In 2013, the beloved Detroit TV reporter, Cheyl Chodun, announced her retirement from WXYZ Channel 7 Detroit. After 35 years on the air and in front of the camera, Cheryl was always admired as the first person on the scene of a crime or of a visit of a dignitary to Detroit. Among others, she has interviewed President Clinton, and covered visits to Detroit by the Pope and Nelson Mandela. Most of her fans, upon hearing the news of her retirement, assumed she would “take it easy” after over 35 years as a broadcast journalist.
But hold on! Flash forward to today, and we learn that Cheryl has launched a successful second career. She has reinvented herself as a professor, teaching communications and broadcast journalism at not only one but two colleges: Madonna University and Lawrence Tech. Not only that, but in 2014 she was inducted into the Michigan Broadcaster Hall of Fame.
Those of us who know Cheryl well are not surprised by her new success. When I recently posted on Facebook a picture of Cheryl, guest lecturing at my class at Michigan Ross, the piece evoked a strong set of positive responses from her former colleagues. Here are a few of the comments:
“Cheryl Choden has always set the bar high for the rest of us. She is the best.” – Sherry Margolis, anchor for WKBJ Fox 2 Detroit
“I worked with her for years and years, a true journalist”
“Professor Cheyl is an inspiration and mentor to us all. She is the best.”
“She is phenomenal. I was lucky to work with her at WWJ for years. She is without a doubt the best.”
“So great to hear about the latest events by Cheryl.”
In my experience as a Psychologist and coach, I am truly inspired by Cheryl, but I am not surprised. Having known Cheryl since elementary school, I always saw Cheryl as the most highly engaged, and biggest risk taker among us. At Ferndale High School, she was a cheerleader when the team won the state basketball championship. She has always been willing to be out there not only for herself, but also to support her friends, colleagues and even strangers.
When I wrote and published my first book in 1990, Cheryl (who I had not seen for many years) helped me to get my first set of radio interviews on WWJ. Later when she was at Channel 7, she arranged for me to be interviewed several times.
While Cheryl is unique, she is certainly not the only one to launch a successful post retirement career. Several of my friends and clients have also found ways to move from one career to another. While I have not yet retired from my career as a Psychologist, in my 60’s, I launched a second career as professor at the University of Michigan. I would like to ask some of my readers to share with me if they have also launched second careers. What is your new career and how have you been successful in retiring from one career and starting another?
Click here to watch a touching news report on Cheryl’s last day at Channel 7. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlhaySaPVds