That’s why Keith and I started the Unretirement Project.
Years ago, I was the director of human resources, working for a major hotel chain. Our outside legal counsel would call and ask for a favor once a year. It was for lunch reservations on New Year’s Day at our restaurant. One time, I asked him about it and he told me that he and his wife sat down (on New Year’s Day) for a very long lunch to talk about life – their personal and professional lives. They talked about the things they wanted to do and stop doing.
Fast forward several years. When Keith and I started our HR consulting firm, ITM Group, we decided that talking about our business and personal lives was something we should do. Think of it as our own strategic planning session. In addition, we needed to talk about retirement. Specifically, what we wanted our retirement to look like.
Over the years, we’ve realized that the kind of retirement our parents had wasn’t in the cards for us. You know, work for the same company for 20+ years, announce your retirement, then hang out with friends, play cards, etc. There are a few reasons for this: 1) I’ll admit that I’m a workaholic and I cannot imagine not working. 2) We fell in love with this thing called blogging.
In 2008, we started a blog called HR Bartender. Keith wanted me to start writing an electronic newsletter for our consulting business. I was a bit reluctant to do so. No, the truth is I was a lot reluctant to do so. So, I mentioned blogging. I didn’t know anything about how to start a blog. Over the years, HR Bartender has done pretty well. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has named it one of the Top 5 HR and Business Blogs read by human resources professionals.
So, we decided that we wanted our “retirement” or in this case, unretirement, to include blogging. Hence, the Unretirement Project was born.
A lot of people post pictures of the sunrise on their first day of retirement representing a new beginning in their lives. I decided to post a pen because I think unretirement is about rewriting the rules of retirement. I used this old pen in my corporate life and my consulting life. I have no intention of getting rid of it. I’ll just use it for new things. Unretirement is about finding more time to do the things you love and less time on the things that are a PITA.
I’m not exactly sure where our unretirement journey will take us. But I’m looking forward to finding out. One thing I do know is that unretirement doesn’t start at a specific age or time. You control your unretirement. The question is “Do you know what you want your unretirement to look like?”
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby