By Shawn Conrad, CAE

When I graduated from college, I was eager to find a job, earn a paycheck, and see what opportunities might lie ahead. It had to be the right company and the right career, because I knew I would be there a long time; my father and his four brothers worked for one company an average of 35+ years. They set the example of what I thought a career was.

On the first day of my new job, I was introduced to Richard, who said something that has stuck with me since that day. He told me he had 14 years, three months, and 21 days left until he could retire. This was how he greeted a new staff member. I thought it was odd at the time, but the more I thought about that statement, the more I realized that he probably spent the better part of his day counting down the time until he could stop working. Truth is, after getting to know him better, I believe he stopped working full-time long before he made that statement.

Fast-forward 38 years and four “careers” later, I am reminded of Richard but in a completely different way. A few weeks ago, IPMI closed our Call for Volunteers–volunteers who share their expertise and passion to better their industry. A groundswell of parking and mobility professionals checked the box of a committee or project they were eager to work on. What amazed me was that the list included many people in the beginning phases of their careers, but a strong number were seasoned professionals in the latter parts of their careers. By the look of things, they still had more to give, more to share, and a desire to learn more from their peers. They certainly were not counting down the hours to their retirement. For that and more, we are grateful.

Shawn Conrad, CAE, is IPMI’s CEO.