Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Pomp & Circumstance
I’m packing my suitcase to attend my daughter’s college graduation. It seems like yesterday when she was deciding which college to attend and now, four years have flown by. During her college life, she would call with snippets of happenings about her classes, long hours at the library, writing a big paper, summer job prospects, preparing for study abroad, and the like. I’ll miss those conversations. Now, it’s time to step out into the “real world,” but first a little POMP!
After Commencement, there are parties, dinners, photographs, yearbooks, gifts and well wishes. It’s a right of passage, a send-off. Our sons and daughters are moving on and stepping into adulthood, and some of us as adults are graduating as well.
Graduation always does it to me. Graduation is about endings and beginnings, doors closing and opening. Soon I will hear the tunes of the familiar march, Pomp and Circumstance, which is virtually synonymous with graduation exercises in North America. Pomp and Circumstance brings images of graduates processing in flowing gowns with mortarboards with tassels swaying.
After the POMP comes the CIRCUMSTANCE, which can look differently as the graduates move forward with their life plans. For most, it’s employment, employment search, military or more school. It will be a time of new places, new independence, new people, new assignments, new opportunities and new challenges.
Life is a series of becoming, arriving and ending. We spend years preparing for the destination and often arrive at the destination only to repeat the process or find ourselves dissatisfied with the destination. It is said that life is about “the journey.” These words ring true as we know that a diploma or degree marks the beginning of lifelong learning. Many will take their life experiences and benefits to reenter the workplace or return for more training. People change jobs and careers several times or more in life. Change is more of the rule rather than the exception. Some people in their 40’s and 50’s with established careers are finding themselves back in the beginning stages again. In some cases, they find themselves competing with the new graduates except they have 25 years of experience, a full resume, well-honed skills, a proven work record and often, a family and mortgage. In today’s job market, nothing is certain.
Yes, grads, enjoy the POMP as CIRCUMSTANCES will weave in and out of your career. As the Boy Scout motto says, “be prepared” and may I add, continue to prepare, avoid complacency. Change is the future.