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What Will Your Retirement Video Be Like? Three Tips from Matt Bonner.

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By Joe Casey

What could you possibly have in common with a 36-year-old 6-foot-10 NBA player?


His most likely arrived earlier than yours. However, he went out with a nice flourish – a Retirement Video.

Matt Bonner is a professional basketball player, who just retired from the San Antonio Spurs after a 12-year career. While he was never a ‘star’, he was a deadly 3-point shooter and played on two NBA championship teams. He also has a great sense a humor (his blog is titled ‘The Sandwich Hunter: The Quest for the Hoagie Grail”).

When he decided, it was time to retire last week, the typical press release was not the way he wanted to go. Instead he created a short video.

Bonner bypassed the media, distributing it directly via The Players’ Tribune, the media platform created by retired baseball player Derek Jeter.

While his was intended to be humorous, it’s a great idea- at least to think about. So, while you may have a nicely-worded, approved email or notice posted by your boss or HR, a Retirement Video will give you more freedom to express your thoughts to your friends and colleagues. Bonner’s retirement video gives a few pointers to keep in mind:

  1. Use Humor

The best part of Bonner’s video was the quip from the janitor:

“Bonner? I thought he retired years ago…”

It’s a good reminder to keep it on the self-deprecating channel – it’s not a good time to take parting shots that you may regret.

  1. Show Gratitude

None of us gets to the retirement phase without a ton of help from many people. Bonner takes time to appreciate and thank many people who helped him along the way, including fans in

many cities, who he probably never personally met.

  1. Be Future Focused

Perhaps the most important element is focusing on the future as well as the past. Even if your future plans are uncertain, retirement is a beginning, not just an end. Set the tone that you are excited about the possibilities that your next chapter may bring.

Ten years ago, during my HR career, I followed an interesting blogger @Kris Dunn, who asked once:

What song would they play before you came into a meeting, like they do when a baseball player comes up to bat?

Thanks to Matt Bonner, we can now ask:

What will your video be like, when you decide it’s time to hang’ em up?


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