Kip Turner, a 68-year-old engineer, joined AT&T shortly after high school and has spent his entire 50-year career with the company. When Turner first joined AT&T in 1973, he didn’t plan on staying for his entire career. He had dreams of becoming a veterinarian and intended to return to college. However, over the years, Turner took on various roles within the engineering space and found himself advancing and growing within the company.
Despite the current culture of job-hopping, Turner believes that today’s young graduates have the potential to build long, successful careers. He advises young professionals to focus on becoming experts in their current roles and to be content with what they are doing. Turner believes that constantly seeking promotions isn’t necessary and that one should learn to appreciate their current position.
Throughout his career, Turner learned of new opportunities by networking with colleagues and informing his supervisors of his aspirations. He says it’s important to let your supervisor know if you’re applying for a new position, not because you’re unhappy, but because you’re seeking better opportunities or a higher salary.
Turner acknowledges that pay and job advancement are common reasons why people quit their jobs. However, he personally hasn’t had a salary conversation with anyone for many years, and he believes that he has been able to make a comfortable living with his current salary. He advises young professionals to take advantage of any training and education opportunities offered by their company. Turner regrets not doing so himself and believes that continuous learning and skill development are crucial for career growth.
In the end, Turner emphasizes the importance of being content with one’s role and organization. Building a 50-year career requires dedication, patience, and a deep commitment to one’s work. Despite the challenges and temptations to switch jobs, Turner’s story serves as a reminder that longevity in a career is possible with the right mindset and approach.