Twenty Years

20 Years

This week, I celebrated twenty years working for the same company. That to me is insane for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I was only supposed to be there for three months and secondly, I’m only twenty-six years old. Ok, that second bit is a lie.

I started in the Dublin office after taking redundancy from my first “proper” job which I worked at for just over three years. I was eager to leave that first job as it wasn’t particularly enjoyable although the people I worked with were great fun. Staffed with mostly young people who didn’t really take it all too seriously – it was that kind of place. It was very transient and full of people who were just there to make some money or to help them get through college. So when the offer of voluntary redundancy came up, I jumped at the chance. It was an opportunity to get paid to leave and to force myself to look for something better.

The job at L’Oréal almost came from nowhere. I was looking for jobs for about two weeks when an agency I’d registered with offered me some temporary work at a “large cosmetics company” based in Dublin. If anything, I thought it’d be funny to tell my friends I was now working in the beauty industry. Little did I know it would last the next twenty years.

The first seven years were based in Dublin and in parallel, I had a nice side career as a DJ/show-runner in The George. While life was good and I was enjoying my time in Dublin, I felt the need for a change and I wanted to focus more on my long-term career.

In late 2011, I moved to Manchester to get some more experience and to push myself personally by moving to a city where I didn’t know a lot of people. Luckily I had a couple of friends there and made more while living in my house share. I’m still in touch with those housemates to this day.

After a couple of years in Manchester, the itch struck again and I was offered a job in London. Like the first, this was a temporary position – covering maternity leave this time – but I decided to take the plunge. As luck would have it, that job ended up lasting a few years longer than originally planned and I got more and more exposure and experience in the larger organisation (I may be living in America as I write this – spoiler – but I’ll still spell it without the “z”).

About four years in London went by in the blink of an eye and it was then that I was offered the chance to move to Paris to work with the central team on a worldwide project. I was extremely grateful and flattered to be asked but I didn’t know if it was the right move to make. That hesitancy lasted about eight minutes and I accepted. A few months later I was living in the City of Light.

While in Paris, I started working on some projects with the US team. After two years commuting back and forth, it was decided that it made more sense for me to be based in the US full-time. Now, almost five years later, I’m still in New York and still loving the job. It’s a cliché, but no two days have been the same.

I don’t know what’s happening next or even where I’ll end up, but I know that I’m happy to continue my adventure and to continue learning and growing and making new memories every day.

Here’s to the next twenty.

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