If you have been offered and taken early retirement and have close to 20 years at your company, you are unfortunately at a distinct competitive disadvantage in todays market. There are a couple of different issues here: It is always best to look/interview while still employed, so I would aggressively interview while you are still there. Most hiring managers strongly prefer currently employed reps. Also, most hiring managers prefer candidates with a high upside, someone who still has years and years left to get promoted several times and make them look good for hiring you. While experience is still valued, too many years experience or too many years at one company, is not favorable.
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