Over the last ten years I have heard hundreds of career transition stories from senior executives. Some were voluntary, many were surprised and most would say “it came earlier than I expected or would have chosen”.
Whatever the trigger, it is natural to begin thinking “what could I have done differently?” “Am I as good as I thought I was?” Often the executive wants to share notes from colleagues about how much they will be missed, and those notes are sincere. Most of the executives were every bit as good as they thought. The trigger wasn’t them, it was changing organizational structure or needs of the bigger team.
The attached article about Reggie Wayne being released from the Indianapolis Colts is a great example and inspiration. As you read it you will appreciate that Reggie has done everything right. Clearly a Hall of Fame career on the field, and a stellar person and role model off the field. Yet he was cut — because the team, his team, needs to move on. Is there any more he could have done? Absolutely not. It is just the circle of jobs and life. He knew this day was coming someday, but was likely still not ready for it.This wonderful story does raise two questions:
- What will they write about you someday?; and
- If you asked Reggie “what do you want to do next?” how do you think he would answer? And if his answer was “play another year” would you recommend for or against?
– Jim Deupree