward to, hopefully soon, launching my “13th chapter” with a return to professional employment.

Published in About Me


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