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

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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  

Mark Shaiken Interview: Figuring Out What You Really Want!

Diana Landau | November 23, 2020
Mark Shaiken talks with Carl about what comes next after a big career as a successful attorney. Then Mark took his life in an entirely different direction. He has just released a new book, “And... Just Like That: Essays on a life before, during and after the law”.
 
The questions started in his 50’s-- “Well, what else can I do?” The answers were not so easy for him then. “It’s sort of a loaded question,” said Mark. “The truth is there are lots of things we can do.” Carl agreed that sometimes it’s easy to get stuck in something when you're pretty good at it. Decades can fly by.
 
Mark grew up in Queens and his family was on the move quite a bit as a child-- 11 times in 17 years. Mark said the main impact from that experience was that it was hard to make friends, only to move on again. In high school, he was envious of his friends who already knew what they wanted to do with their lives after graduation. 
 
He drove a forklift for awhile, still unclear about what to do. He became engaged and took the law school admission on a whim. He figured law school would give him 3 more years to figure out what he really wanted to do. Mark recognized a theme in his life, like “kicking the can,” (which in legal terms means “postponement.”) He never imagined then that he would actually become a practicing attorney.
 
Near graduation, a local bankruptcy judge was looking for a law clerk. Mark had to go back to school to actually take the bankruptcy course, but then worked for the judge. After a few years, unsolicited job offers kept coming and he and his wife moved to Houston and he accepted a position with a large firm. 
 
Mark and his family eventually moved to Kansas City, where he practiced for 28 years in “the big firm life”. Law was all encompassing, and with the internet came 10pm texts from opposing counsel. Most of his time was not his own. As he pondered his future, he humorously started calling it the "afterlife" because he thought he'd have to die to get out of law.
 
"I knew I wanted to retire to something, not from something," Mark said. He realized he had been "kicking the can" in his career choices and decided to do it differently this time. He allowed himself to dream, read career pivot books but most didn't resonate. Then he read the book "Your Next Season." The book made so much sense to him he called the author at his home and they had a wonderful talk.  The author had formed a company to help people during career transitions and Mark became a client. "I give myself credit for going outside myself for help when I needed it." It was a game changer for him.
 
Today Mark is an amazing(!) sports and nature photographer, while serving the Denver community on several Boards. One non-profit, Think 360 Arts for Learning introduces children from poor neighborhoods to the arts. Statistics show these kids are more likely to go onto higher education. Mark also teaches photography to veterans with PTSD.
 
Mark's (Un)Retirement advice: 
  • The plan: "Some people retire, then figure it out. That may work, but it's not for me. I need something more structured."
  • Joining a Board or charity: "Fit is important. You have to believe in the mission."
  • Life tip: "Don't ever believe there's only one thing you can do!"
 
To learn more about Mark Shaiken, visit his website.
For the full interview, listen to I Used to be Somebody, Episode #11 with Mark Shaiken.
 
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   Mark Shaiken   photography   charity   unretirement