What’s Your Company’s History?

I recently had the opportunity to go to Omaha, Nebraska to visit my firm’s headquarters and corporate office.  Being recent hirers, I, along with two of my coworkers were invited to the Omaha office so that we could see “where it all began” in hopes of better understanding of what our company’s core values are.  We spent a full day shaking hands and answering interview-like questions about ourselves while meeting with veteran architects, engineers, and interns. By the end of the day my head was full of new names and faces, my pocket was overflowing with business cards and most importantly, I had a better understanding of the company I am working for.

The company I work for was established in 1915 and though there aren’t many (if any?) people left who can say they’ve been there from the beginning there are several who can say they’ve been there for a few decades. Aside of the classic 60’s post-war modern architecture that is very apparent in our office, the one thing that stood out to me most was the number of people I met who had been around since 1960, when the existing office was built. I was truly amazed at how many people had been with the company for 40+ years and from what I could tell had no intentions of retiring any time soon. Those are true Architects, in my opinion. Though my former firms have been around for forty-some years I have hardly had any experience working with anyone who had been there since the beginning.  Here, in Omaha, that wasn’t the case. It was eye-opening to see exactly what an established, nearly 100 year old firm is like and learning about the history behind it.  The best part of this trip for me was meeting with those who have been there for years and years and have had the opportunity to be a part of the history, the legacy of the company.  It was inspiring…

I think it’s important for all of us, as employees, to understand our company’s history.  Whether you’re working for a company that has been in operation for a few months, few years or several decades I think it is critical for us to have an understanding of our company’s foundation. By knowing where it all started you can have a better understanding on where you’re going in the future. I would encourage you to do the research, if you don’t know already, about what started it all for your company.  Ask the questions, talk to the veteran’s of your firm and try to understand the core values of the firm you call home.  Once you know the history, I could encourage you to share your story with others.  Tell us about your company, share with your friends and colleagues what you have learned about whom you are working for.  And then, at the end of the day, figure out how you can become part of the legacy as well.

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