June 9, 2011
Leaving Your Legacy
After years – or decades – in the workplace, the ability to retire comfortably is a welcomed relief. But when looking back on a long career, most want to feel they’ve made lasting improvements to the company and more. So, how do you leave a legacy?
“You can’t start talking about legacy at the end,” Sharon Allen, recently retired chairman of the board at Deloitte, tells PINK. “Essentially, it gets built over time with every action throughout the course of your career.” Allen was a pioneer during her 38 years at Deloitte. She was the first female to hold several positions in the company – her proudest being when she was elected by her peers as chairman of the board.
“My hope is that I’ll leave a legacy that supports focusing on a professional culture that allows all to excel, and women in particular.” While she’s had many firsts at Deloitte, Allen says she’s equally focused on making sure women are next in line behind her.
When pondering your legacy, experts suggest not focusing on mistakes or missed opportunities, developing strong successors and maintaining the valuable relationships you’ve made along the way. Plus, consider the positive difference you’ve made on the world.
For women who want to keep working on their legacy after retirement, “It’s never too late to be who you might’ve been,” Allen says.
Bonus PINK Link: Many women are rethinking retirement altogether. Here’s why.
By Caroline Cox
"You can't leave a footprint that lasts if
you're always walking on tiptoe." Marion Blakey