The NBA, NFL, or the MLB may not have noticed, but I officially retired this week. I did so by filing an on-line form at the Social Security Website and picking a final “at work” date. It was physically surprisingly simple to do, but the angst accompanying the decision remained high.
It is hard to admit to yourself, you are no longer at the top of your game. For me the annoyance of physical pain was surpassed by the realization that mental mistakes were taking their toll in my productivity. Add in the knowledge that my skillset has become dated and progress is being held up by my inability to adapt to new software and systems.
It is also becoming plain to me that the generational differences are beginning to show as preferred methods of communication are changing quickly. What were once a very “hands on” business has changed to a digital format. The value of the grip of a handshake, eye contacts and spoken word has diminished to the point where actual contact is considered artificial and wasteful. Today’s emails, tweets, and blogs have replaced face to face meetings as primary communication methods. The dance of coffee and cookies accompanied by handshakes and introductions is no longer necessary for a coast to coast five minute webinar.
Consumer and employee loyalty are now less valued as online sales are now predicated on price and convenience. Knowledge is a luxury that can be purchased on as-needed bases centered on short term results.
As I have achieved a long list of past accomplishments, the reality is “What can you do for me now” is ruling the business world. While for some consumers this might turn out to be a much better solution for their goals, it does not fit my passion. So while I have spent a lifetime of picturing tomorrow I now find myself turning the other direction and becoming involved with today and completing my yesterdays.