My time in the service was just okay. I never felt like I completely fit in, but I was very successful. I did not make friends easily and always concentrated on my work, often to the detriment of my family and personal affairs. My goal was to get as much rank as I could by the time I retired in order to maximize my retirement pay.
When I didn't care enough to keep up with all the changes that were happening in the Navy, the rules, the technology, and the paperwork, I knew it was time to retire. I got tired of the job and badly needed a change of scenery, of responsibility and of people. When the day came that I thought I could live on my retirement, I "put in my papers."
Now my job with city government came about by accident. I was working "temporary" jobs and was sent out for an assignment with the city that lasted three months at forty hours a week. By the time that assignment was over, I had "fit in" with the people and the routines. The processes were similar to the Navy, but without the rank formalities. There was less paperwork and fewer rules. The pay and benefits were pretty decent compared to the local economy, so I applied for a permanent position and was hired. The best part of the job was that I had absolutely no supervisory duties. Unlike the Navy, nobody worked for me. I wasn't responsible for how others did their jobs. I was pretty content. After eleven years I reached age 60 and decided it was again time to retire. The age of 60 was when I was allowed to immediately begin drawing my retirement pay, so that was when I knew it was time to retire.
Ten "clues" that it might be time to retire (based on a lot of my own experiences in other jobs too).
1. You decline to attend training that is offered because it is optional.
2. You rarely have anything to offer at staff meetings.
3. Supervisors begin to ignore you.
4. Subordinates begin to circumvent you.
5. You feel like your are intentionally being "left out of the loop."
6. The quirks of fellow workers become irritations.
7. You can't imagine spending time with co-workers away from the job too.
8. You turn down invitations to after-hour drinks or group lunches with co-workers.
9. Co-workers don't invite you to their home social events, and you prefer it that way.
10. You detect that co-workers stop talking when you approach.
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