Thursday, December 4, 2008

Why Gen Xers like me won't have retirement parties

Last night, I went to a retirement party for my favourite client. I'm very dissapointed to be losing this man as my client (I don't know if his replacement will keep working with me or not), but I am also sad to lose regular contact with him as he enters the retiree world.

So I stayed for hte whole party, including all the speeches. He has had a 39 career in the federal public service, so there were a lot of stories about old collegues (none of whom I know) and previous positions (I've only known him for three years). It was all a bit dull for me, but it made me think about what a retirement party for me or someone like me would be like.

And I realized that it wouldn't. I couldn't have a party with people there that had worked with me my whole career. I haven't stayed put anywhere long enough for that to happen, and I don't forsee that happening at any point in the rest of my career either.

A job for life is something the baby boomers had, but it's not something most Gen Xers have, nor is it at all something the generations following us will have. Does this mean retirement parties like my client's are soon to be a thing of the past? What will a retirement look like in twenty years? No gold watch, but will there be people to celebrate the end of work with, or will it just be a winding down and closing of doors.


1 comment:

Tom Volkar / Delightful Work said...

A life long job like that is something this baby Boomer never had and never will either. It's all about the freedom for me and self-employment is the one true path.