The first stage of post-corporate life


This illustration helped me preserve my sanity back in 2001 when Sun Microsystems began a series of gyrations that culminated in the shedding of senior employees.

It was an amazing inspiration to me and remains so today. I am trying to locate the illustrator so I can order copies of this illustration and give the artist appropriate credit.

I saw this as a portrayal of a businessman opting out of the frenzy of corporate life, discarding shoes, tie and briefcase to sit barefoot on the beach in the afternoon sun. His plane is taking off without him and he is happily contemplating an alternative future.

I found this illustration on a greeting card and it jumped out at me as a more desirable life than the one i was living. I though how great it would be if I could experience that feeling of freedom. I didn’t know how soon I would get to see it firsthand.

Within a short period of time, I and 450 other senior employees were jettisoned from Sun. I knew that at age 67, I needed a change of venue, because my 50-year-old compatriots were getting rebuffed at every turn. Gretchen and I spent a long weekend in Pacific Grove deciding what I was going to do for the rest of my life. The result was the beginning of  my post-corporate existence.

This illustration has hung over my desk as a reminder that separating from a group is not the end of life. It can be the beginning of a new and better one. The trick is finding a game that you really want to play, and staying away from games that are controlled by those who crave power.

If I were to put a caption to this illustration, it would be: "This is the life! Sometime soon, maybe next week, I should find an internet connection… :)"

If anyone can identify the illustrator, I would be very appreciative.

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