I got my 5 year clock…

I forgot to tell you...I got my 5 year clock! For those of you that don't know what I am talking about (no, it has nothing to do with biology), Microsoft rewards employees after 5 years with a clock (you can also choose a pen but hardly anybody does). They usually award you the clock (it's silver and pretty cool looking) in front of your organization and everyone claps for you because they know how hard you have worked after 5 years of service or they aspire to last for 5 years. Jeesh, in a way I still feel new...and sometimes I feel like I have always been here.

It's not the clock itself, but what it stands for that is cool. This is a competitive place (hard to get in and then when you do, you have to be good enough to get to stay) and not everyone is successful even after they make it through the interview process. So the clock is really an accomplishment and I have to say I'm pretty proud of it. It's one of those things that you see in peoples' office and then you look forward to getting yours.

So it's a manufactured milestone in a Microsoft career, but I am glad we celebrate not only good work (like I said, you gotta do it to stay), but also loyalty and longevity.

Comments (18)

  1. Balaji says:


    Congrats! Just wanted to know what kind of recruiting challenges /competitions (especially from other recruiters in MS) that you face in general. I just want to know how competitive it can get among your peers (Do you guys compete for filling the same positions for the same group?) Just curious about the competitive aspect of hiring in MS..


  2. Heather says:

    Oh gosh..I hope I didn’t give the wrong impression. I didn’t mean competitive in that way. I don’t mean head-to-head competition. There aren’t "competitions" per se.

    My point is that Microsoft is a competitive environment in that we hire excellent people and when you get a lot of people together that were all successful before they got here and are accustomerd to being super-stars, it’s a little harder to stand out as the "best".

    I guess my point is that you have to perform well to be a Microsoft employee, not that they are setting up competitions to see who gets to stay ; )

  3. Gratz! Did you also have 5 pounds of M&Ms?

  4. Heather says:

    Scott-we don’t do the M&Ms thing here in staffing (I think it may just be the tech groups), but I’ve heard about it and it’s a great (fattening) idea 😉 Guess it hasn’t caught on here and I am not going to buy 5 pounds of M&Ms for myself…far too dangerous…they may not make it into the office!

  5. There you go segregating yourself from the techs again 😉

  6. So what does it look like?? I’m curious to know!

  7. Heather says:

    Hey Scott, I’ll tell ya what…if the techs send me 5 pounds of M&Ms, I’ll stop ; )

  8. Heather says:

    Paul-it’s like a small mantel clock about 5 inches tall. it looks kind of nautical with the continents all floating on the face. It’s silver with black numbers and at the bottom it says" Heather L Hamilton June 2004 5 Years at Microsoft!

    It’s brushed silver. Pretty nice.

  9. xam says:

    photo? yours or others .

  10. Jess says:

    Do you know Brian Gessel?

  11. Heather says:

    XAM, I’ll see if someone has a photo or a digital camera around.

    Jess-I sure don’t. There are about 50K people at MS, so the chances of me knowing someone specifically, especially someone that isn’t in marketing, are pretty slim ; )

  12. Zeynep says:

    Congrats Heather! That’s pretty fantastic. Also congrats on maintaining such a well-written and interesting blog. It’s fascinating to learn about what recruiters look for 🙂

  13. Randy H. says:

    Congrats Heather. 🙂

  14. Rofl! Reminds me of that part in Cabaret where the German guy says to the American "oh, American? Do you know so and so? I think he’s from Buffalo"

  15. Gator says:

    Yeah I got the clock but it wasn’t worth it. It’s a cheesy token to attempt to divert people form the narrow minded, bureaucratic waste land that the fine company has evolved to. The 5 year employee’s manager gets this pretty little silver box with a celebrate banner, a balloon, and some little celebrate confetti. The clock is better than the pen though.

  16. Heather says:

    Wow, Gator, you need a hug or something. I actually don’t find the clock distracting at all. I appreciate the gesture. Because at most companies you can expect nothing. I’m no Pollyanna, but I really appreciate what this company does for it’s employees and I’m not a big fan of complaining about that kind of stuff (there’s something to complain about EVERYWHERE anyway); especially here where we have SO MUCH and there are so many people that would be happy to have our jobs (makes complaining seem a little ungracious, huh?). Plus it really tends to bring down the morale around you and that’s not fair to co-workers. Anyway, this is an at-will state and people are free to make employment choices that best fit their needs. Which means nobody has tostay at a job or company that is not working out for them.

    Anyway, hope that you have landed somewhere that is a better fit for you.

  17. Steve says:

    Something of interest is that the pen was offered after someone commented that the pronunciation of "clock" sounds similar to the connotations of "death" in Mandarin.

    Interesting link to other cultural faux-pas…


    Grats on your 5th year anyways! I take my 11th year in December – there is no way that 11lb of M&M’s are coming to work with me.

  18. Heather says:

    Hmm, yeah, I guess they need to provide some different options in China-or at least refer to them using the regional language (wouldnt’ want to have to order "death" from the company catalogue).

    Now 11 pounds of M&Ms could result in death. Perhaps a new trend is required…one pound per year of something healthy. Or maybe a bottle of wine for every year! I’d be up for that.

Skip to main content