From "Farewell" to "See You Later"
This struck me as a valuable and logical way for EHS professionals to remain connected with organizations that once relied on their knowledge and skills. It neatly augments the value gained from connections made through professional organizations like NAEM. When I informally checked in with a few members of my professional network who had retired from or exited their companies within the last 3-5 years, I found that professional connections with former colleagues were almost nonexistent. In the few cases contact was made, the opportunities were far from stimulating — like short term assignments in locations where current employees didn't want to go.
What do you think of this opportunity? If your company has a connection with former EHS colleagues and engages with them, well done. Please do what you can to strengthen connections. If nothing exists where you work, then please consider initiating something. Start by inviting a few EHS pioneers to a lunch with your work group. If my experience is replicated, they will be spellbound listening to amazing people describe the EHS challenges of yesteryear and how they met them with perseverance and ingenuity. People will leave energized. Let's expose people to this history while we can. As people leave your EHS organization, remember to reinforce that it's not "farewell" but "see you later."