Why on earth would I work in the same place for so long?

Oh my word, why on earth would I work in the same place for so long? There are so many good reasons why you shouldn’t stay in the same company too long, all documents and articles with career advice and career improvement say that gaps in a CV can hurt you, but long-term employment at the same employer can also be perceived negatively and can hurt you more than those easily explained gaps.

People say that if you stay long enough it means you either found a good employer and enjoy what you do, or you enjoy your comfort zone too much, you are not a risk taker and you have no special skills?!

But in my circle of friends (outside my company) and friends and colleagues (inside my company) they have all worked for the same employer for 30 years, 22 and 18 etc. Very few people I know have been in the same company for less than 10 years, so it seems to me that at least in my little circle I’m not such a weirdo. Being loyal might be old-fashioned and if some believe that loyalty is old-fashioned they probably think the same about faith and honesty and respect. It’s not something I’m going to hide, at my age I have acquired a particular set of skills ( 🙂 ) it’s called principles. With some good old things called loyalty, honesty, faith and respect.

141103_a18661-600So why did I stay in the same company for 25 years? Yeah that’s right, this month I celebrate twenty-five long years in the same blue bank. In the beginning I stayed because I really loved it. I was young and busy and always learning and I truly loved my job.

Then I got stuck in a rut and I started hating it, I hated the repetitive work, the month ends and then starting all over again with new a month only to get to another hectic month-end and the stressful – do you balance and did you make the deadline? I hated my current boss. At that time I went to two external interviews, one was not successful the second one was but that implied travelling to Sandton. Even today if you ask me to drive to Sandton every day I will cringe at the thought and say; no, there must be something better. Years ago the thought was beyond scary and after sweating at the interview and feeling relieved that someone else wanted me I felt bad saying; no thank you.

So I stayed and some days I hated myself and so many times I cried….but then one day I got out of my comfort zone again and I applied for another position within the company and I made the move! It was the best decision I could have made. I still believe that today. And that is how I reached this landmark of 25 years.

Why I stayed and what I have gained – Reputation of Dependability staying with the same employer for many years has made me dependable. Strong Work Relationships I have created strong and long-lasting work relationships and many good and close friendships over the years. Benefits of course we do have special job benefits, we might moan about them sometimes not being enough but actually they’re not bad and they do exist. And then there’s growth and learning. Stability worrying about next month or next year? That kind of stress is something I could not deal with and it would have ruined my health and life. For me this journey has been a good one and the right choice.

In March this year a young friend and colleague had a stroke, it came as a huge shock to all of us she is in her early 30’s and if there were any warning signs she missed them or she didn’t know what to look out for. She has been recovering slowly and will be back in the office later this month, she is also a personal assistant like I am and during the time she has been away her boss has kept her post open. She tried to manage her busy work schedule with assistance from one or two other PA’s in our area but all the time she kept that position open and didn’t look for a temp because her girl would be back. She had to come back. This is the type of consideration I think you only get if you have been in the company for a while. I guess it also helps that it’s a huge company so there are things in place to look after staff…but I still thought this was admirable of the director to wait all the time while being positive that her PA would be back soon.

And so I say to myself, oh my word; “25 years long service award, how amazeballs is that!”

I’m so happy that my company rewards staff and recognises loyalty and so the award $$ I’m getting this month is going to be part of something so memorable and so special for me and my husband I can barely wait and contain myself. So much excitement.

Two quotes I really like –

Loyalty is a two-way street, if I’m asking for it from you, then you’re getting it from me. _ Harvey Specter

Because that describes me perfectly

I see life almost like one long university education that I never had – everyday I’m learning something new. _ Richard Branson

Because…you shouldn’t think you know everything, you don’t. You are always learning and don’t judge those that never went to university

So if you are in a good place, stay, and stay for as long as you want….

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22 out of 150

22 /150 is a bad mark if this is what’s on your report card or maths test. It’s just 14% and that would be a big fail. But 22 years in the same company that turns 150 years old is like getting a B + (in my opinion anyway)

Today my company is 150 years old and it was very close to October that I started working here too.

So here is a bit of my history, 22 years of my life and experience in the big blue bank…..

  • 1990 – Started working in the bank in August and I was married this year in October…was given a bridal shower, started learning new things, new names and made new friends
  • 1991 – I worked as budget controller looking after advertising ‘budgets’.  Processing invoices and printing numerous reports for internal clients on a monthly basis
  • 1992 – We bought our first home with the help of the home loans department….looking ahead so you’re not left behind
  • 1993 – In June I was given a baby shower for my first born and then I took the rest of the year off on maternity leave. Bank launched a new campaign “With us you can go so much further”
  • 1994 – Back from maternity leave and had another baby shower in December for my second child
  • 1995 – Came back from maternity leave in June and was teased about lack of contraceptives and told no more showers or parties etc. 
  • 1996 –We upgraded our mode of transport and bought a new car – a Jetta 2 Cli, thanks to Stannic. It was in this year that the bank launched their cricket sponsorship. Yeah for the boys
  • 1997 – My bear and my dad start their own company – Tagmarc Auto Repairs
  • 1998 – We had an unforgettable holiday in Ponta do Ouro, Mozambique right on the beach front with some of the crazies in the advertising department. Very odd that we even considered going with some complete strangers and totally different people to us. My two boys loved this holiday
  • 1999 – Getting ready for the 2000 bug that’s all they talked about, I’m not into technical IT stuff zzzz
  • 2000 – Moo started primary school!! Nedcor bids for a take-over or merge, that was a scary and very busy time in the advertising department. We also launched a new pay-off line “Simpler.Better.Faster.”
  • 2001 – Tigs started primary school!! Many changes and moves around the building and work load increasing fast and furious.
  • 2002 – Ruthless left the bank with her red pen and left SA, we never thought that was going to happen
  • 2003 – Boys are growing we needed a bigger house….home loans made that possible again and we bought our second home, now my boys had their own bedroom
  • 2004 – Working with accounts, month end and year end is starting to work on nerves and I hate azimuth
  • 2005 – Left finance, budgets, invoices, statements, reports and a horrible boss forever. At last!!! Started working for two really awesome gentlemen & directors in marketing as their PA
  • 2006 – Our new logo and pay off line “Inspired.Motivated.Involved” was launched. My dad passed away in December. Moo is awarded the DUX award for academic achievement in grade 7
  • 2007 – Moo started high school!! For my big 40 birthday the girls at work arranged for a stripper to jump out of a box in the office!
  • 2008 – Tigs started high school!! We move around a lot at work but this was the biggest move ever, a whole new building. Just imagine the chaos of moving 40 odd unenthusiastic people in my team
  • 2009 – It was a very hectic and crazy year at work I had a new maniac boss that left before I had the opportunity of pushing him out the 8th floor window! Bank launched the “Moving forward” campaign
  • 2010 – World cup soccer in SA! We have a million flags at home, Jozi is alive with what we call gees (spirit). The bank opens its first real branch in Angola, I have to mention that because I was born there
  • 2011 – National Senior Certificate with seven distinctions. Well done Moo, we are so very proud of you
  • 2012 – The bank turns 150 today. Happy Birthday Standard Bank. We end off the year with a sh-boom sh-boom. And we arrive at work one day to find the dreadful scanning machines are gone! Sh-boom sh-boom Ya-da-da Da-da-da ……

I have made so many friends here, sadly some have passed away, others have moved to different countries or companies. But over all these years of remembering there a few that started work with me and have been here as long as I have. They are the ones that have known me this long…they have seen me cry, know a secret or two about me, have hugged me on my birthday, have listened to my stories and shared theirs with me over so many great breakfasts and lunches.

Thank you my friends you’ve made it special