In this TED Talk, Brendan Murray delves into the issue of losing one’s sense of identity upon retirement. Murray shares his personal experience of feeling lost after retiring, as his career and work had previously defined his identity. However, he realised that his identity was not solely tied to what he did, but rather to what he had achieved.

Murray discusses how work provides a clear framework for creating wins and feeling satisfied with a job well done. After retiring, he had to search for ways to recreate that sense of achievement and progress. He emphasizes the importance of finding activities that provide a sense of accomplishment, no matter how small. Murray suggests that focusing on personal goals, whether they be fitness or creative pursuits, can help individuals regain a sense of purpose and identity.

Overall, Murray’s talk highlights the need for retirees to actively work on creating a new sense of identity outside of their careers. By focusing on personal accomplishments and goals, retirees can find fulfillment and meaning in their post-work lives.

Brendan Murray took early retirement in May 2017 after a successful career of 39 years in software development. During the last 25 years of his career, he worked at IBM Ireland where he designed and developed industry-leading software, and was elected to the prestigious IBM Academy of Technology.

Murray also represented IBM on the Unicode Consortium and the Java Community Process, which led to him being invited to speak at numerous conferences around the world, including the Unicode Conferences and JavaOne in San Francisco.

Murray’s impressive career achievements serve as a testament to his expertise and accomplishments in the field of software development. His decision to retire early and pursue a new sense of identity and purpose underscores the importance of redefining oneself after retirement and finding fulfilment in new pursuits.

Photo by RODNAE Productions

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