20 Years at CLM: A Case for Stickiness in an Era of Job Hopping
4 minutes
Company Culture

A lot happens over twenty years. Twenty years ago this past spring saw my baby-face packing up the car and heading out West watching my Midwest home shrink in the rearview mirror while a new horizon unfolded ahead of me. A new adventure toward a dot on a map labeled “Boise” with no job on tap and no home. Just a loose plan, some saved up money, my partner in crime at the time, and our dog, Nora, (the best mutt you could ever hope for), perched atop a heap of clothing and gear while my car did the panting up and over the front range of The Rockies. Who knew those roads would lead me to a 20-year (and counting) career at a local Boise ad agency.

In today’s fast-paced job market, the concept of job loyalty is increasingly being replaced by the trend of job hopping. According to recent studies, the average tenure for employees aged 25 to 34 is about 2.8 years. While job hopping has its benefits for some, there isn’t enough written about how remaining with a company for many years also offers significant advantages that are often overlooked. Following are just a few.

1. Deepening Skill Sets and Expertise

One of the primary benefits of long-term employment within a company is the opportunity to develop deeper skill sets and expertise in a specific field or industry. Over time, employees who stay with a company can become subject matter experts, gaining a comprehensive understanding of the company’s operations and industry landscape. This depth of experience can lead to greater job satisfaction, as employees feel more competent and confident in their roles.

2. Building Strong Professional Relationships

Staying with a company for an extended period allows employees to build strong, lasting relationships with colleagues, partners, and clients. These relationships can be incredibly valuable, providing a support network, opportunities for mentorship, collaborative partnerships, and relationships based on a deeper understanding and trust.

3. Loyalty Breeds Loyalty

In the right place, employee loyalty often goes hand-in-hand with company loyalty to the employee. Long-term, contributing employees help form a solid foundation for the company that can be recognized both financially and with less concrete benefits such as respect and trust of management. Many companies offer benefits such as retirement plans, profit-sharing, stock options, and bonuses that become more valuable the longer an employee stays with the company, leading to greater financial security over time.

4. Personal and Professional Growth

Long-term employment offers the chance for personal and professional growth in ways that short-term stints cannot. Employees have the opportunity to take on a variety of roles within the company, explore crossover roles/skills, and contribute to long-term projects that can have a lasting impact. This can lead to greater job satisfaction as employees avoid ruts and try new things.

5. Sense of Belonging, Contribution and Purpose

Finally, staying with a company for many years can provide a strong sense of belonging and purpose. Contributions over many years with an organization add up to impressive impact on the organization. Additionally, long-time employees are frequently not only more deeply integrated into their company’s culture, they also tend to be influential shapers of company culture leading to further connection to their work, their coworkers and their organization’s success. These contributions lead to a greater sense of well-being and fulfillment.

In Conclusion

Reflecting back on these 20 years, I’ve witnessed many peers move on in their own journey after short stints of employment. Many have found rewarding results, but I’ve also seen many disillusioned and in a repetitive “cycle of seeking”. In the end, staying with a company for a significant amount of time comes down to many factors, including cultural fit, personal/professional goals, our individual personalities, and even luck. I’ve obviously found benefits and fulfillment in sticking around CLM these past 20 years and consider myself lucky to have found a niche where this is possible. Thank you to all my past and present colleagues, partners and clients who have helped make this the case. I hope you know how much I appreciate you!

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