As Closing Sessions at the conference go, this is one I won’t forget in a hurry!
After an inspiring Ignite session curated by the brilliant Michele Bramstoft, we broke for tea and cake… a EuRA birthday cake! Susana Bourne of Antares Relocation wanted to wish EuRA a very happy birthday and did so by organising a huge and rather wonderful cake complete with sparklers! And apart from being quite spectacular, it was also absolutely delicious! The copious amounts left over were packed up and given to the hotel teams for their families and the students of the Marina Drzica school, our 2018 charity.
Our inspiring keynote address was from Jim “Spider” Marks, a former two start general in the US Army and now in his second career, as a leadership coach specialising in career transition, basically retirement! In his address he looked at the three stages of how we define ourselves in our work, and how that impacts on us when we stop. We spend the first 20 years of our lives figuring out who we are and the next 40 defining what we are, by our careers, and our status in terms of our work. But when work ends, we have to figure out just who we are again, without the psychological framework of our status, formed over decades of career. Jim’s address is on our YouTube channel in full - just click here.
As is the tradition at EuRA, there are a few vital bits of info to reveal at the very end of the event before we all go off to party the night away, primarily the reveal of the next conference destination. But unknown to me, our Executive Group had other ideas and had had a film made looking back over my time with EuRA. I have to say I was very moved as pictures from all across my professional journey were flashed up on screen to the strains of Carly Simon’s “Nobody Does it Better”.
Apparently there was a standing ovation but I didn’t see that as I was a little misty eyed! Dom was also called up and it was truly a a defining moment for us both, totally unexpected and from the heart, very much appreciated.
As Dom said on stage, it is a privilege to work for EuRA and it’s extraordinary members. We could not do what we do without being empowered by our exceptional Executive Group who support us who over the years have steered EuRA to become the organisation it is today.
Our venues always tell us what a great group we bring to them during the conference. How appreciative they are, how kind, how nice. And they don’t say that about other groups! The EuRA family is exceptional and we are so grateful to work for you.