It's my 10-year anniversary with my current employer.
I remember at my job interview with the HR rep, she expressed a concern that I wouldn't stick around. Judging from my history at that point, I could understand that. The longest I'd stayed at one job until then was just over a year. But I knew then and I know now that I want to stay here for as long as they'll have me.
When I first got here, I was going through a divorce and living with my parents. I had left a job in a field that I love but with a nightmare boss and barely earning enough to get through the week, let alone save for the future.
This job and my colleagues kept me going through the roughest times of starting life over. They were there for me every step of the way - professionally and personally.
While it's not always easy to get up in the morning, I am (almost) always happy to get to work. I am so fortunate to work with people that are smart, funny, kind, generous, and respectful, and to work for someone who values those qualities, and was willing to take a chance in both hiring and promoting me.
I have learned a whole new field in the last ten years. I have learned the value of Sondheim's words "It's not so much do you what you like as it is that you like what you do." ("Children and Art," Sunday in the Park with George) Even though I'd heard that phrase since I was in junior high, I didn't quite understand what it meant. I thought the emphasis was on what "you do," and didn't consider the people factor.
Don't get me wrong, I like what I do, too. I find it a lot more interesting than I ever thought I would, and every day offers both familiarity and unpredictability to keep it interesting.
But there's no way I would like it as much as I do if it weren't for the people. They are amazing mentors when I need them, and they also trust me enough to let me work independently.
I get so frustrated when I hear stories of bad bosses or hostile work environments. I know it doesn't have to be that way because where I work, it simply isn't that way. We are a team, committed to providing the best possible service we can - and also enjoying ourselves whenever we can. We all help each other, we value each other, and perhaps most importantly, we respect each other.
I am so grateful for the honor of working here for the last 10 years. I hope for many more decade anniversaries! (Or, okay, maybe just a few.)