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Author's selfieTwo co-workers, fixtures in my library world, are retiring. Actually, one just did and another leaves in a few weeks. This has, understandably, initiated a great deal of conversation. Surprise is a common reaction to the announcement. Sometimes even disbelief that such a seismic change as struck, the intensity varying by distance from the epicenter.


The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in their Employee Tenure in 2016 report that the median number of years employees had been with their current employer was 4.2 years, down from 4.6 in 2014. The rest of the release breaks it out into more detail. Older employees tended to have been with their employer longer. Public service employees stayed longer than private sector employees.

I don’t have numbers on this from work, though I suspect it’s higher than the national average. We have employees that have worked 40+ years, 30+ years, and those like me that are in the 20-30 year timeframe. The percentage of employees working for the library more than 5 years is likely fairly high. Pay grade also has an effect on turnover. We have many employees that have changed positions while staying with the library. I have moved through multiple positions from supervisor, to manager, coordinator, and now district manager.


Motives for remaining with the same employer likely vary considerably. I take a great deal of satisfaction from my job. I also have quite a number of years until I reach even an early retirement age. There are many benefits in staying with the same employer. I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds.

Fundamentally, I enjoy my job. I have plenty of outside interests that I also find rewarding. I appreciate the stability that comes with the position. Does that mean that I’d never look at other options? No. I’m certain that there could be other employers, other positions, that would also be rewarding and engaging. Such opportunities would also likely mean relocating, which would have to be considered carefully. I don’t want to disrupt my family’s lives without a good reason.