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Old 02-13-2016, 09:06 AM
Location: Wasilla, AK
7,286 posts, read 4,162,134 times
Reputation: 15745


I would have to say that my military career helped mold me into the person I am today. I spent six years in the Marine Corps and almost 26 years in the National Guard. I will always have that military bearing in the way I look and walk. One of the more liberal people I know asked me why I didn't let my hair grow long, thinking I'd want to rebel. He doesn't get it. It's just not who I am. Some people join the Moose or Elks. I joined the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars. That's not to say I associate exclusively with veterans. I have other interests and friends from other walks of life. But it's my military history that best defines me.
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Old 02-13-2016, 09:38 AM
Location: Florida
4,375 posts, read 3,712,866 times
Reputation: 4116
Part of the answer might be how you thought of yourself while working. If you needed to use your job as part of your introduction to new people you might need to mention your old job now.
From my limited experience when I meet a retired person they do not mention what they did as part of the introduction. If we are discussing a topic - say the quality of our home - they may mention that they were a builder or an engineer etc which gives more credit-ability to the discussion.
In general what someone did in the past has little to do with new friendships.
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Old 02-13-2016, 09:41 AM
Location: it depends
6,074 posts, read 5,339,201 times
Reputation: 5771
Originally Posted by Harpaint View Post
I no longer tell people I am/was an RN. You simply wouldn't believe what utter strangers will sometimes talk to you about. At a party one night, a lady actually started to tell me all about the results of her colonoscopy! Fortunately, I have also always been a painter, and I do share that. In fact most of my time now is spent painting.
Can you come over and paint my garage?
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Old 02-13-2016, 09:49 AM
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,800 posts, read 4,855,118 times
Reputation: 6379
Originally Posted by johngolf View Post
My calling card says:

Sleep Late, Play Golf, Drink, Eat, Repeat

That is my identity.
I want to add one more task to that list for my future retirement "fish". I don't even care if I catch one. Just being able to put a hook in the water in the deeper pockets of water would be awesome.
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Old 02-13-2016, 10:15 AM
Location: Idaho
1,456 posts, read 1,158,299 times
Reputation: 5523
Yes, I am still a scientist and an engineer because I retain and utilize my knowledge as per dictionary's definition: facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject.

I still think and claim other past or current identities like chemist, teacher, rower, pilot and coach in situation where my knowledge/skills are needed or utilized.

I think one's identity is associated with one's mindset, habit and practice. Having studied and practiced science/engineering principles for most of my life, it's natural that I always think of myself as a scientist and an engineer. On the other hand, I only had a short stint as a teacher many years ago but have retained and utilized my teaching skills, effective knowledge transfer capability throughout my career and life. I have only been a pilot for 15 years but I can see many years from now, I still self-identified as a pilot even when I could no longer fly. This is because I have incorporated many aviation principles/practice to all actions in my life such as the DECIDE Model



D- Detect that the action necessary
E- Estimate the significance of the action
C- Choose a desirable outcome
I- Identify actions needed in order to achieve the chosen option
D- Do the necessary action to achieve change
E- Evaluate the effects of the action
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Old 02-13-2016, 10:36 AM
Status: "0-0-2 Game On!" (set 7 days ago)
Location: The beautiful Rogue Valley, Oregon
7,312 posts, read 15,368,793 times
Reputation: 9503
It depends on how much of your career was driven by who you are. I am a scientist and engineer. It is how I look at the world, not just what I did for a living. The spouse is an electrical engineer and a mechanical engineer, it is how he looks at the world.
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Old 02-13-2016, 11:13 AM
6,329 posts, read 3,588,176 times
Reputation: 22146
I think the various jobs that I liked doing were because they utilized my natural interests and aptitudes. So that who I am came first and the job came second. And, of course I still have an interest in using skills where I have interest, training and experience! It's important to my mental health to feel like a constructive member of my environment so I'm glad I am able to do that.

You know what is difficult though is that, not having gone into the hard sciences, much of the theory and practice of what I enjoy is outdated or considered wrong now. Doesn't daunt me too much. I know how it works for me.

Funny story. After WWII my dad worked occasional jobs painting with a full-time, old-country immigrant house painter. When Ole was lying in the hospital waiting for his death Dad went to see him one last time.

You'd think this would be a final chance to connect at a deep level. Ole's first words when Dad showed up? "Da ceiling needs painting."

The need can be strong.
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Old 02-13-2016, 11:49 AM
Location: New Mexico
6,605 posts, read 3,684,120 times
Reputation: 12417
Originally Posted by rjm1cc View Post
In general what someone did in the past has little to do with new friendships.
I think that's true mostly but, on the other hand, I seem drawn toward friendships now with people from wildly different careers from mine. A race car driver/laser technician, a special forces/doctor/minor league baseball player, a pediatrician, and a mechanical engineer/inventor. We all have a few things in common but are mostly the type of person we would never have encountered in our daily work life. We are all curious minded people and can talk for hours.
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Old 02-13-2016, 01:50 PM
6,840 posts, read 3,880,228 times
Reputation: 15620
Originally Posted by marcopolo View Post
Can you come over and paint my garage?
Unfortunately, watercolor doesn't hold up too well on garages! I'll ask the lady from the party if she can do it though . . .

Last edited by Harpaint; 02-13-2016 at 02:02 PM..
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Old 02-13-2016, 02:40 PM
10,819 posts, read 8,075,211 times
Reputation: 17034
When asked, DH - who was a director of a large company - just says "I'm retired". But I always say "I'm a retired librarian." I'm not sure why but it's just part of who I am. Like many retired librarians I volunteer at my old workplace, doing for free what they used to pay me to do. And if we're in any town/city in the US or Mexico for more than a couple of hours, I HAVE to visit the library. I did that when I was working too, it's pretty common for librarians. We're a weird bunch. (notice that "we", I definitely still identify).
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