My last day working in the Irish Examiner and a quick check of the paper!
My last day working in the Irish Examiner and a quick check of the paper!

Well, those 42 years went by quickly. Yes, it’s my last day working in the Irish Examiner, although tomorrow morning is when I sign off. For me it’s the end of a long chapter in the Irish Examiner. At the ripe young age of 61 I’m exiting stage left – or even right. Redundancy has come my way and it’s time to move on.

I’m ready for my next challenge. I may be unemployed from tomorrow, but I’m not retiring – a very important distinction.

I’m not going to pretend it’s been easy today. I can laugh and joke about a lot of things, but when you say goodbye to something that has been a part of your life for so long the emotion is there. I’ll be wiping a tear from my eye before the day is out.

For those unfamiliar with my Examiner link, it began not in 1972 when I took up full employment, but two years earlier when I got a summer job in the Reading Room – a proofreading department where anything for publication in the paper had to be read and corrected, from news and sport to every word of advertising. It began a love affair with the then Cork Examiner that still runs deep in my blood.

Today is not the day to talk about those years, just a time for reflection before we seek out new pastures. I will develop the blog in my spare time and write articles/features (if anyone wants to publish them), and start a book about my life.

More immediately, I’m in search of a job. It will be a new experience because I have never collected the ‘dole’ before. It is a whole new world for me. It’s scary and a little intimidating. I’m not sure how I’ll feel. Certainly I hope ageism doesn’t creep in when I seek work, although I’m under no illusions. Expect to hear lots about my new life in the weeks and months ahead.

Now it’s time to look to 2015 as a year of opportunity. Who knows what the future holds and if my plans will materialise in the way I expect.

In the meantime, I’m open for business. Any ideas, work or just thoughts you have please throw them my way. I am all ears and very enthusiastic. I’m on Twitter at @1TomHickey and my email is I hope you’ll continue to follow my journey.