Your Career and You: “It’s What I Do”


Publication1I do some “navel-gazing” once in a while. I learned a long time ago that reality checks are a critical part of making sure you’re not losing control of your sanity.

Recently, I’ve started a semi-habit of tallying up everything that I’ve done on a particular Sunday. While it’s probably annoying to many folks who either read my ramblings on purpose or accidentally come across them, I find it encouraging to see that I can still successfully complete a gazillion “to-dos” without breaking a sweat.

Now that I’m zeroing in on that mythical thing called “retirement,” I’m starting to think about that new phase of my life and how I’m either going to adjust…or not.

I’ve been at Curry College now for closing in on 14 years, and I taught for a couple of years before this at several other colleges in the Boston area. This was after having worked as a public relations professional for more than 35 years. I know I wasn’t wired to sit around and do little or nothing, so this truly is an important step in the process.

There are two distinct parts to this planning.

First, my wife Margaret and I have made eight permanent-ish moves in the course of our married life and at least a half-dozen temporary moves. And every single one of those moves has had us out-and-about exploring new neighborhoods and becoming as familiar as possible with our surroundings.

Second, as soon as possible after making a move, I find something work-related to do. Granted, in these earlier times, it was totally “real work,” earn-a-living stuff, including internship assignments and permanent jobs.

The focus now is going to be on continuing my involvement both in the education of future public relations practitioners…part-time teaching at a college or university…and in the activities of a local PRSA chapter. (Fair warning to my future Tampa-area PRSA colleagues…I’m on my way!)

I’ve seen others segue into this retirement thing and basically shut down all that they did in their earlier years. They seem to be content to putter around the house and basically (in my mind) waste time.

Nunh-unh. Ain’t gonna happen that way for me.

I’m convinced that the secret to long and productive living is to keep your mind and your body in a constant state of activity. There’s sooo much that I need to learn (still trying to figure out how Snapchat works, for example) and…I think…so much that I can offer to young up-and-coming PR pros.

So here’s to Chapter Whatever in my life’s story. Starting all over again for the bazillionth time in a new location. Making new friends. Learning new things. Sharing my knowledge, experience, and passion for public relations with others.

It’s what I do.

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About kirkhazlett

35+ years' federal government and nonprofit organization PR experience followed by more than 10 years' undergraduate and graduate college teaching experience. Community and media relations expertise, as well as a fanaticism for quality service and customer satisfaction. PR for healthcare and member services organizations ranging from Blood Bank of Hawaii to Medical Area Service Corporation to Boston Harborfest. Consulting services for Manila and Singapore Red Cross.
This entry was posted in Action, careers, Curry College, PR, PR students, professional organizations, PRSA, public relations, Public Relations Society of America, Thinking and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Your Career and You: “It’s What I Do”

  1. Corina says:

    Simply beautiful, Kirk! I so agree with you: We need to keep our minds and bodies active to live a longer, interesting, helpful life. Cannot wait to hear about your adventures in Tampa.

  2. Corina Manea says:

    Beautiful, Kirk! I so agree with you: We need to keep our minds and bodies active to be living a longer, interesting, and helpful life. Cannot wait to hear about your adventures in Tampa.

  3. I’m with you, Kirk. I’ve been reading and writing about the second half of life (friar Richard Rohr has an interesting book called Falling Upward), in addition to living in it. Work has become some kind of bad word, and we live for the weekend, then live for retirement. But we were made for work and for purpose, so I’m looking forward to a full life of that. Plus, I don’t have a pension. 🙂

    • kirkhazlett says:

      I feel your agony, Amanda. No pension here, either! So I plan to stay actively involved…and perhaps continue to bring in a few extra ducats in the process! 🙂

  4. Howie Sholkin says:

    Retirement has many more definitions than prior generations due to life expectancy. Our parents and grandparents might retire at 65 and live for several more years. With medical advances it’s not absurd to think boomers may live into their 90s or beyond. For me my retirement means no longer working for a company full-time. Instead, I teach part-time, volunteer a lot, and occasionally do some consulting. It works for me now but who knows a year from now. That’s the most difficult part: not having a long-term plan as I have for 50 years (education, career, family, and a comfortable living). It takes time to figure out what you want to do with your time. As with Kirk, I know it will not be a passive mind and body experience.

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