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Old 07-17-2021, 08:53 AM   #21
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I'm Facebook friends with a handful of former co-workers. I keep in touch on occasion by email with a smaller subset of those people. That's about it the extent of my ongoing "friendship." This subject has been discussed before on this site. I think the vast majority find that once employment ends, so do those supposed friendships.
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Old 07-17-2021, 10:41 AM   #22
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The few folks I wanted to maintain contact with are connected via Facebook.
I've had lunch several times with a couple of them, but most of those work relationships are exactly that, past work acquaintances, not friends.
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Old 07-17-2021, 02:01 PM   #23
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OP here. Thanks for all the responses. I guess perhaps retirement tests whether these were transactional relationships or real friendships. If they were the former, they are likely to disappear; if they were the latter; then they might well persist. So I guess time will tell.
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Old 07-17-2021, 02:52 PM   #24
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Pre-Covid, after retirement, there were 3 slightly overlapping work groups I kept in touch with, as they had regular get togethers that were open for me to attend. All of the groups said they might start back up again i August or September. One of them revolved around a golf tournament, I'm really hoping that one gets back on track .


However, the majority of my work contacts were remote, due to the nature of my job (working with Megacorp offices and clients world wide) and being one of the early work-from-home groups (partially around 2009 and fully starting in 2015). When I retired I sent an email to many of them and I keep my linkedin profile active, as that tis the main source of contact. Not many initiate conversations, but If I do (e.g. congratulating someone when I am notified of a promotion/job change/job anniversary/birthday, or they post something interesting), they respond and ask how I am doing, and we catch up a bit. I am fine with that.
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Old 07-17-2021, 03:38 PM   #25
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I've never retired so I don't have that perspective, but I have moved on from certain roles from my younger years, and have been a little taken aback when a former "close friend" (work associates) seemed chillingly silent when I saw him years later.

But, as I have gotten some more perspective, I realize that while I may have had a rapport with that person, certain relationships do have a season, rather than being true lifelong friendships.
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Old 07-17-2021, 03:57 PM   #26
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I'm a retired property-casualty actuary and did have many professional friendships with colleagues and former colleagues all over the US. I'm on LinkedIn with most of them, FB with a few and I did attend two meetings of my professional society after retirement. One was in Toronto, a city I particularly enjoy; another was in a less-desirable destination but I was getting an award. I also attended a could of regional meetings that were in the town where DS, DDIL and my grandchildren live.

I did run into some people I knew and enjoyed that but had less interest in the educational sessions; many went too deep into the weeds of theoretical math, which is like a foreign language where you have to work to keep up fluency. I haven't. The consulting and rainmaker types were cordial but got away as quickly as they could- I was of little use to them.

A big drawback was when they stopped letting retired members register for free because too many baby boomers were retiring and showing up at meetings to guzzle the free booze and chow down on hors d'oeuvres at the evening receptions.

So for me most of them have faded away and I'm OK with that. I loved what I did but I left it 7 years ago.
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Old 07-17-2021, 08:22 PM   #27
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As I started thinking about this question, I was surprised at how many old work friends I am still actively involved with. DW and I are very close friends with one couple I used to work with. They FIREd in 2003, and I FIREd in2006. They visit our house at the MD shore for a few weeks every year. We spend a lot of time together when they are down in FL for a couple months. I stop by to play guitar with him and some other friends when I'm nearby, and we go to music festivals together too. They're probably our closest friends.

I've got another friend from work that is a poster on this site. We talk on the phone every week or three, plus emails and such. We occasionally get together for dinner or whatever, at least pre-Covid.

I've got 4 other work friends I go camping with a couple of times a year. Not too much contact otherwise, but we've been doing this for over 30 years, so I'd definitely count it as friendships.

That's a lot of enduring friendships that were based on common interests but created out of the job environment. Surprising.
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Old 07-18-2021, 04:20 AM   #28
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They pretty much ended for me. I would guess that they are more important to you than to me.
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Old 07-18-2021, 05:03 AM   #29
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Through my career, I went from one assignment to another, so was used to professional relationships that went dormant with each going-away lunch. I did the amount of networking necessary to get each next assignment, including my post-retirement gig, which is now long past.

I keep up with a few ex-coworkers on FB, who share similar interests, or just like each other as people. Work is never discussed.
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Old 07-18-2021, 05:07 AM   #30
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When I've switched jobs, there are usually a very small handful of people at the previous employer who have ever reached out, except for ones I had already made lasting friendships with. Those who have reached out usually do so because they either want some career advice because they're still early in their career, they might be asking for a job reference for their next job, or they're actually looking for that next job and want to know if I'm hiring. Once retired, the last one will of course disappear quickly and I expect the first two to face within a year or two.

Regardless, on my "it's been good to have worked with you" spam email on my last day, I usually give out my personal email to those whom I would ever care to hear from again.

Cheers
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Old 07-18-2021, 06:44 AM   #31
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Only retired two months but I do not see any real friendships coming out of people I worked with in my last job and I was there 17 years. There is one person I am still friends with from my very first professional job but we mostly exchange Christmas cards and a yearly phone call now. The few jobs between the first and the last have resulted in a handful of Facebook 'friends' and I may run into one from time to time but that's about it.

In the past two months 3 people have contacted me. 1) My old boss with a work related matter and 2) two people I managed who said they missed me. Later this year DH and I are going on vacation and will see two of my co-workers who retired before me. One lives in the area and one is coming out from across the country with her extended family so we are going to have dinner since we will be crossing paths. Wouldn't fly across country to have lunch with them but certainly don't mind having a nice dinner and catching up.

One of the best parts of retiring was removing all of the consultants we had from my social media. TBH I didn't care for many of them and knew they were only befriending me to see if it would help them stay on the contract. Happy to move on and focus on relationships that actually matter to me.
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Old 07-18-2021, 06:07 PM   #32
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I FIREd one year ago. Recently, I attended a picnic for my retiring former supervisor. I had some good conversations but not strong feelings that I miss these people I worked with for nearly five years in that gig. Just acquaintances.
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Old 07-18-2021, 07:16 PM   #33
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I am a professor with a lot of publications. When I retire next year at 58 (very early for a professor), I am going to live a life without any professional connections.
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Old 07-19-2021, 03:01 PM   #34
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I am a professor with a lot of publications. When I retire next year at 58 (very early for a professor), I am going to live a life without any professional connections.


Is that because you don’t like the people with whom you had professional connections? Do you feel like those relationships were “just work”?

Or because you just want to start life over in that sense?

Or something else?
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Old 07-19-2021, 03:38 PM   #35
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I retired about 5-1/2 years ago. Pre-Covid, we had a retiree luncheon every 2 weeks. Anywhere from 8 to 24 people would attend, and usually a few "retiree's in training". Since Covid, no one has taken the initiative to restart the lunches, so I guess it is probably over.

Last I heard, the company is being sold (again) to a venture capital group. Glad I got out when I did.
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Old 07-19-2021, 09:00 PM   #36
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I worked at the same place for 33 years and "grew up" with a lot of people. We went to each other's weddings, played on sports teams, met for drinks, etc. I've been retired for 5 years now and am still friends with several former co-workers. In fact, today I played golf with 3 of them.
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Old 07-19-2021, 11:49 PM   #37
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Those will evaporate, immediately. And you'll realize, sadly maybe, that they were never real friendships to begin with. They were a means to an end. Just as contracts came and went throughout your career, when your company ended business with another, sure, you'd still catch a coffee with that account VP at a conference but not quite the same (and the coffee only happened because they hoped to keep a foothold). I might sound cynical, but hey, that's what it is. Transactional relationships - even those that jump that definition a bit - are still severed when the transaction ends.

I had many meaningful connections with various folks, travelled with them, broke bread, worked together for years, but when their company or mine severed, fond moments, etc, poof - and that's when I was still working. I managed a lot of stuff that my MC outsourced so I was the relationship owner for a lot of key contracts. Lots of mutual schmoozing for years makes for lots of friends. And when I RE'd? Eh, maybe a hit on linkedin every now and then.

That's ok for me though, they were using me and I was using them (and I probably couldn't have said that at the time, or even 1-2 years after retiring). Not in a mean spirited way, but a relationship built on a means-to-an-end does not survive when those means are no longer included.
Yes, a bit rough but true.

My work friends, we emailed each other and would get together near work for lunch on a workday, but over a couple of years it waned and ended.

I had seen the same thing when working there from the perspective of one of the employees, a fellow who left months ago joined us for lunch but he was out of the loop for our conversations and stuff he talked about didn't resonate with us.

Reality is, they aren't work friends, they are work associates, and once I stopped working there was no need to associate so it ended.

It's like neighbors, I can talk to the same neighbor for 20 years, but once they move away 5 miles, I'll never see them again, unless by accident.
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Old 07-20-2021, 02:15 AM   #38
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Many of our closest friends are people I worked with 20-30 years ago at Megacorp. I left there in 2006 when Megacorp moved out of So CA. When I get together with friends I first met there, rarely if ever do we discuss our work experiences there. We’ve all moved on but have remained close friends.

There are very few people I keep in regular contact with from my most recent job. Although I was there for 10 years, I never socialized much with colleagues outside of work. The people I do keep in contact with from there are either people outside the company that I worked with occasionally or people who have since left the company. I’m fine with that as obviously they were professional relationships rather than true friendships.
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Old 07-20-2021, 06:21 AM   #39
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Yes, a bit rough but true.

My work friends, we emailed each other and would get together near work for lunch on a workday, but over a couple of years it waned and ended...
To be clear, the OP wasn't asking about work friends - day to day colleagues in your same company. Rather, clients, relationship owners in other firms, across the industry. The kind you do contracts with, outsource and insource to and from, meet with at conferences and such.

By their very nature, to be successful in these roles, people learn to form fast bonds and create friendships. The "I like them" factor is not tiny when it comes to getting agreements and purchases and such. There's no overlap with your real life because you rarely live in the same town. Their spouse hasn't met your partner, etc.

Those are the ones that are ephemeral.
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Old 07-20-2021, 07:10 AM   #40
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I don't have a crystal ball or Tarot cards but since these are people who are all over the country then I see this as an easy prediction. Even if they were in the same company from which you retire then time and lack of the working relationship will take its toll in time.


Cheers!
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