20 Years

This month I achieve 20 years of service at my job.  Twenty years at the same place.  I am quite shocked, actually.

I have had several different careers, although somewhat related, but I have moved around a bit over the years.  Staying at one place for an entire career is less likely in these times, people move around more than ever.  Twenty years is not a career, but it is still a big deal.

The first year I was here, I resigned.  The job was disappointing, and it felt like I was set up to fail.  Only after I turned in my resignation and prepared to leave, did the organization get the point and a few important things were changed.  I still have the plaque they made for my departure, and for years, I hung it on the wall as a conversation piece.  It served as an important reminder how best intentions can go wrong.

I wish I could say that the last 19 years were smooth, but there are have been some bumps, and the past couple of years have been quite difficult.  I never planned to stay 20, but after five years, I noticed how the chair molds itself to your rear-end, and before you realize it, you are more of the “old guy” rather than the “new guy”.

Interestingly, I found myself somewhat at odds with the organization over how they did things, including a few policies and a general conservative nature toward risk.  I still do; but as a senior member of the organization, I am part of management and a defender of the realm.  That is what happens over time, you move from outsider to insider.

I am fortunate, this organization invested in me to grow and develop, and to explore my leadership potential.  When I needed it, the health insurance paid for surgeries and I had sick leave.  When I had a death in the family, I was provided time off to grieve and help my family.

The organization established a set of values (which I was asked to help create) and operates from them, including hiring and promoting good people.

By and large, this has been a good place to work, and while I have the occasional difference, my boat-rocking days are behind me.  I have enjoyed a decent salary and good benefits; life could be worse.  As my boat moves closer to the sunset on the horizon, what I prefer are calmer seas, for my next 20.


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