Leaving the State Youre In
The HR Doctor has been invited to an
unusually high number of retirement parties lately, and has
also heard from several colleagues who are leaving their
current jobs, even though they are not retiring. The common
denominator in talking with these colleagues and friends is
that after leaving work, they plan to leave the state. One is
to launch a great adventure with his wife and move to Alaska.
Another is leaving Florida to move to California. Another will
move to the lower-cost Appalachia area to return to family and
roots. A common message being delivered is, "When I retire,
Im leaving the state Im in!"
America is certainly a mobile
nation, with about 17 percent of the population moving each
year. Retiring is certainly a time of renewed adventure.
Ironically, your willingness and freedom to try a new
adventure can be similar at retirement to what it was in your
teenage years. You had fewer ties then and more freedom to
The same can be true in your
retirement if you have taken care of yourself and made choices
which allow you the chance to explore and to be adventurous.
Some of these choices are simple and we make them every day. I
have the choice whether to put on my seat belt when I get in
the car. Nearly half of American workers dont regularly wear
their seat belts, but they have a choice. I have a choice
whether to exercise and eat more sensibly, in an effort to
reduce the excess weight, that plagues about forty percent of
the American population.
I have the choice to continuously
learn and grow by attending seminars, continuing education
classes, networking, and attending training sessions put on by
I have many choices. If I have made
wise ones, including saving money regularly and using the
power of tax-deferred savings programs such as the 457 plan, I
am in a position to have more options and fewer restrictions
when it comes to making choices to "leave the state Im
All of the HR Doctors colleagues
mentioned above spoke about moving in a physical, geographical
sense. However, in reality, we all reach milestones in our
careers and our lives when we figuratively "leave the state
All major lifestyle changes,
including a job change, getting married, kids leaving home,
accepting a promotion, opening a consulting practice,
suffering health setbacks, or retiring, for that matter,
represent a "change of state." For most of us, we can
completely change the state were in without ever leaving our
house or our office. That is because the state were in is as
much a psychological state as a physical one.
Changing your state represents
another series of decisions within our power to make. If we
show up at work each day, with an attitude that is positive,
and with a spirit of "how can I help" instead of "whats in it
for me," the state were in will change for the better. It
will also have a positive impact on the state of mind of our
colleagues and our customers.
You dont have to retire to think
differently and think more positively about the world around
you, including your immediate micro-world such as the world of
your immediate office area. Whether you plan to retire next
month or in the next decade, whether you leave your current
job tomorrow or a thousand tomorrows from now, understand and
think seriously about how you can change the state you are in
for a better life. You dont even need a relocation service or
a moving company to help!
The HR Doctor hopes your state is