40 Years Does Not Equal Forever

Last year one of my co-workers got recognized for her many years of service. Every year, the company celebrates service milestones, 5, 10, 15, 20 years of service and the list goes on. My co-worker logged 40 years!

I am mixed about how I feel about this. Initially, I thought she was extremely loyal and lucky to have found a place to work so long. However, on second thought was she not daring enough to try new things? Did she not move on because she could not? In any case, I thought at least she is set until retirement. How can anyone touch a person who’s been somewhere for 40 years?

A few months later, her position was eliminated. Initially you would think how cold and heartless the company is. However, to be fair, she was mistake prone and generated additional work for the already overworked team.

Final Thoughts

Before, I was the ultimate company man. Do what you are told. Earn a decent and respectable living. Get out of my way, this worker bee has a job to do! However, this event reminded me that if you work for someone, there are no guarantees. Your position could be eliminated at any time. The “be thankful you have a job” mindset may not be the best way to go. With a mortgage and extra mouths to feed, I need to explore alternatives. Putting all your eggs in one basket is too risky for me. On top of that, it looks like 40 years isn’t what it used to be.

Stay Inspired!

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6 Responses

  1. Money Beagle says:

    You wondered if she was not daring enough to try new things. One thing I’ve recognized when considering this type of question is that you really have to let each person determine the importance here. If someone is fast moving and wants to climb the corporate ladder as fast as they can, that’s great. Other people may have other things that they want to do with their lives, and may see their job simply as a means to an end. Both of these people may see the other as completely opposite of their goals, but in each case, their particular drive could provide satisfaction in terms of what their job brings to their life.

    • Buck Inspire says:

      You are absolutely right MB! I was of course looking at it from my POV. My longest job lasted for five years. 40 is just mind blowing for me. I recall speaking with her and she has a very full life as she dabbles in politics and real estate. She’s not complaining one bit. Thanks for chiming in!

  2. krantcents says:

    Her supervisors did her a disservice by not addressing these issues when they came up. She continued to work there without the appropriate feedback that would have made her a better employee. I see this quite often in business and education. Low performers let go without the feedback are left to repeat their mistakes over and over again. It is much more difficult and uncomfortable to retrain someone and most managers/supervisors won’t or can’t do it.

    • Buck Inspire says:

      I don’t know the full story, but I believe management did try to correct her. She was pretty set in her ways, but I agree, management did not give her appropriate feedback and express how serious things were getting. You are right, rather than expend the time and energy, they went the easier route which was job elimination. Thanks for your opinion KC!

  3. I have been with my company for 28 years. I have enjoyed every year of working there. I manage projects that vary from on-orbit devices for NASA, to launch vehicle isolators that allow satellites to survive the ride to orbit, to working on real-time software for the Air Force’s Airborne Laser. I don’t feel any need to look elsewhere.

    • Buck Inspire says:

      If I worked at an exciting and stimulating place like NASA, I don’t think I would have jumped around as much as I have either. Being in IT, things change pretty quick, but most of my jobs, I was hitting my ceiling of career development and growth. Thanks for sharing Bryce!

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