Happy 35th Anniversary!


Last Friday, I attended a dinner for one of my wife’s colleagues who was celebrating his 35th year with the company. It was a festive occasion with great food, drink, and stories (and the Blackhawks’ game was on the big screen).  The longevity of the celebrant’s career is something to behold. Why does someone stay with a company for 35 years? Why do we (my longest tenure with a company was 10 years) leave? Some reasons (in random order):

I stay with a company for 35 years because:

  • They treat me right
  • The pay is great
  • The office is 10 minutes from my house
  • They challenge me
  • They are growing and there is great potential
  • All my friends work there
  • I’m comfortable (I’m afraid of change)
  • I get a company car
  • The bigger we get the easier it is to hide
  • It is fun
  • I learn new things
  • I believe in the company’s mission
  • I don’t know how to find something else
  • I own it

I left before ever thinking about 35 years because:

  • I got fired
  • I had a great new opportunity (it was)
  • I had a great new opportunity (it wasn’t)
  • My boss was a bastard
  • I got passed over for a promotion (and should have been)
  • I got passed over for a promotion (and shouldn’t have been)
  • I died
  • The new company had a better commission plan
  • I have ADD
  • I started my own business
  • The company was in trouble
  • Someone else reminded me how valuable I was
  • I needed better work/life balance
  • I didn’t believe in what the company was trying to do anymore
  • I went back to school
  • I just needed a change

Under the right circumstances, 35 years of employment with one company can be a beautiful thing for both the individual and the business. While I believe this kind of longevity (some might say loyalty or attachment) is near extinction with Gen Y (maybe even Gen X), it was nice to celebrate the accomplishment with my wife’s colleague. What are you thoughts? Any reasons to add to the list?


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