Monday, November 28, 2022
I received a letter from one of my longest-time friends, Linda. She remembers that we first met 54 years ago when she arrived from California to take a position in the Kansas City organization that employed me. I was a general office worker and shocked at Linda’s role as a full staff member, equal to the organization’s all-male other managers. In those days gender-mutual roles were unheard of.
She came with credentials then rare for a young woman. She held a Master’s Degree, had traveled in Europe, and had been a staffer for a legislator who represented a major eastern state. I was amazed that a young woman wasn’t a general office worker, and we became friends.
My working credentials were a high school diploma and rapid typing skills. Linda’s letter recalls that my best hope for becoming self-supporting was eventually to be a private secretary.
Linda had a key attribute that I lacked: self-confidence. While we worked together or just hung out, she encouraged me to rethink becoming educated, to re-imagine my goals. That nudging started me toward formal education. Through the years, Linda encouraged and supported my efforts. As she predicted, each educational achievement opened new working opportunities and raised my life goals.
Her letter points out that working during my retirement has meant my taking entry-level roles. Those have taught me new skills that the local economy demands. She correctly points out that continuing to work brings more learning and achieving. Those are life skills she encouraged me to gain and they have served me well.
Dear Friends: Job-hunting is a game for retirees to re-learn because ageism is a huge issue. Diana