May 29, 2012 2 Comments
Catching up on a blog by Mark Freedman (of Encore Careers fame) in the Harvard Business Review, I was intrigued to read his comment: “A former high-ranking media executive I met recently described himself as a new member of the PIP Squad — Previously Important Persons.”
It underlined what we all know – that to retire is to lose one’s importance and to become invisible in the eyes of the world. Ask any older person you meet what they do and it’s almost certain that if they say they’re retired they will immediately qualify it by addiing “but I used to be…..” In short, they are a PIP.
PIP status isn’t linked to grade and salary achieved. A person didn’t have to be a big cheese, chairman or professional in their career. Whatever their level, what they were was someone who was important in the eyes of the world by virtue of their place as a contributing, valued individual.
Retirement strips people of that value and recognition. Above and beyond financial reward, it is what drives many to want to keep on working.
Mark Freedman’s blog: http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/05/outsourcing_the_old_folks.html