June 11, 2021

Legendary ID journalist Deborah Barrington first employee to retire from Industry Dive

Industry Dive Managing Editor Deborah Barrington retired June 1 after six years at the company where she led practically every publication and mentored many.

Barrington sent a farewell email to the company, written in Industry Dive’s signature news format. With her permission, we share her words below.

Deborah Barrington on the keys to retiring

Dive Brief:

  • Industry Dive veteran editor Deborah Barrington retires after six years with the company and four decades in the workforce. Barrington worked for the Florida Flambeau, The Tampa Tribune, the St. Petersburg Times and USA TODAY before joining ID.
  • During her time as a senior editor and managing editor, Barrington managed Construction, CIO, Education, Food, Smart Cities, Supply Chain, Utilities and Waste. She was a part of the launch teams for Food Dive Ingredients, two HR weeklies, Cybersecurity and Transport. She had a short stint with BioPharma.
  • Barrington joins a legion of Baby Boomers fleeing the job market. In the third quarter of 2020, close to 29 million people born between 1946 and 1964 left the job market and retired. Barrington was born in 1961.

Dive Insight:

Retirees are concerned about money, health, paying for healthcare and having enough fulfilling activities.

"I joked that I would be 70 and working as a greeter at Walmart. That was when I was 50. Fast forward 10 years and I'm ready to sign up for 6 Saturdays and a Sunday. When every day feels like no particular day, I will be fully retired," Barrington said.

Retirees fall into a few categories:

  1. Life is just beginning. This group will learn new things, visit new lands and not leave a dime to any heirs.
  2. What do I do with myself now? This group is taking a fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants approach.
  3. Just sticking a toe in. This group is very likely to un retire.

Barrington plans to be in the first group. She says she and Sarah are planning to volunteer with organizations that serve children and animals. They plan to visit Amsterdam, Hawaii, England, Croatia, Australia and wherever strikes their fancy. They are also open to grabbing drinks or lunch with anyone who wants to visit St. Petersburg. A few people have called dibs on running around downtown on Sarah's electric golf cart. Alcohol may or may not be involved.

"The friendships and contacts that I made at ID go beyond the walls of the company. I want to keep in touch. I want to see a name pop up on my phone so I can say,' I was just thinking about you.'"

Getting to this last day of work involves wins, losses and some ties. Barrington's wish is that you all get there sooner rather than later.

Barrington says her grandmother told her when she was in elementary school to be sure and love whatever career she chose.  That made no sense at the time, but years later when work involved snapping Polaroids of tourists with a fake gorilla at Busch Gardens, it became sage advice.

Barrington's advice to you: Life is not intended to be par for the course. Swing for the fences in everything you do. If you end up behind the 8-ball, take a 20 and then call an audible. Strive to be the G.O.A.T.

Peace. Thank you for everything.