Author: William Dupley
In 2019 I retired. For 35 years of my 42 years working career, I worked at Hewlett-Packard. I loved working there. As a result of working there, I was able to provide for my family and my future. I deeply enjoyed the people I worked with and have many great memories of being a part of such a great company. However, recently I experienced something I was unfamiliar with: I felt loss.
I was looking at a map of Cupertino and noticed how the new Apple headquarters has completely covered up Hewlett-Packard’s Cupertino campus. There’s no evidence that Hewlett-Packard was ever there, and I felt sadness. I have many fond memories of working there in the Executive Briefing center.
I then looked at the 1501 Page Mill Road Hewlett-Packard headquarters in Palo Alto that we lovingly referred to as Galactica headquarters, and I noticed that half the complex now belongs to Tesla. Again, I felt loss.
I had to wonder why is it after retiring for so long that I would feel this sense of grief, and it is my practice when I don’t know why I feel the way I do, I talk to God, and I feel he speaks to me through a flow of thoughts that come to my mind. I decided to share some of this with you today because some of you may also be experiencing workplace loss.
Why do I feel such loss when I look at the HP Cupertino facility? Why do I feel like crying?
This is what I felt the Lord told me
HP was a big part of your life and your identity. You loved being part of it. You put your whole heart into working for them. You were proud to be a part of a great company. You feel loss because it is no more. It has been erased from the ground it once occupied. This is a very common feeling among people who love their job and the camaraderie they experience in their company. You can relate to how others feel. Many people that are retired feel this way. You now know how they feel. You can relate to their feelings of loss.
You have a role in my kingdom to help my children deal with heartaches like this, but you must deal with it yourself first. Here are some steps to deal with your sense of loss.
- Thank me for the opportunity you had to work at HP and for the joy you experienced there.
- Thank me for the joy you had being a part of an innovative company and the many friends you had.
- Thank me for the provision you received from that company.
- Thank me for the feeling of accomplishment that you experienced there
Son, I sent you to HP because I knew it was a good place for you. I also took you out of there before it collapsed. I protected you from the pain you would have gone through if you had stayed. HP was changing, son, and it would have taken a great toll on you if you had stayed. I took you out before that happened
Son, be thankful I did that. The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord. You are a good man that I love.
These few words have helped me to deal with this sense of loss. It changed my perspective. Instead of romancing the past and embracing the grief, I have chosen to embrace these steps I feel the Lord gave me and give thanks for the wonderful experiences and people I grew to know and love working at HP. I suggest if you are struggling with the same feelings that I have experienced that, you take the same steps as I did.
The truth is all companies have changed. No company is like it was in the 1980s and 1990s. I had the privilege of working in the computer industry during a time of tremendous transition. Inventions were high, profits were high, and anything seemed possible, and although the computer industry is still fascinating, that golden age of transformation is over. When I started working, we were still using tubes. 64K of memory was the maximum memory you could put in a PC. A 10 MB hard drive was the size of a case of beer. A 600 MB hard drive was the size of a washing machine. There is now more power in my phone than in the biggest computers at that time.
I love to reminisce and look at some of the old technology, but I cannot live in the past. The future is still ahead. Just because we have retired does not mean our life is over
When I retired to
When I retired I read a book called: “Refire! Don’t Retire: Make the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life” by Ken Blanchard. It is an excellent book that has many great ideas. I recommend it to anyone who is retired.
Examples of refired people
I want to tell you about a few people that have refired, not retired, to give you a few ideas of what is possible.
I know a man who was a partner in a large investment firm in Toronto. When he retired, he invested in other people and provided leadership for a non-profit organization. Garth has written an excellent book called “More than your Business card.” He is also writing blogs for the business community.
Brian is 70 years old and has started several companies. But unlike most of us who moved away from the business world, he has moved to Texas and started another company. He reminds me of Col. Saunders, who, at 65, was out of work and only had a government pension. He looked at what he had in his hand and started the Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise business.
Fred was a pastor, but he retired from the pastorate and went to work at a local university. He became a professor and prepared the next generation of pastors until he was 75.
My wife Susan worked in the medical industry her entire working career, but she’s also an avid crafter. She will teach children and adults how to sew at a local art school this month. She’s transferring her skills to the next generation as well as to her generation.
I have always had an itinerary of Christian ministry and have been on five continents preaching and leading worship with my wife for the last 35 years. I have found that mentoring others has been a tremendous joy. It’s a joy to share and invest in others’ lives. I’m currently mentoring several young men all over the world. This month I will be teaching a course via zoom and delivering seminars in two different churches. I also just published my first novel, “The Challenge,” which is my fourth book, and weekly I get together with a group of musicians and play music together for fun.
One of my favorite quotes is by W. Edwards Deming, the father of Quality control techniques. He said
“It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.”
Most of us will live much longer than our parents due to medical advances in the last few years. As a result, we need to consider how we will invest the next 10, 20 30 years of our lives after we stop working. I wrote a blog in April called “ Carpe Diem: Seize the Day, Today, not Tomorrow,” I described more ideas on how to start living life to the fullest.
Be thankful for your past experiences but don’t live there. There’s much more for you to do today.
About the Author: William Dupley
Bill and Sue Dupley have been ministering for over 35 years, preaching and leading worship on five continents. Together they minister renewal and teach adults and children how to hear the voice of God. Bill and Sue believe that the supernatural should be natural for all believers and that every believer can impact their world for the Kingdom of God as they hear God’s will and follow His leading.
Bill and Sue are certified facilitators for Communion with God Ministries and are affiliated with Singing Waters Ministries. They have conducted seminars at Catch the Fire, Mission Fest, Releasers of Life, Iris Ministries, Singing Waters, and many other global churches. Their passion is for God’s family to know their Heavenly Father and to hear His voice so that they may live in the fullness of the gifts and the freedom that Jesus bought for them. You can contact them at: firstname.lastname@example.org