It’s pretty easy for me to push myself past common-sense limits. I get my heart set on being able to do something or being able to do something a certain way, and then when it doesn’t work out, I spend way too much time being hard on myself about it.
That helps no one. It really doesn’t help at all.
So, I need to be generous with myself and give myself the extra time I need to do things.
I’ve figured out what to do about my work situation. It occurred to me, last week, that I’m 2.5 years away from being old enough to qualify for early retirement. It sounds bizarre to say it, but I am. I’ll be 55 in a few more years, and that means — in the high-tech industry — I’ll be “old”. And old enough to take a retirement package.
Does this make me happy? You better believe it. “Happy” is an understatement.
I mean, there are things I like about the job, but it’s just too demanding, and I’m not being properly compensated for what I give up, each and every day. I provide a sh*t-ton of value to my employer, and yet…
But in another couple of years, I can not only leave, but also potentially leave w/ a retirement package that’s a nice little golden parachute (emphasis on “little”) that can buy me some time and give me a buffer against any drop in income I might experience.
In the meantime, I’m working on a particular skillset that will allow me to either transition to a different kind of role, or allow me to consult. I’m downloading all my LinkedIn contacts, and I’m building a prospects list for people to reach out to in the future. There’s some danger that some of my contacts will “age out” of the industry (as some are older than I), and that I won’t have as many people familiar with my past work, who I can reach out to. But I have close to 1,000 contacts, most of whom are well familiar with my work. So, I’m pretty hopeful.
I just need to get everything set up ahead of time.
That means I need to:
- Brush up on specific technical skills
- Stay current with the part of the industry I’ll be working in
- Figure out how much to charge for my services
- Build up my portfolio of solutions I’ll be offering
- Keep my image squeaky-clean and not do anything in public that will put me in a bad light
- Update my wardrobe to be more professional and consultant-like
- Build out my website in ways that put me in a really great light
- And more…
I’m sure I’ll discover a lot more I need to do, as time goes on. But for now, this is a good starting list. I need to stay steady and systematic, and really pace myself.
I’ve tried to get my own thing going, many times in the past, but it never really worked. I think I just pushed too hard, too fast, and I wore myself out. I never factored in the effects of all those concussions. I had no idea they would even bother me. After all, in movies and cartoons, people were shown getting hit on the head all the time, and it never bothered them. So why should it bother me?
I just always pushed through — also, because I was using stress to numb my pain and confusion. The more confused I was, the more in pain I was, the harder I pushed. And it backfired on me, time and time again.
Well, this is my do-over. I get to do things differently this time, and I will. I have a healthy timeline ahead of me… enough time to get all my ducks in a row, set myself up to succeed, and get all the pieces in place for the future I want to have.
I’ve been helping to make a lot of other people rich for a long time, so why not at least give myself a fighting chance at independence?
It’s the least I can do for myself, after all these years.
Onward… at a common-sense, considerate pace.