Becoming A Lifer : Why have I stayed at the same tech company for 7 years?

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06 September 2018


There are so many technology companies today! In fact, you might say every company is now some kind of tech company given how much they rely on technology to function. So when I looked up one day this summer and realized I had been with the same organization for 7 years I wanted to take a deeper look into “why”. Why in this highly marketable industry would someone stay with one organization for 7 years?!

When I started thinking about it I realized that there are some obvious key factors that have impacted my choice to remain with the same organization for so long. Here are my seven thoughts on why I think someone chooses to stay at an organization, one thought for each year I’ve been with Onyx Point, Inc.

Year Number One - A Supportive Company Culture

Company culture influences many employees’ decisions to not only remain with a company but to even start working with that company in the first place. In my experience, a supportive company culture is found when my ideas are acknowledged and appreciated (and even sometimes implemented!). It is a culture where everyone’s thoughts and ideas are welcome. It is a place where they truly appreciate ideas, thoughts, and yes, even criticism. It is somewhere that is always trying to improve as an organization in order to support their team members better.

Year Number Two - Ability to Try New Things

From what I’ve seen and heard from other tech professionals, a big reason people leave their jobs is because they are just simply looking to do something different. Working within an organization that has a diverse technology and customer base allows for team members to have options to try new things. It is a great way for skills growth and for staving off boredom!

Year Number Three - Accessible Managers/Owners

Every single one of the owners at my organization have personally told me that their door is always open. It’s a nice sentiment that I started putting to the test 7 years ago when I first started there. And you know what? They were telling me the truth! I have consistently approached my companies owners over the last 7 years. For those of you that know me, I am….well….opinionated. I have lots of opinions! I’ve had opinions for new team building activities, opinions for the office furniture, opinions on improvements that could be made, and they always have made time to hear them. If the owner or leader of your organization is an enigma or you question if they are a figment of your imagination, you probably won’t be there long.

Year Number Four - Being Appreciated

I believe feeling appreciated could be a big indicator of retention ability for an organization. Over the last 7 years I have been told “thank you”, “nice work”, “way to go” and I have been given monetary bonuses for performance. Both are great on their own but add them together and you feel appreciated. I will always be the type of person to go the extra mile for my organization but I would not stay somewhere that I didn’t feel recognized.

Year Number Five - Competitive Pay

Let’s be honest, if you aren’t paid what you’re worth in the marketplace, regardless of how much you like your organization, you aren’t going to stay, certainly not for 7 years. One of the ways you know you are valued by your company is when you are compensated fairly and competitively.

Year Number Six - Moving Forward with Technology

Raise your hand if you want to spend your time working on outdated and antiquated technology. Anyone? I know I don’t. Having an organization that seeks new, smarter technologies and isn’t afraid to use cutting-edge tech to solve problems is the kind of organization I want to be at.

Year Number Seven - Room for Growth

Not everyone wants to “move up” but for me personally, I need the ability to grow in the company. Room to grow allows me to challenge myself and work harder to get to where I want to be both within the organization and personally. It also allows me to support the organization in a more meaningful way. If your organization does not leave room for you to improve your value to the company through education/training, added responsibility, and challenging opportunities then you will most likely not remain very long.

When an organization manages to accomplish all of these things and is always trying to improve for their team members, what’s not to love?! If your current organization is not doing one or all of these things, start a conversation and be a voice for change. Make a case for retention of team members and suggest ways to improve. My hope for all of you is that you will work for an organization that makes you as happy as mine makes me.

Lisa is a Security and Compliance Engineer with 12 years experience supporting the DoD as an Information Security Engineer specializing in Cloud Security. Lisa is a respected security engineer in high-security environments, and brings her expertise to the commercial market. Today, Lisa continues to increase her technical experience and knowledge, working as a Director and Security Engineer for Onyx Point Inc. In this role, she can be found contributing to policy mappings and policy review, incorporating agile and collaborative methodologies, advocating for DevSecOps workflow, and assisting clients in selecting and incorporating products in IT automation/security.

At Onyx Point, our engineers focus on Security, System Administration, Automation, Dataflow, and DevOps consulting for government and commercial clients. We offer professional services for Puppet, RedHat, SIMP, NiFi, GitLab, and the other solutions in place that keep your systems running securely and efficiently. We offer Open Source Software support and Engineering and Consulting services through GSA IT Schedule 70. As Open Source contributors and advocates, we encourage the use of FOSS products in Government as part of an overarching IT Efficiencies plan to reduce ongoing IT expenditures attributed to software licensing. Our support and contributions to Open Source, are just one of our many guiding principles

  • Customer First.
  • Security in All We Do.
  • Pursue Innovation with Integrity.
  • Communicate Openly and Respectfully.
  • Offer Your Talents, and Appreciate the Talents of Others

blog, work life balance, women in tech, diversity, love where you work

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