I am retired due to medical reasons, but was EVP of two manufacturing/design companies.I had many friends move on, and encouraged them in their endeavors.There were others I just encouraged to "move on" and maybe make a serious change.I did learn a couple things from from them, and from others I have met.Lets start with retirement.Unless planned as well as any other career move, it could be no more that a road to depression. :)You can have the best financial plan, but without a perfect time plan of what you are going to do with this retirement time, it can be long term parking.Your previous social life, believe it or not, revolves solidly around the workplace in many cases. 8-10 hours of association, and then if you are lucky enough, any after hours activities and friendships.Amazing how fast, the after hours relationships vanish when you stop working.In Sarasota, Fl, there is a trailer park (yup,trailer park) made up of retired machinists from the Detroit area I believe (Therapist told me about them)Happiest guys in the world there.In one part of the trailer park, they have a building outfitted with machine shop equipment, just like back in the factory.They wander in mornings, make coffee, sit around and argue politics, and then finaly all fire up their lathes and milling machines while jokings and poking fun.They do a couple small paid jobs to buy tools, but mostly make toys for the grand kids, fix things for the neighbors and generaly kill time.They will stop at about 12:00 and eat lunch, like at the factory, arguing politics and telling jokes, then clean up the shop, go home, go fishing, what ever.Point being, they tried retirment and discovered they missed the "social side of work" so they created it for fun or survival.I discovered the same thing, though retirement was not my choice. I volunteer at a library on the Island and have met the most interesting people including some of the top publishing authors (amazing who hides on the Islands).When I ran the companies, I had many talented people move on. Some to better positions, some to start their own companies, one to make furniture, and one to start. with his wife. what became a huge pre-school with a couple locations now.I also had engineers who were unable to admit that they should have never become engineers.Just because you have a degree in a particular career choice does not mean you have the talents to do the job.A degree in Mechanical Engineering, without the artistic mind to see parts move and interact, make a bad Mechanical Engineer who will be stressed, overwhelmed and bitter. The person may be brilliant, just in the wrong career choice and unhappy because of it.An Electrical Design Engineer who does not see everything in the world as something that can be improved, made better, and be invented, is a computer repairman.At 18 we are expected to enter college and make career choices that will effect our lives until we die.When I was expected to make that choice, I was also told I was not ready to vote or drink. I became a Chemical Engineer and hated it. After two years took a job in R&D building custom packaging machinery for pharmaceutical companies, designing machinery and finaly running the company. I was happy every day.Closest I got to using my Chemical Engineering degree was mixing 2 part epoxy from a tube.You may spend 10 years or more to reach the point that you can admit that you don't like the choice, or that you are not good at the choice,and that you would be much happier doing something else.There are those who are Happy with what they are doing.Those who are satisfied with what they are doing.Those who are living with what they are doing.And the adventurers who are will to take a chance.
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