As I move closer to retirement I wonder how will I introduce myself professionally? Recently I was at a party. Many of the people there were retired and I was keenly aware how they introduced themselves. Some I already knew, some were familiar names being a friend of a friend and some I was meeting for the first time.
I know I worked hard for some of the letters after my name professionally. Out of my profession does anyone care about my letters? I certainly am not going to recite an alphabet when I meet someone and tell him or her my name. So curiously I am working out my intro when asked what I do for a living once I am retired.
At the party some people’s spouse introduced themselves and their spouse. It was a way for the person with the most letters or biggest ego to establish who they are or once were professionally.
Most of the people I met come under the heading I would use as ‘Do-Gooders’. They were teachers, attorneys, social workers, judges, doctors, nurses, scientists and politicians. Some still are actively employed; others are using their professional experience to do more good deeds.
As a society we need many ‘Do-Gooders’. In retirement many of these people can devote more of their energy and time to worthwhile causes. I appreciate and admire their commitments.
My identity does not fall under the category of ‘Do-Gooder’.
Another category I do not fall into is the one of ‘Artist’. People who make art, who write books, who perform are all artists.
I think often the perception of someone calling himself or herself an artist is one of delusion unless they are a famous artist. I disagree with that perception and think an artist of any art is an artist.
So as I move closer toward retirement I am thinking of my identity.
Have you mastered the declaration of identity?