Nineteen Years

Today marks my 19th year working for the same company.  I joined on a temporary contract in August 1995, was taken on permanently three months later and here I still am.

NINETEEN YEARS!!! 

During this period, there have been a couple of great years, the odd bad one (when the company appeared to lose all direction and my job was at risk) but mostly, they’ve been good years.

I’ve also been fortunate to have had some great bosses I’ve respected and learned a lot from.

Another good thing is 19 years paying into the company’s defined benefit pension! When I joined the scheme all those years ago, I didn’t realise how important this would be – in fact, I only realised a couple of years ago what type of pension scheme it was and that there aren’t too many of these types of pensions in the private sector.

Who do I work for? Well, I’d rather not name the company directly (although I may have mentioned the name in comments on other people’s blogs when they’ve bought shares in the company and I posted a picture of our London HQ here….) but it’s a very large US multinational corporation. 

I’ve had various roles (six so far), mostly in the Risk function. One role included travel around Europe, eg Paris, Rome and Madrid. Another had me based 4 days out of 5 in our Stockholm office for over 6 months, which was an interesting weekly commute!  This was my most intense and challenging role but also one of my most enjoyable.  Not a lot of travelling involved with my current role (contracts specialist), just the odd trip down to London and occasionally to Bristol.

There are a lot of employees like me, people who have been with the business 10+ years – in fact, all members of our department have clocked 12+ years, apart from the new guy (6 months in!).

Just recently, there was a woman who retired after 25 years with the company at the age of 64  – she looked so happy on her last day and got a great sending off.  All I could think of as I was congratulating her with all the others was that I hope not to be that old when I finally hang up my boots!

NINETEEN YEARS!!! 

Speaking of old, I was talking to one of our Apprentices the other day and I realised that he wasn’t even born when I started working at the company! Yes, that made me feel quite ancient but you know what? Although 19 years sounds like a long time, it hasn’t felt like it.
Perhaps there is an element of truth in that time appears to go faster the older you get – my niece has just turned 8, yet it doesn’t seem that long ago when she was still in nappies – how did the years fly by so quickly!?  And why is it nearly Christmas already!?

Hope

And that gives me hope.

If 19 years have passed so quickly, then the next 10-15 years of saving and investing should be an utter breeze, so I’ll be FI / ready to retire early in no time!

12 thoughts on “Nineteen Years

  1. Well said Weenie! Congratulations too!

    19 years ago I would have been at high school mainly wasting time and playing sport. I had a full set of ginger hair, lived at home, and earned money on my paper round. Wow, scary stuff!

    I've been at my job for just over 8 years now and the time has flown by too, and like you said it seems more so the older I get. My job is based around performance within months, working to diaries and schedules, so I think most people at work mention how quickly time flies. We're always talking about next month or next year.

    You make a great point at the end of your Post. I'm not known for my patience, but I get a great sense of relief from knowing that I'm hopefully half way through my working career at my current job. In 8 years time I'll be 40. At this point I hope to retire, be able to retire, or be very close to being able to retire. FI will be with us before we know it!

    Thank you for the reminder.
    Huw

  2. Hi Huw, thanks! I was a couple of years older than you are now when I'd been at my company for 8 years but unlike you, I was up to my eyeballs in debt – I definitely hadn't seen the light then like you have and I do believe that you've made a tremendous start to your goal of being FI in another 8 years time!

    At work, we talk in terms of 'quarters' – each quarter instead of feeling like the 3 months it is actually feels like a month so yes, time flies by!

  3. Hi Weenie – I'm also one of the extremely lucky ones to have a DB pension in the private sector. They call it "golden handcuffs". I've "only" been at my company 7 years, so almost the new girl. I deliberately targeted my employer for the DB pension and forward rolled under the portcullis before they closed it to new entrants in 2010. It's a ticket to fast-track FI. I am grateful every single day, and it's something that future generations will never have sadly. I'm sure you know to just max it out as much as you can because very few investments will ever give a better return. I'm going in 15% with 5% employer contribution. We should never wish our lives away, but the time will whizz by to FI.

  4. Hey Starla, ah yes, 'golden handcuffs'! Well done on getting in on your employer – you were obviously financially savvy and aware to target them – I really had no idea about pensions when I joined! However, I did find out that when I joined in 1995, I actually just missed out (by 5 months) on enrolling on the then 'non-contributory' DB pension (golden handcuffs with bells on?!) When they closed our DB pension to new entrants in 2010, they also closed down the 'non-contributory' bit, so everyone had to contribute. The dozen or so people on this pension scheme I guess couldn't really complain as they'd been paying nothing for years!

    I'm paying 9% with a 5% employer contribution, that's the max I can pay. I've looked at AVCs but frankly, didn't like the investment options, hence I invest in my SIPP.

    You're right, we should never wish our lives away – FI though will just be the next part of my life!

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting, good luck on your FI journey.

  5. Congratulations weenie. You sound as if you still enjoy your work and have maintained respect for your employer which is essential for job satisfaction. I work in the public sector in the kind of organisation where it used to be a "job for life" kind of situation. My closest colleague has been there since she turned 16 and has now clocked up 41 years! She has seen a lot of change, although not for the better recently. Loyalty and experience are valuable commodities which organisations would do well to cherish – the trouble is that not all of them do.

    Here's to more (but not too many :-)) happy years to add to your total.

  6. Being only 25 years old, 19 years sounds like eternity to me! Congrats for sticking with what seems to be a great company, Weenie. 🙂

    Let's hope the pension will do you lots of good when you retire!

    Best wishes,
    NMW

  7. Hi Cerridwen, thanks. Yes, I think I'm fortunate that I still enjoy the work and respect my employer. I don't always agree with what they do or how they do things (I'm sure you encounter a lot of red tape in your work – it's the same here too!) but I try to maintain an open mind in most cases.

    41 years – that's incredible, though not a goal that I'm hoping to achieve hehe!

  8. Hey weenie

    19 years at one company is incredibly forever. Did you hv any in your previous role or.is this your only one?

    Im 3 years into my role at one company and it already feels forever. I am almost able to go to the toilet with my eyes both closed.

  9. Hi B, as you're still in your 20s, of 19 years seems like forever! 🙂

    My previous roles in other companies were only temporary/short-term positions, the longest one being 1 year, so I guess I was fortunate to find a company I wanted to stay with and who wanted me to stay!

    I'm in a new office – if I tried to go to the toilet with my eyes closed, I may stray and fall down the stairs lol!

    Thanks for stopping by!

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