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Nov 1, 201812:43 PMExit Stage Right

with Martha Sullivan

What will your last job change be?

(page 2 of 2)

3. Engage early

It takes times to build relationships. Further, it takes time to establish your credibility in any effort. It’s rare to arrive in a new situation and have the exact role you want right out of the gate. If you want to go on a trip, you first have to put gas in the tank. This is no different.

For example, I have an idea related to Alzheimer’s. Companies face a coming tsunami related to the disease. It will fiercely impact customers and employees. How should a company prepare? How can I help?

A few years ago, all I had to draw on was my personal experience with the disease. I got involved with the local Alzheimer’s Association chapter and now know the team there and serve on the board. I’ve attended conferences to learn more. I talk about the topic when I can. Those are baby steps, but I’m engaging at a level that makes sense for where I am at right now.

4. Establish pipelines

Baby steps create a pipeline. By the time I have the freedom and capacity to do more, I’ll have relationships and knowledge I can leverage. If you do the same, people will know you and your strengths, and you will know them and theirs. These experiences become the path that leads us forward.

If you start these steps now, you’ll form these bonds and pipelines while still viewed as vital and a contributor. There’s an unacknowledged, unwarranted stigma to the “retired” label. Whether in a retiree’s or another’s mind, there can be a sense of “I/you used to be someone.” When relationships and pipelines exist prior to retirement, there’s a stronger probability that the transition into your new job (aka, life after a paycheck) will be easier and possibly seamless.

Job changes are exciting and hard. Your last job and life after a paycheck are what you create. You’re in the driver’s seat. Start planning your trip.


Did you participate in the Wisconsin Owner Readiness Survey? Curious about the results? Join us at the Wisconsin Owners Forum being hosted by the Wisconsin Chapter of the Exit Planning Institute on the afternoon of Nov. 7.

For more information and to register, visit:

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About This Blog

Spending half her career as an advisor to privately-held and family businesses and the other half in CFO/COO roles, Martha Sullivan is a partner and the succession planning practice leader in the business transition strategies group at Honkamp, Krueger & Co., P.C. She and her team have extensive experience assisting business owners achieve their personal, business, and transition goals. “Don’t think of the 'exit' from your business like it’s a four-letter word. Make it your next adventure!”



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