Friday, January 18, 2008

Is it any different out there?

I have had several conversations with people today about just how long I have been with the same company. Some people admire it, other people view it as lucky many others see me as institutionalized. Linkedin hassle me everytime I logon saying my profile is only 85% complete becuase I only have 2 positions on it (partly becuase I have only been using it a for a few years and did not do a full history)
I have been with the same corp for 17 1/2 years, plus an industrial trainee year from university. That is quite a rare thing these days.
I am genuinely interested in how other people view this sort of loyalty, or if they view it as lazy and safe.
In many ways being in a large corp is the same as being in an open market, there are a pool of things going on, people have to hustle for jobs and funding. There are huge opportunities and clearly some rights as an employee.
At the same time it is a restricted domain. Whilst you might manage to carve something unusual as I tend to have it often does not blend well with the status quo.
So is it a good thing, a bad thing or just a thing of no great description?
I have had some great conversationns over teh years with people who have left corporate life, equally many of them come back again. I have also met people that consider this sort of longevity lucky. In a way it is, but equally it is of my own making, by constantly finding new things and understanding them.
I know some people get to this sort of place and decide to just plod along playing the game until retirement (which still is a very long way off) but that is certainly not my style. Equally there must come a point when being all rock and roll and pushing things and experimenting you start to age and stop being quite such a punk rebel and turn out a bit more rolling stones. Of course the Stones still have a great credibility and an awesome history :-) That though would be the case in any sort of career I think, getting older and wiser?
I am not sure where I sit on this. When the predlets get a bit older will they see me as a plodding corporate wage slave or someone with vision and drive doing cool things. I guess that is up to me to make sure I dont let them down on that front :-)


Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to know how many of the people that have worked for IBM more than 5 years who stays until retirement. ;-)

David Orban said...

I have been with the same company for 15 years as well. It is my own, so in some sense there should be a difference there, but at the same time it is also the case that, as in your situation, I could have become more settled down in the process, accepting the relative stability of the relationships built through the years. I haven't! Just as all those years ago, I do look forward to understand the changes ahead, and drive them, instead of being swept aside, or under by them. Probably it is a question of attitude, and whether we choose it, or it is our genes that make the choice for us, is an other question entirely! :)

epredator said...

@rygh I am sure we have those stats somewhere :-)
@david I think you may be right its in the genes. Though there must be some nurture/nature crossover in there.
Wanting to push things forward may be a question of ego, which on its own may appear selfish.
I guess we all arrive at different balances. I cant see me slowing down just yet though :-)