I have a vision for my generation. I think many of us share it. If we dare to say it, we can do it. We have 10 years--GO!
I am an educator at heart. I have worked in the federal, state, non-profit and for-profit sectors. I have lived the concept of transferable skills, but prefer to focus on transferable wisdom.
Many of us are fortunate enough to be able to do at least some of our regular work at home during a major storm like today’s—and those of us who are old enough to remember those work days before computers and network connections are grateful BUT how does the prospect of more than one day like today, pounding out products alone at home leave you feeling? Productiveand in control? Ready to run screaming to an open
Starbucks? Like you ran in circles all day? It’s a good clue as to what kind of work or volunteer environment you need to be happy! Pay attention to your inner cues!
I have a vision. It involves the thousands of talented and savvy federal women who are ready to or thinking about or who have recently retired from federal service. I’ve worked with these women and I’ve been amazed at their skills and perseverance and their ability to accomplish impossible goals for their agencies. As I talk with my friends who fit this description, I find they fall into two camps—those who yearn for the freedom to come and go as they wish, to pursue hobbies and do absolutely nothing if they so choose and those who feel some apprehension about ending their careers—who may feel like they’re about to fall off the edge of the earth.
What I’m not hearing much about are women who have a passion to create real change in their communities—whether through a paying job or through volunteer activity – and could now take the leap and actually make a quantifiable difference without all the limits of federal programming.
The media is full of stories about women executives from the private sector who dive in with both feet to post-retirement work to change the world and I can’t help but wonder where my federal sisters are.
I know from my own experience that it isn’t that we “checked the box.” It’s not work that’s finished! I can’t believe that federal service has stamped out our passions for the many causes that still need champions. Do we feel we have nothing more to offer? Have we become cynical about whether change is really possible? Are we just so burned out that we’re ready to escape to the lifestyle equivalent of white noise?
I’m really curious and I invite you to weigh in! What are you doing to change the world now that you’re out of the bureaucratic box? What am I missing here? What would it take for you to commit yourself to a cause that’s important to you for a day a week or more? What would you need to make that a worthwhile exchange for your time?