The Art of Transition

By L. Dennis Burns, CAPP

One thing we can probably all agree on is that change is a constant. While there is nothing new in this observation, I am currently experiencing a new perspective on it. After nearly four decades in the parking profession, I find myself planning for retirement. This new wrinkle (no pun intended) has me thinking differently about a lot of things, but mostly I am focused on transitions.

Webster defines “transition” as:

1a: Passage from one state, stage, subject, or place to another : change.

b: A movement, development, or evolution from one form, stage, or style to another.

2a: A musical passage leading from one section of a piece to another.

I am fortunate to work for a great company that appreciates and values my contributions. When I approached them with my ideas on a three-year retirement transition plan, they embraced the idea. The plan involves staff recruitment and training, client transitions, and collecting, organizing, and sharing a career’s worth of data and best practices, etc. Just thinking through a transition plan (whether in a personal or professional setting) creates some interesting shifts in perspective.

Rather than planning for the next big thing and developing strategies on how to stay relevant in a dynamic and fast-changing industry (which will always be important), you now imagine developing and implementing these new approaches without you in the picture. While this can be a little unnerving, it can also be quite liberating. Letting go is difficult for some but I have found myself excited by the energy, skills, creativity, and passion of our young professionals.

I rather like the allusion to the musical passage in the Webster definition above. As an analogy, I can almost hear the change in key and cadence and feel a shift in tone and focus in my life these days. I feel honored to have had the opportunities that this industry and my many friends and colleagues have provided over the years.

Even though I am entering a new career phase, this is not a time to only look back. The challenges and opportunities for advancing our profession are more exciting now than ever—so it’s on to the next challenge! (If I could only find my darned glasses!)

L. Dennis Burns, CAPP, is regional vice president, senior practice builder, with Kimley-Horn.

1 thought on “The Art of Transition

  1. Dennis
    I am one of many who have been lucky enough to know you. You are by far, to me, the best adviser in the parking industry. Your desire to share your years of experience is aligned to your personal mission to further the knowledge to us mere mortals in the parking world. You may look like you are retired and having fun, but you will always have parking on the back of your mind. Oh yes, and taking wonderful pictures of you travels to share with us all.

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