Employee Loyalty: Value vs. Obligation
What? Is there such a thing as being too loyal to your employer? Yes, there is: when it interferes with your professional development. In general, employee loyalty is a valuable quality; there’s nothing wrong with owning your role and enjoying your job. However, when employee loyalty evolves from a mutual value-add for employer and employee into a feeling of obligation, opportunities are missed and careers become stagnant.
Keep Employee Loyalty in Check
Regardless of your degree, chances are there are various opportunities available that you haven’t considered. Of course we all love a stable job where we know the people, the company, and what to expect from day-to-day. However, being too loyal or too comfortable may prevent you from pursuing new opportunities.
Forbes published a great article, Five Ways Your Loyalty To Your Job Can Hurt Your Career, that offers advice for keeping your employee loyalty in perspective. For example, the article recommends taking time once or twice a year to ask yourself:
- What do I want from my career?
- Is this job taking me in the right direction?
- Have I learned anything important and marketable over the past 12 months?
- Am I paid what I am worth here? Do I know what my skills are worth?
- What is the next career step for me? Can I take that step in this company, or do I have to move on?
Balance Employee Loyalty and Your Career Path
It’s a fact– A manager’s priority is to maximize profit; Hence, to grow their own business. Likewise, while it’s good to be loyal, your priority should be to grow your career. Even the best of employers cannot offer you endless opportunities to help you reach your highest potential. Even if they wanted to, it’s not realistic. Employee loyalty is overrated and you can’t let it determine your career path. Define where you want to go, what you want to do, and take the steps necessary to get there. After all, your career is your responsibility and you have to be loyal to this first.