Real Adult Life

a diligent over-analysis of "adultolescence"

Loyalty January 11, 2011

Filed under: Work — jamiej527 @ 11:23 AM
Tags: ,

What’s the role of loyalty in today’s workplace?

Two months after I joined my company, they eliminated an entire division.  Two months after that, another.  Then they began the strategic restructuring steps, eliminating individual positions that often left two- or three-decade employees without a job

This was hard for me to swallow.  For all my flaws, insecurities, and mistakes, I’m one of the most unfailingly loyal people on the planet.

Obviously this leaves me with three choices: move to Japan or another country where loyalty is still valued, travel back in time to the 1950’s (which really wouldn’t work, since I’m female and all…), or shut up and deal with reality.

Companies, of course, still want employees to be loyal.  And if I’m honest, I can’t help but be loyal to my company.  Despite the tough decisions I’ve watched my leaders make, I have huge respect for them.  So much respect, in fact, that I can’t even start describing the reasons without overwhelming the focus of this post.

Given a choice, I’d much rather advance within my company than jump ship and move to a new one.  I also know that many of my mentors have left our company only to return to it, finding their “new homes” weren’t as great as our current employer.

That said, it doesn’t change reality. I’ve busted my ass for my company for two and a half years, but one lousy quarter and I’d be out of a job.  Or, depending on circumstances, even a series of great quarters won’t save me from a round of layoffs or corporate restructure.  Emotionally, that just doesn’t sit well with me.

I’ve been paid for the work I’ve completed.  I know I’ll be paid for the work I’m currently completing.  Beyond that, I have to earn my keep.  At other companies I’ve seen the dangers of keeping underperformers on the payroll.  My business mind understands these decisions, but heart doesn’t