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  • 1.  Keeping the Torch Burning

    Posted 01-28-2020 08:44 AM
    What are good strategies for keeping the knowledge of senior or experienced employees once they move on or retire?

    This is something I deal with regularly. I try to make sure staff update procedure and reference manuals which can sometimes be difficult. What are the best ways to keep all that knowledge from sitting in one head?

    Yance Marti P.E., M.ASCE
    Civil Engineer IV
    City of Milwaukee
    Milwaukee WI

  • 2.  RE: Keeping the Torch Burning

    Posted 01-29-2020 10:26 AM
    Edited by Tirza Austin 01-29-2020 10:26 AM

    I retired in 2014 at age 67 as Director of Palm Beach County, Water Utilities.  My career was split evenly between public agencies and consulting engineering.  I have been active nationally through professional associations. When I retired I was bored to death and needed to get out of my wife's hair. 

    I set up an Sole Proprietor LLC (very easy to do without a lawyer).  I then received a Certificate of Authorization with the Florida Board of Professional Engineers (also easy if you are already a PE). I never had to market my services.  Due to all my previous networking, the phone started ringing and before I knew it I was busier than I had planned for. Mostly engineering planning, enforcement response and management help for troubled utilities. 

    My advice for those engineers who want to keep active in their field after retirement:

    1.  Keep networking in ASCE or other associations where your potential clients are active. 

    2.  Start a small business account separate from your personal accounts  

    3.  Get liability insurance.  If you plan to do design or construction oriented work you will need errors and omissions insurance as well  ASCE has good programs for insurance  

    4.  Do your own accounting using QuickBooks or a similar program.  Easy to use and cheaper than a bookkeeper.  I spend 2-3 hours a month booking expenses and preparing invoices.  I link my QB to my tax accountant. 

    Good luck to all of you who wish to make this transition  

    Bevin Beaudet P.E., M.ASCE
    Bevin A. Beaudet, P.E., LLC.
    West Palm Beach FL