I Used to Be Somebody: (Un)Retirement Lessons Learned

Dream Team (Un)Retirement Advice

Diana Landau | January 01, 2021

There are so many well-meaning people full of advice for you on what to do in retirement. We say don’t retire! Consider doing something new and more meaningful. (Maybe not work 40 hours a week either.) Here’s some wise advice from our I Used to Be Somebody guests on taking the steps toward the (Un)Retirement of your dreams:

 

“It’s essential to find your new tribe, whether it’s a new organization, golf, etc. You have to get out there. Do not isolate. We need connection, we are social beings.” Joan Ryan, Sports Journalist and Best-Selling Author

 

 

 

“Your career was your identity. How do you want to redefine your identity now, for yourself and to others? ….Remember that you have a lot to give AND have a lot of experience. You have value!” - Deborah McColloch, Philadelphia’s Former Housing Chief 

 

 

“Keep your goals realistic and attainable. Think about what talents and skills you have honed throughout the years that could be an advantage in some new way.” - Moira McGarvey Black, Best-Selling Author

 

 

 

"I knew I wanted to retire to something, not from something." - Mark Shaiken, Award-Winning Photographer

 

 

 

 

 

"You will have other goals now and they will be very different. If you’ve been driving hard in your work life for 30-40 years, it’s hard to suddenly slow down. Creating a work life with more fun and less grind takes practice." - Joe Pulizzi, Godfather of Content Marketing

 

 

“Do something meaningful that has an impact for people-- that will in turn accelerate their success too.” -  Jim Roddy, Publisher, Author, Speaker

 

 

 

 

“When you do something new, you have to have a certain amount of patience.” - Barry Pincus, Former COO for NY Yankees, Martha Stewart and others 

 

 

 

 

“YOU choose what “balance” is and what work you take on. There’s so much to get involved in, you have to decide what you really want for you—first." - Michela O’Connor Abrams, CEO

 

 

 

“We get caught up in the troubles of life—the world, politics, family, etc. Life is short. Make an effort to enjoy it and be fulfilled.” - Richard Turner, Photographer, Poet and Author

 

 

 

 

“Take any door that opens and walk through it. If you work hard, people will help you to succeed.” - Bob Tuschman, Former Food Network Exec

 

 

 

“Don’t EVER retire! What’s so wonderful about life is that there are so many new surprises; you just have to look for them. “ - Mike Krukow, SF Giants Sports Broadcaster

 

 

 

 

 

Diana Landau is the Content Wrangler for Pickleball Media. After 15 years in corporate marketing, in 2012 she pivoted to write and wrangle content for Niche Media's weekly blog. She now manages the “I Used to Be Somebody” weekly blog.

Tags:    blog   retirement   advice   quotes   joan ryan   debb mccolloch   moira mcgarvey black   mark shaiken   joe pulizzi   jim roddy   bary pincus   michaela oconnor abrams   richard turner   bob tuschman   mike krukow  

Deborah McColloch Interview: The Philadelphia Story: “Do-Gooder” Does GREAT!

Diana Landau | November 13, 2020
Carl had the opportunity to catch up with his long-time friend Deborah McColloch -- who he discovers "really was somebody!" So many of us understand the importance of community service and want to do it “some day.” Philadelphia’s Deborah McColloch devoted decades of her career to affordable housing development, at the OHCD (Office of Housing and Community Development.) She is still going strong in (un)retirement, devoting much of her time to serving on Boards that make her community a better place to live. Her career was dedicated, hard work combined with ribbon-cuttings, ground-breakings, a $100 million budget  and a staff of 75 to manage, plus definitely some masterful political maneuvering.
 
Carl met Deborah back in the 1970’s when both were day camp counselors for the Shaker Recreation Department in Cleveland. They had, in Carl’s words, maybe too much fun? (Carl and Deborah have been long friends and recently reconnected again.) Deborah’s parents were teachers and inspired her commitment. “I have always had this passion for community,’ she says. Her three brothers eventually pursued careers in community service as well.
 
In 1978 Deborah started as summer intern and eventually worked her way up to OHCD Director , a position appointed by the Mayor. Deborah not only worked with many diverse groups (often with opposing agendas) but also negotiated between the Mayor and the City Council to get things done. It’s a difficult job, and possessing huge amounts of patience is key. “In this field you need to be flexible. You need to like people and like interacting with people. While the rewards may not be monetary, they are soulful.”
 
Every four years usually meant a different administration and the opportunity to evaluate whether she wanted to keep doing the same work. In 2015, she decided it was time to do something new. “I didn’t have a specific plan, but I had things I definitely wanted to pursue, in addition to my hobbies, like quilting.  Before spending time ticking off items on her bucket list, she took a break. “Go on vacation as soon as you retire. It creates a clear space between work and starting the next thing.” After a 3-week trip to Hawaii, Deborah came back and tackled her bucket list, including attending Philadelphia Phillies' spring trainings, a trip the Grand Canyon, and even singing songs with her daughter on the actual Greek island featured in the movie, “Mama Mia.”
 
Deborah now serves on an impressive list of community Boards: The Neighborhood Gardens Trust, New Kensington Community Development Corporation, Community Ventures and St. Laurentius School. She is still working hard to create housing and neighborhood services for those in need, as well as urging thoughtful land preservation. Deborah’s three most powerful words to describe this new phase of her life: “Purposeful, creative and….contented!”
 
 Wise(un)retirement advice from Deborah:
 
  • “It’s important to think about how you want to spend your time, energy and creativity in retirement. Think of ways to contribute without sitting in long boring meetings.”
 
  • “When volunteering, it is very easy to get swept up into doing other people’s grunt work. Be selective. Are they good people who are committed to the community?”
 
  • “It’s a huge life transition to retire (or do something new), like when you become a parent. Your career is your identity. How do you want to redefine your identity now, for yourself and to others?
 
  • “Remember that you have a lot to give AND have a lot of experience. You have value!”
 
To learn more about Deborah McColloch and one of the many non-profits she works with, go to New Kensington Community Development Corporation: visit their website.
For the full interview, listen to I Used to be Somebody, Episode #10 with Deborah McColloch.
 
Diana Landau is the Content Wrangler for Pickleball Media. After 15 years in corporate marketing, in 2012 she pivoted to write and wrangle content for Niche Media's weekly blog. She now manages the “I Used to Be Somebody” weekly blog.
 
Tags:    blog   interview   Debb McColloch   Deborah McColloch   philadelphia   housing   volunteer