This month marked my 12 year anniversary with the same company I started working for when I graduated college. In fact, they actually found me through my school’s career center. I’m living proof that the system can help! I’ll be the first to say that it’s quite the feat in a time where it’s not uncommon to have 3-6 different jobs by this time after graduating. While there are also benefits to being in new environments and learning to adapt to different scenarios and people, the longevity with my surroundings meshes very well with my personality. Confidence rises along with the strength of my knowledge and most importantly with the people who have been there just as long. Recollecting stories and projects from years past and reflecting on how events have shifted and changed us creates a large sense of meaning and purpose.
It’s the change within with the consistency that I think I enjoy the most. Too often I think people prefer the quicker option of moving on to something new and different and define that action as the only way to create significant change in their lives. While that certainly works, there is an immense challenge and ultimate satisfaction in sticking it out. Seeing a person’s perspective or ideas change over time as you interact, and vice versa, is amazing to watch. Seeing work processes change for the better (e.g. efficiency, profit, new services) is fun. I love having that conversation of “remember when we only did X and now we can do Y and Z because we pushed ourselves?” Newcomers into an organization or group of friends won’t fully understand until they’ve been around a while and experience similar things.
June also brought with it the wedding of one of my closest friends. I was honored to be called upon for best man duties. As many know, one specific responsibility is to write and give the best man speech at the wedding reception. I didn’t bring any tears with what I said, but in preparing for it, I reminisced about a friendship that has spanned over two decades of my life. There’s something incredibly special about that type of longevity with anything in life.
The challenge to be loyal to just about anything these days is difficult. (It wouldn’t be a challenge otherwise, right?) But with the right people, friends, jobs, etc., the effort required to maintain that connection and work through the tough times can yield a joy and contentment that is difficult to find jumping from one thing to another.