So I was busily working away yesterday when I hear Pip (Rockley Managing Director) shout from her office ‘oooooh Cassy, it’s just popped up on linked in that it’s your 20th year work anniversary today!” I replied with a dubious ‘are you sure?’ – I mean I felt positive it was more like 16 years!
There were the obvious jokes; Rob piped up with ‘and in all that time you haven’t managed to find anything better to do with your life’ and Val sneaked in with ‘you get less for murder!’ It then got in to a conversation about how long everyone else had been there – comedian Rob isn’t that far behind with 19 years, Pip’s on 15, Kate’s on 14 and Val’s on 12. In fact, there aren’t that many who are under 10 years which probably says more about the company we work for than who we are as people.
20 years is almost half of my life (I’m 41, OK 42 in March but still 41 as I type!). Truth be told, I didn’t think I’d last 20 minutes let alone 20 years – but I think that’s a common feeling when you start a new job. I’ve had my fair share of jobs during my time – mainly bar and restaurant work from the age of 16 and through University and then 8 months in France with Eurocamp which was where I was first discovered Rockley (or Sail France as it was back then). Rockley however is the first and only job where I’ve had an actual interview but even that was a tad unorthodox – a meeting at Peter and Lis’ house over a cup of tea. It seems I have had the fortune to escape the torture of a proper job interview (if the Apprentice is anything to go by!)
During those 20 years I’ve gone from office admin to heading up the marketing department. This isn’t something I studied at University but it’s a lesson to many that you can progress and thrive in a company and achieve what you like with a little bit of hard work. Now as a part time Mum I sit on the ‘Mummy pod’ with Val, Kate and Kate M (not a Mummy and much younger and prettier than us!!), and while of course we’re there to work, we really do have a giggle and as with everyone else in the office, get on really well!
I had a conversation recently over drinks with a friend’s friend who is a psychotherapist. After the usual, what do you do and ‘getting to know each other’ chat she concluded that I ‘stick at things.’ It’s a statement that has stayed with me for a while – was that a good thing or a bad thing? After months of contemplation, I discovered that I’m happy with that. Yes, I’ve stuck with Rockley thus far for 20 years but I’ve learnt so much in that time and I’ve had the privilege of working with some lovely, innovative, inspirational and caring people.
This isn’t something I studied at University but it’s a
lesson to many that you can progress and thrive
in a company and achieve what you like with a little bit of hard work.
Personally, some of the most significant life changes have happened while I’ve been at Rockley – marriage, house buying, two wonderful children, a best friend and a bit of heartache along the way. During all those times, the people who I work with have been there or helped in one way or another. When a marketing meeting with the boss starts off with ‘So how are things with you’ it’s amazing how many personal issues can get ‘sorted’. Apologies to Pip for all those times when a normal meeting turned into what must have seemed like a therapy session! Still, it’s times like this when you realise how important it is to work with such lovely people and be part of a really great Company. You only need to look at all the effort everyone has put in to raise money for our chosen charity – Julia’s House to recognise and appreciate the type of people I work with.
And it’s not just me that feels part of the Rockley family. My two children often come into the office like it’s their own home, chatting to everyone and joking around. Working with Rockley has also given them the opportunity to have a go at all the activities we offer – sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, paddleboarding. I’ve always believed that sport and outdoor activities can have a positive impact on children and it’s something that Rockley is truly about - empowering children by giving them the environment in which to develop key skills. I’ve got to see this first hand with Daisy and Joseph. Joseph took to paddleboarding when he was just three and Daisy absolutely loves sailing – it’s given her so much confidence, a real sense of achievement and has allowed her to develop her social skills. While it may seem like a bit of a cliché, working for Rockley really is like being part of a family!
So, they say time flies when you’re having fun and it’s true. I’m not saying that it’s been plain sailing (excuse the pun!)– there’s been ups and downs as there always is in life but I must say it has absolutely whizzed by and it’s absolutely mostly been fun! Some of my stand-out highlights (and there have been many) - definitely our wonderful ski trips, definitely my 40th birthday dinner, most certainly our after work bike rides and definitely wine tasting at Hotel du Vin. Of course it has been lovely to see Rockley evolve through the years to become a successful, forward-thinking company that is held in such high regard not only by its customers but also within the marine industry. So long may the success of Rockley continue and thank you Peter, Lis, Pip and absolutely everyone at Rockley times 20 for all the fun times!