Couples celebrate first dates, years of marriage but today I’d like to celebrate my husband’s 10 year tenure at Rackspace. Of course, it’s special to me because we met 10 years ago while working at Rackspace and we will always joke about how we first met – can you say Linux nerds? I was the newly college grad entering the workforce who didn’t have a clue about computers and well, clearly he did.
10 years at one company is a huge accomplishment in today’s professional world, especially at the age of 31. For employees between 25-34 years, the average tenure for an employee is 3.2 years. And Jason is in the 3% of Rackers that have been at Rackspace 10 years or longer. Wow. There’s something to be said for crossing this milestone because it’s not an easy task. We live in an era of job hopping, especially in our industry, and sometimes it can be good for your resume. But to stick with one company and grow within that organization takes a lot of focus and dedication. Fortunately, Rackspace has grown over the years, with 400 employees in 2003 to over 4000 employees today, offering a lot of opportunities if you seek it.
So how did Jason do it? I have learned so much from my husband and if I had to boil it down to one thing it would be to “Be Persistent.” Persistent by definition means “Continuing firmly or obstinately in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.” I also like this word because it’s a computer science term as well.
For someone that has been by his side throughout these 10 years (5 years of friendship + 5 years of marriage), I’ve seen his strong work ethic shine through again and again. Although he has taught me a lot over the course of 10 years, I think these 3 lessons stand out the most:
Sometimes you have to do things you don’t like to get to do the things you love.
Early on, Jason knew he wanted to work for a tech company like Rackspace. You might say that what he started doing and doing what he does today has always been his dream job. I think there is a misconception about “finding a job you love” because although you may love what you do, you might not like every aspect of it at certain times and you can’t let that ruin it for you. It’s like a marriage, you know you love the person but there will be times where you might not “like” the person because of some disagreements here and there. If you continue to overcome those small, annoying obstacles, you will find yourself having the opportunity to pave the path for others.
There will always be “that someone” you constantly disagree with but they are the ones you can learn the most from.
Let’s face it, there will be times that you may not agree with your boss or coworker and it can be frustrating – we’ve all been there. In fact, it’s one of the main reasons why people actually quit their jobs. Of course, over 10 years, Jason has been down that road more than once. Each time, however, he has always come out learning something about himself. Today he is more aware of the type of person he is in the business world because of all the people he has had to work with. Every interaction is an opportunity to learn and because Jason sees it this way, it makes it easier not to give up because of a simple disagreement. He does an amazing job of tailoring his responses to the variety of personalities he interacts with.
You are always replaceable regardless of title, tenure or who you know – so never take your eye off the ball.
This is what I love the most about my husband. He never thinks anything is owed to him because of his tenure. Everyday he works his tail off to get the job done and then some. Although he has complained about a lot of things at work, he has never once ever complained about how his job sucks. He loves his job and he never takes it for granted. He knows that he is replaceable and this is what keeps him moving forward – to continue to accomplish bigger and better things.
Thanks for all you do Jason, you are a true inspiration!