This summer I celebrated 17 years with my employer, MegaGate Broadband. I am not the same person I was when I started to work on June 05, 1996 because I’ve grown from a 23-year old into the person I am today. My roles have changed as have changed with them. My experiences have impacted the decisions I make. No, looking back, I am certainly not the same person I was in 1996. Am I stale? I don’t think so. Instead, I’ve professionally regenerated.
How Stale Are You?
I’m a little torn on this whole 10 years [at the same job] = stale idea. I’m not stale. You know what, I’ve known people who were stale in their roles after two months, because the truth is, they were never fresh. I’ve known people who moved from position to position within the same organization and are still stale with each incarnation. And… I’ve known people who honestly do stay too long and go stale in their roles.
In my own career, I have kept up one steady focus: grow or leave. If I ever get to a point in my job where I’ve stopped growing and learning and I no longer have passion for my daily efforts, then I start looking elsewhere. In the past, that could have been 1 year, 2 years, or more. It really depends on the manager, workplace, and other factors.
That has been my longstanding decision, though. And I stand by it. If you’re not growing and developing, you might as well find a place where you can.
It’s time to throw a bit of Doctor Who into the mix by taking a major theme of the show – regeneration – and apply it to professional careers. This combination equals professional regeneration. Believe it or not – we do it all the time. All of us do it – we just name it something else.
What is Regeneration?
The Doctor is a Time Lord and, as the Ninth Doctor once said, “Time Lords have this little trick. It’s like cheating death, except, it means that I am going to change.” Basically, when a Time Lord (or Time Lady) is severely injured and is dying, he/she has the ability to regenerate but the process changes the person both physically and, sometimes, mentally. The person is the same but aspects of their personality change as does their physical appearance. It is one of – if not THE – essential factor for the longevity of Doctor Who.
In business, isn’t this what we want to do? Is that not what we do when we change employers? Our personality changes as we adapt to the company culture of our new employer. Our physical appearance changes as our work attire may be somewhat different with our new employer compared to the previous.
We have professionally regenerated!
Professionally Regenerating Vs. Becoming Stale
I don’t want to reach the point in my career where I feel stagnant. Thankfully, I’ve been with a company that not only has allowed but has also encouraged me to grow both personally and professionally.
- My first incarnation at Cellular One – as we were known at the time – was a kid with no career goals other than do a good job, get a paycheck and move to Oxford, MS the next year.
- My second incarnation was focused only on doing a good job.
- My third-fourth saw the company change into MegaGate Broadband while my fifth-sixth adapted to a new company structure and then was introduced to HR.
- My seventh-eighth joined SHRM and became active while growing in the HR role.
- So, I guess in 2013 I am now in my Ninth – and a complete coincidence I quoted the Ninth Doctor above! (Side note – the incarnations are based on the different times my job changed over 17-years. I’m not crazy….yet.)
I’ve not allowed myself to be stale. Instead, I’ve grown…I’ve regenerated into the person I am today.
What Do You Think?
Are you still the same person at your job as you were two years ago?
Have you grown?
Have you learned? Or, are you stagnant?
Are you the same as before? Or, are you better???
I would like to thank Ben and Krista for their inspiration that prompted my writing the above. Visit the links below to learn more about them.
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