This is my last scheduled ATF post because this is my final day at OCLC. As I have moved closer to this retirement date over the last months I’ve had the chance to say grateful farewells to a lot of people. Earlier this month we had a very nice open house (photos) to celebrate moving in (to our new office space) and moving on (my retirement). Of course there were some much appreciated, overly-generous remarks and I got to say a few words.
I mentioned that getting ready for retirement was more work than I had imagined. There was no retirement fairy. Rather there was lots of paperwork and planning especially around finances. In doing that work I once again come across the viral phenomenon of a few years ago – the 4×6 index card that has all the financial advice you will ever need. It encouraged quite a few other financial advisers to offer variants. What all these had in common was that they were short, sensible steps that were easy to state and difficult to do consistently.
These index cards also got me thinking about my long, fortunate, and satisfying career. I wondered whether I could fit what I learned on an index card. In fact, I was able to do it on a catalog card. During the open house somebody asked if they could see my card. I demurred at the time but now I think I’ll just share it with all of you.
So for what it’s worth here’s my take on what you should do if you want the best chances of having a satisfying career.
I stared at this on my plane ride home from OCLC headquarters and thought it might need a little bit of additional gloss. So here’s the annotated version I did during the flight.
I’m sure there are unnecessarily-long, padded-out business, self-help, and life-improvement books written about each one of these bits of advice and counsel. My parting gift – you can skip them. And like the financial advice – they are simple to state and difficult to practice. I certainly didn’t follow them all the time but they guided the way I wanted to behave.
I can’t name all the people who taught me, supported me, worked with me and put up with me. I can thank all of them. I’m very grateful. Best wishes. (Michalko)
P.S. In one of those index card variants on the financial advice, Jane Bryant Quinn led with:
“When you retire you are finally free – but free to do what? Let go of who you were and focus on who you ‘ll become.