Loyalty is interesting, it comes in many forms. You might be loyal to a relationship, a family member, a friendship, or in this case, an organization. But, what you need to understand is, are they loyal to you?
I’m loyal to a fault when it comes to organizations. I think about how my departure will disrupt the company, even if it’s a small inconvenience to them. I miss my own opportunities because my loyalty won’t let me leave. If you do this, stop it.
I know it’s hard to believe, a millennial who is loyal to a company, now telling others not to make the mistakes she’s making, what will y’all do with me?
Companies can put in a lot of money to your career with them, but sometimes it’s not enough and you need to determine if you’re in that boat. If they are simply putting in the cost per hire for you and a paycheck every two weeks, they could do that with someone else.
See, I think this is one of the major disagreements between generations. In the past, all a company needed to do to be considered great was to hire you and make sure you made just enough to provide for your family and call yourself the “American Dream” and that’s no longer the option for them to stay relevant in the workforce.
Companies believe that when they provide you with a paycheck, they get to own you and the choices you make with your career. Wrong. They may determine, in a sense, where you go in your career with that organization, but that doesn’t mean it’s your last and only stop.
Being loyal to an organization that isn’t loyal to you will hold you back.
I’ve learned a lot about myself and realized that I can be loyal to a company, but I need to be loyal to myself first. At the end of the day, that company can provide you with pay, benefits, swag, a birthday card, but will it provide you with a peace of mind that you’re doing what is right?
What steps can you take to ensure you’re being loyal to yourself?
- Follow Your Passion – It might change multiple times throughout your career, or evolve for the better, but you need to stay true to what you want. It’s easy to say you shouldn’t be worried about the backlash of what your company could do or say, but being ready to step out of faith needs to always be an option. Really sit down with yourself and have the conversation about what it is you want to achieve in your life and then map out a plan to get there. It might not happen in the next 75 days or even 1 year, but if you stay on the path and in your lane, it’s going to happen.
- Don’t Give Too Much – Burnout is real! Giving your all to an organization, while it may be beneficial to their success, does not mean it is beneficial to you or your well-being. Learn when to say “No”, ask for help, turn off the phone/email. I know, we are in HR, and should be helping employees whenever they ring our line, but you can’t take care of someone else when you are in need. Focus on your health and the things you need to have a healthy work/life balance.
- Loyalty Isn’t Always Forever – Just like a relationship, loyalty can leave at the drop of a dime. Seeking employment at another organization, if it is what’s best for you, should not be frowned upon. Your organization should be sad to see you go, but they should not be getting in the way of you leaving. If that company has been good to you, being loyal to them doesn’t stop just because you’re no longer receiving a check from them. You can still speak about the major impact they’ve created in your life or use their services, recommend others to the company.
You can be invested in an organization and still leave. The end of the year is basically here and I know a lot of people are in a space of trying to figure out their next steps. Take this time to be honest with yourself and see if you’re receiving everything from your organization that you need. If you’re not, it doesn’t mean that you need to leave, sometimes a simple conversations will get the wheels turning. You could be stepping into a new position at the same company because you were honest about your needs. It might mean bringing out that old resume, getting your networking skills polished, and starting the job search. Whatever path you decide to take, remember to always be loyal to yourself.
Until Next Time …