Many years ago, it was very common for a person to get hired at a company straight out of college or high school and remain at that company until he or she retired. These days, those so-called company lifers are becoming less and less frequent. According to many surveys, the average worker will now change jobs several times in their lifetime. I bring this topic up because I will celebrate a very significant anniversary at my company this week. Yes, I am one of those company lifers who has only worked at one company since graduating from college and I have no definite plans to jump ship and work for a different company anytime soon.
Several years ago, my goal was to find a good, well-paying job in a large metropolitan area. Since I was a lifetime native of Minnesota, the Minneapolis, St. Paul area seemed to be the logical place to move and try to find a job after I got my degree. The bigger cities have more job opportunities and I was willing to take any type of job just to get my feet in the door and get some work experience.
Initially, my job search was extremely frustrating, hundreds of resumes sent out to no avail. Similar to today, the job market for students with college degrees was extremely tight. Finally I got a phone call from a manufacturing company in St. Paul. They had a position open that required someone with a strong math and computer background. Since I studied mathematics in college, the position seemed like an ideal fit. I interviewed with the company and was soon offered the position. Despite the fact that I had a good educational background, the job was a huge struggle for me at first and quite frankly, very humbling. Much of the work as it turned out had very little to do with what I had studied in college. But I was able to adapt and learn on the go. I was happy to be working at a meaningful job, but it was not my dream job by any stretch of the imagination. I wanted an even better and bigger job so I continued sending out resumes. My plan was to use this job as a stepping stone to bigger and better opportunities. I had some job interviews with other companies but nothing prevailed. A few years after I started my new job, a few individuals from my department left and my responsibilities increased. Soon after, I became the lead person of my department and my duties continued to increase as well as my knowledge of the job. I became more and more content with the company. And the rest is history. Several years later, I am still working for that small company which is now growing and I continue to grow as an employee.
People have often asked me if I have ever considered leaving and pursuing more lucrative openings. My attitude is that grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. One of my co-workers took the bait and went to a bigger company which paid him more. About a year into his new job, he was laid off and sought to come back. Sure it is great to earn a lot of money at some company, but job security is much more important to me, especially these days in this bad economy. I like the fact that I am consistently pulling in a paycheck to pay my bills. My years of service can help in making my job secure. I also love the fact that I work with a good group of people who are very much like my second family. The relationships that I have built with many of my co-workers has been wonderful. We know each other better than many of our immediate families know each other. The comradory of my fellow co-workers is what makes my job even more special.
I also love the variety of work that my job requires. I understand why many people leave their positions. The job fails to become challenging to them. I have to admit that this is one area that I struggle with at work. I know many people who have worked at the same job forever can agree with me on that. Sometimes the job can become very boring, but I always look for new challenges at work such as training others to help develop their knowledge. Constantly setting new goals has always kept my job fresh and exciting.
My job is far from the being the perfect job, but what job is the perfect job? There are far more important things to consider than just making a whole lot of money at any particular company. My current company has several things going for it that would make any worker happy. It has been a great fit for me and hopefully for many years to come.