We Are Not Our Name Cards

May 20, 2016

By Patricia Jones

When I got my first business card, I was so excited. Here at last was proof that I was a recognized professional in a position of authority in international education. I could exchange it with my peers, provide it to my students, and present it to individuals from around the world. This was validation of who I was.

For years, I carried it proudly in my card case. It was a part of my personal identification. But then came the day that it no longer defined me. I was retiring.

Many of us look forward to the day when we don’t have to get up early in the morning, dress for work, and do our jobs all day. However, as we close in on that rite of passage known as “retirement,” we often have concerns about how we will adjust. What will we do with our time? How will we replace the interactions with our colleagues? Will we still grow intellectually? Our lives are so filled with individuals we serve, people we nurture, and cross-cultural experiences we share that we are not sure about the whole process of moving into this new world of unknowns.

Whether we anticipate it or dread the idea, retirement comes to all of us. In the Career Center at the NAFSA 2016 Annual Conference and Expo in Denver, a panel of retirees will discuss these issues in a session called, “Positioning for Retirement.” I will be joined by Deborah Pierce, formerly from Northern Illinois University and newly retired in 2015, and Kay Thomas of the University of Minnesota, a retiree for several years. The panel will provide an in-depth examination of how we can prepare ourselves for this change.

As we will discover, no one way is the right way to prepare ourselves for this new life adventure. Join us as we consider strategies for preparing for retirement and activities for involvement after retirement.

It’s never too soon to plan for an eventuality of life. And it’s never too soon to create a new name card!!


Join us on Wednesday, June 1, from 2:00 p.m.–2:45 p.m., for our presentation, “Positioning for Retirement,” in the Career Center located in Four Seasons Ballroom 4.


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