Q. I am a retired CEO of a manufacturing company with an unusual problem, at least for me. Recently I looked in my closet and made a count: 8 pairs of dress shoes, 38 dress shirts, 55 ties, 14 pairs of pants, too many suits and more. I don't need all these clothes. It's not that I don't use them again, but it seems like it's a life of clothes that I don't need. I find it hard to get most of this out of my closet and out the front door. Any ideas or advice? B.J.
Congratulations for asking this question. In the past, women asked a question related to the reduction of personnel, books or clothing. My guess is that men have similar discard problems, but they are able to discuss it less openly compared to women.
There is more to this story than just clothes. His professional wardrobe is a tangible reminder of his previous role, one of vision, impulse, commitment, influence and power. A role respected by employees, business colleagues and the community.
It's easy to think that the leadership and business skills you have will make costume decisions a made deal. That is not the case for what clothing represents. It is his past life that may have taken between 60 and 90 percent of his time.
We are talking about transition and change and of profit and loss in a new stage of life. Unfortunately, there is no playbook specifically for CEOs about what some might call the mundane issue of reducing the size of a male professional power closet.
Here are some questions to keep in mind that at first it may seem that they have little to do with one's wardrobe.
How do I feel about not being the CEO? It is likely that this new stage of life is a dramatic change in the schedules and demands of your manufacturing company. Do you feel the losses that could accompany this change? That could be feelings of not being needy or dependent. It may be the discomfort of not having a schedule or lack of purpose or social contacts, including many lunches. It may be that no one asks for advice. At the same time, you can feel relief from the stress of your previous position and welcome the free time to do what you want, when you want to do it. You could even welcome the opportunity to have no alarm in the morning.
Am I satisfied with how I spend my time? Are you spending time on what is important to you? What are you doing makes you feel good? What does it mean to you at this stage of life? And then how do you find out? Compliance can come from traveling, spending time with family, friends and grandchildren to start an encore career, volunteer, take courses or even start a band. For the winners, it is not important to be the best, the fastest, the most successful or to excel at anything. The shareholders are not looking and nobody keeps the account. And there is no competition.
Do i feel useful This may be one of the biggest challenges in retirement, particularly if the previous position had status and a strong sense of purpose. One way to start is to find a cause that interests you. That could be disadvantaged youth, homeless people, climate change, social justice and more. If you have political inclinations, explore the opportunities. Think about advising others in your profession or business in general.
Now go back to your closet. I guess if I were clear and satisfied with the answers to these questions, it would be less difficult to clean the closet. Clothes are symbolic of the past and how we deal with the past and move into the present and the future. It is a process that takes time.
"If people cling to items that survive their usefulness, they can keep their energy tied to the past, holding people back, making them less open to new things that are presented to them," says Debra Frank, certified professional organizer at Manhattan Beach. and productivity consultant. .
Here is a source for your clothes: Workingwardrobes.org; Click on the Success Institute button.
Thanks, B.J. For your sincere question. The transition you are probably experiencing requires some time and a thoughtful task. Keep in mind that the space you create not only has real estate value, but also leaves room for what follows.