The safest road to hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.C.S. Lewis
On Friday, I celebrated a work milestone. January 8, 1996 was my start date at what is now Siemens. That means I have been working for the same organization for the past 25 years.
I still have working years ahead of me, and I trust there will be other milestones along my career pathway. Nonetheless, it’s healthy to pause for a few moments to celebrate this milestone.
In my year of renew, I have actually discovered renewal by thinking about my experiences so far. Reflecting on these experiences remind me that we can find joy and satisfaction in our work. Sometimes we lose sight of this when we dwell on the day-to-day challenges we face.
With this in mind, I wanted to list here some of the things I’ve experienced as a result of my time at Siemens:
- High Performance Leadership (HPL) Siemens Leadership Excellence (SLE) – A few years ago, I was nominated to participate in which I traveled to Chicago for a week to meet with 23 other participants from North and South America. This week gave me the opportunity to learn more about leadership and about me. It also gave me the opportunity to establish important relationships with five other participants who have virtually met together monthly ever since. This was probably the best week of my 25 years at Siemens.
- Professional of the Year Award Trip in 2002 – I had the blessing of traveling to Hawaii with my wife to be celebrated along with other award winners. It was such an incredible experience to enjoy the beauty of Hawaii with colleagues and their spouses.
- MBA from Penn State University – While it took a lot of time and effort, I’m thankful for Siemens support in my journey to earn this degree back in 2005.
- Professional Engineers (P.E.) License – This also took a lot of time and effort, but I’m thankful for Siemens support to earn this licensing in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
- Speaker at NSPE Conference – Siemens was extremely supportive in sending me to Atlanta, GA to speak at the National Society of Professional Engineers annual conference. I spoke on the topic of Engineers Managing Engineers to an audience of ~100 engineers from around the country.
- Winner of first Siemens Shark Tank competition – I had the opportunity to present an idea in front of 400+ top Siemens leaders. As the winner of the competition, I was awarded $50,000 to implement my idea. What an incredible experience!
- Annual Management Meetings (AMM) – I’m thankful for the opportunity to attend these meetings in Boston, Palm Springs, Fort Lauderdale, Phoenix, and Tuscon. These multi-day meetings have given me the chance to meet with other leaders from the company and to be recharged on the technology we use to serve our customers.
- Toastmasters and Rotary – Siemens has been very supportive of my involvement in these two organizations that have helped further my leadership and communication skills and allowed me to connect more broadly with the community.
- Countless building automation project experiences – As an engineer, project manager, and operations manager at Siemens, I’ve had the privilege of working on all kinds of different projects for a wide variety of customers: Princeton University, Merck, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Sharp, Agere Systems, Lucent Technologies, North Penn School District, and the list goes on and on. It’s remarkable to think about the different buildings I’ve seen throughout the years.
- Interviewing, recruiting, and representing Siemens at various job fairs, colleges, and conferences – Most recently, I’ve had the privilege of talking directly to students at Drexel University, Lafayette College, and Grove City College. I’m thankful for the opportunity to connect my work experience and company with students and young engineers. I definitely could see myself growing into greater roles related to these kind of connections and interactions.
- People, people, people – Siemens has afforded me the opportunity to meet and interact with so many people – my peers, my team members, my customers, my industry colleagues. The people is what I will remember and cherish most in my experience at Siemens.
I’m sure I could list many other specific experiences from my time at Siemens so far. This list will do for now. It has reminded me of the blessing of my job. I’ve had a place to grow, to learn, and to leave my mark. While I don’t know what the next 5, 10, 15, or even 25 years may bring as I continue down my career path, I’m excited to step back into the office tomorrow as I continue on at Siemens.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.Colossians 3:23-24 (NIV)