1. It’s 8:30 PM on a Wednesday and I’m at the end of a 12 hour day as I sit down to right this, so I promise to make this one short..…So I support a client group that has seen a lot of retirements, lately. 1 I support lots of 30+ year employees that have had long, respectable careers and are ready to move onto the next step.

Conversely, I have been with my current employer for just four short years… and am still in my 20s. Ergo, when a colleague informs me of their retirement it is always particularly striking to me that I am the person charged with managing that transition.

…Ultimately, after nearly half a lifetime spent at our Company, the person seeing them off at the end has fewer years on the planet than they have with our employer.

It is humbling.

…I am not an event planner – I detest much of the work involved with such things and will generally delegate work related to it when it’s put on my plate. But when it comes to an employee’s retirement, it is important to me that they finish their time with the Company feeling special and appreciated. I make sure cakes are ordered and celebratory proceedings are arranged; I want the employee to feel as special as they want to – as special as they deserve. I do this because I imagine that one day I will be at the end of a career that I’ve spent more time doing than anything else in my life, and I want the person(s) seeing me to the end of it to assign the same value to it that I have.

Throughout our careers most of us will have amazing highs and crushing lows. And when the lows come it can feel easy to seek greener pastures. Because frankly, when things get tough it isn’t always easy to find good reasons to stay. Ergo, when one meets someone that performed at a high level at one company for most or all of their career one knows that they made the choice to be part of something they believed in even when it wasn’t always easy to believe.

^This brand of loyalty/perseverance/faith/whatever you want to call it isn’t for everyone, but if nothing else it’s increasingly rare in this day and age, and should be respected.

…I have been a lot of things in my HR career to date to a lot of people – some value added and some quite a bit less so. And I imagine I will be several more things yet… but I should like to always remain someone that honors service.

Does this make sense? As always, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.