Thursday, February 11, 2010

Rationalizing Dual Identities

I’m retired from the corporate rat race, and yet I have established a consulting practice, Haropulos Bailey Consulting. Occasionally, this dual identity profile I have espoused becomes a little awkward to maintain. The issue is really my online presence.

I have a single Google profile and two Blogs. This blog allows me to ramble about my transition to retired life. The other is a professional blog (, in which I expound upon business and career-related subjects. So, am I retired or am I a consultant? The answer is either “Neither” or “Both”.

Assuming that my plans pan out, I don’t ever again have to be a corporate minion. (No offense – that worked out pretty well for me for almost 30 years.) But it doesn’t mean I will never work again. I truly am excited with the idea of applying my experience and brain to short-term assignments on behalf of others. I want to consult on hospitality, customer service, and marketing/communications challenges. My yet-to-be-incorporated company, Haropulos Bailey Consulting, is intended to provide an identity around the services I have to offer.

I’ve done just a little consulting to date, with a former colleague I've known a long time, who is an exec with a company here in Chicago. I hope to do a little more, with other smart people who I respect and like. It’s time to create a web site and reach out to possible clients with a little marketing. A few hours or days here and there of man-behind-the-curtain action would be perfect. My ego no longer has need of the spotlight.

So I’d better think about how to reconcile my retired identity and my consultant identity online. If you Google Laurel Haropulos Bailey, you see evidence of both. Being “retired” could easily adversely affect people’s perception of the seriousness of my interest in consulting. I think the answer is to tweak my online identity as a retired person, and rationalize it with my consulting identity. But how?

Suggestions, anyone?


  1. You might try a different word than "retired" to describe your escape from corporate utopia ;-)

    For exampe, you could say "bought out by corporate america early" or "took the money and ran while still young enough to enjoy it" instead of "retired early." Retired early sounds like you went to bed at 8pm. ;-)

    Just some thoughts. We can noodle it over some more if none of these options appeal to you.

  2. Perhaps categorizing your life journey as personal and professional vs. retired and professional. What does retired really mean? Short for really tired (re-tired) of where you have been and want a new start?
    Anne Cole

  3. Got lots of great suggestions. Ended up changing my blog name to Runaway Boomer!