[by Emma McMahon]
When I tell people I have worked for the same Company for over 17 years the most common response is “are you kidding me”?
I think the concept of working in the same place, for the same people, and for such a long period of time does not appeal to the masses.
But I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Humble beginnings (the first job)
In April 1998, I was employed by Gibson Lamb as an Audio Secretary for the General Insurance Department where I looked after the Personal and Commercial Insurance Brokers. Never having worked in the industry before everything was new to me and over the next few years I was able to learn the complexities of general insurance. It was back then that I developed the time management, and work prioritisation skills I still rely on today.
Welcome to broking (the second job)
I was then offered the chance to look after some of the general insurance clients, alongside my secretarial duties and using the knowledge I had obtained over the previous years, I entered into my new role with enthusiasm. This role included liaising with clients so they were always up to date and ensuring their insurance policies were all up to date. And it was always interesting getting to know clients better –by doing so I was able to anticipate their needs better. Every question a client asked that I didn’t know the answer to allowed me to learn more and more and this really built up my knowledge and confidence about general insurance.
A new beginning (the third job)
After the company’s decision to sell the general insurance arm – I was asked to move over to the pensions and investment side of Gibson Lamb.
I could have easily taken the easy route and gone and worked for another Insurance Broker, but the prospect of learning something new was far more appealing and so my introduction to pensions and investments began. My knowledge of this side of the industry was limited and I really enjoyed the challenge of “starting over”.
This allowed me to also hone my diary management, meeting preparation, client communication and client letter writing skills to perfection!
And so it continues (the fourth alongside the third job)
This is where it gets a bit complicated – I have added the role of Office Manager to my responsibilities as an administrator. Whilst I still provide administrative support to the advisers, I also make sure the office is fully stocked and running efficiently. I am responsible for making sure we get paid – a time consuming job, but one that is essential to the business.
You don’t have to move jobs all the time
So, my advice to anyone feeling the pressure to change jobs because they think they should rather than because they want to is – don’t!
The advantages of staying with a company you know far outweigh the disadvantages and include.
- Confidence in your ability to do the job (comes from years of experience)
- Wealth of industry knowledge (no matter what industry you work in)
- The close relationship you build with colleagues
I for one plan on still being with Gibson Lamb for a long time to come!