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5 year anniversary

In a little over a week (on December 5), it will be 5 years since I took up my current role in corporate innovation. When I’ve mentioned this to a few people recently, the reactions have all been a variation of “really?!?” Nobody saw this coming. Not even me.

I actually said in my interview with HR that I wasn’t a 5 or 10 year employee… 😂😂😂 Guess they showed me!

I had a plan. The plan was 3 years. So what happened?

To be honest, a broken leg and a pandemic.

December 2020 would have been my 3 year mark, but having spent half of the previous year recovering from injury and most of it in a pandemic, I didn’t feel I had accomplished enough to leave just yet. So I stayed.

That doesn’t really explain how an additional 2 years went by though, lol.

Anyway, the fact remains that, at 5 years, this is my longest job by a large margin. Before this, 2 years was a stretch (this is how I’ve been able to get exposed to many industries).

So what happens now? That is the question. There are some discussions about modifying the scope and focus of my role, perhaps to include some strategic foresight, so that has potential.

The biggest lesson for me over the 5 years though, is that it truly is about the people. I have a great boss and a great team and some great friends in some of my coworkers. And they have made the 5 years into an interesting journey filled with lots of learning.

I have learnt a lot about the kind of leader I am, and that I want to be. I have learnt a lot about how to develop the people around me. I have also learnt a lot about how to navigate the minefield that is the corporate environment.

I still don’t think I will be a 10 year employee, and I actually hope that I won’t. Part of my role has always been (to my mind, at least) to work myself out of a job. I genuinely hope that we will reach a point where my role won’t even be needed in the organisation because the work I’ve been doing will just be embedded and endemic.

So instead of thinking of this as reaching a 5 year milestone, I perhaps need to think of this point as the beginning of the end of this phase. As I perhaps transition from having a job into having a true career.

And in another 5 years time, who knows where I’ll be 🤷🏽‍♀️

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