I had a big CV. It had: Degrees and qualifications; Appointments; Honorary appointments; Offices held; Publications: Books; Translations; Co-written or co-edited books; Chapters in books by others; Papers in refereed journals; Papers in other journals; Other publications. It went on – page after page – substantial – impressive – worthy.
And today I realised that I would never use it again. Never again would I apply for a job. Never again would I have to wait for someone else to judge whether I were worthy, were qualified, were OK.
Of course it was really obvious, not a great surprise. I had not had a boss since 1980. I had been an independent consultant for all that time – and described as such on my conference badges or whatever.
But somehow the realisation was a sobering thought. There was a sadness about it, as though I were really losing something of value, which I had spent many hours honing and perfecting. It was sort of letting go of a support, even if it were a support I didn’t need any more. I was on my own.
Of course I am not on my own: I have a wonderful wife who I have been together with for almost 40 years; I have children and grandchildren from a previous marriage; I have a house; I have friends and colleagues to meet and rely on and enjoy. I am very lucky.
But that was the thought for today. A sad thought. A thought which just came to me out of the blue, out of nowhere.

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Dr John Rowan
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