Walter Orthmann celebrated two major milestones last month: turning 100 and breaking the world record for longest career at the same company.
Orthmann was just 15 when he began working as a shipping assistant at a textile company in the state of Santa Catarina, Brazil called Industrias Renaux S.A. (now known as RenauxView), according to Guinness World Records.
“Back in 1938, kids were expected to work to help support the family,” he told Guinness World Records. “As the oldest son of five, my mother took me to find a job at the age of 14.”
He applied for a job at a nearby weaving mill and, because of his strong proficiency in German, was hired on the spot. He has continued to work at the same company, RenauxView, for the rest of his career.
After starting as a shipping assistant, Orthmann was promoted to a role in sales and, ultimately, to a sales manager position.
Working at RenauxView gave him the opportunity to travel throughout Brazil, meet people from different countries – but his favorite part of having a job is the purpose, commitment and routine it brings. He makes a point of exercising every day, and still drives to the office each morning.
His secret for finding a life-long career that you love? Follow your passions, and find an employer who aligns with your goals and values.
“When we do what we like, we don’t see the time go by,” he told Guinness World Records, adding that his status as a world record holder is his “proudest achievement.” He broke his own record, which he set in 2019 after working at RenauxView for 81 years and 85 days.
Throughout his 84-year career, Orthmann has also learned that the secret to success is focusing on what’s in front of you.
“I don’t do much planning, nor care much about tomorrow,” Orthmann said. “All I care about is that tomorrow will be another day in which I will wake up, get up, exercise and go to work; you need to get busy with the present, not the past or the future … Here and now is what counts.”
Guinness World Records did not note when, or if, Orthmann plans to retire.
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