On October 6th 1985 I walked through the doors of IBM Richmond to start my career with IBM. At the time I was really excited to land what everyone told me was a great first job - never for a moment did I imagine that 25 years later I would still be there. What's more is that I am essentially doing a very similar job to the Systems Engineer job I started in.
IBM likes to mark this anniversary as a significant milestone, although I suspect that there are fewer of us achieving this longevity of service these days. You get to choose a nice gift (in my case a watch - liked the 25 years on the railways idea of a watch). You also get taken out for a lunch by your manager, fortunately I really like my manager so lunch with her is a pleasure.
I invited the members of my team, and former team, who are local, some of whom I have known since I came to the USA in 1997 and have been long-time colleagues. My guest of honour was Christina who came over from the UK to join in the revels (and also have a holiday).
Lunch was at the Californa Cafe and I had a lovely time. I ate at the California Cafe the first time I visited San Jose in 1992 and loved Los Gatos then. For a long time I hoped, but never expected, that I would come here to live.
Its been an interesting 25 years. I have stayed in a technical role which was something that IBM always promised; career progression on a technical track. I've been on assignment - once to Rochdale, Lancashire with Woolworths, and now to the USA (much better option), as well as travelled around the world with work. I've met a lot of interesting people and made some long-lasting friends (24 years with Christina for example!). While I'm rather shocked to realize that I'm old enough to have been working for 25 years, I've really enjoyed marking this milestone and reflecting on what has already been an interesting career - and it's not over yet!