We are currently living in an age where longevity and even mid-longevity in the workplace is almost non-existent. In fact I was recently speaking to a client of mine who suggested that if his agency had an employee for more than two years; it would be a big win for them. Not because there was anything necessarily wrong about their workplace or culture, but there is just too much opportunity out there, opportunity to chase another challenge, another dream and potentially another and larger pay cheque.
Employees these days for the most part are being referred to as disloyal, but can the argument be made that loyalty is also a two-way street? When does Workplace Loyalty, become too loyal?
As a recruiter in a marketplace where 18-24 months is considered a good run at one employer, I must admit it is refreshing to see candidates stay with their employer for an extended period of time. For decades we were told to be loyal to our employers and they be loyal to us - the notion "it pays to be loyal" was certainly the path to follow.
However in today's day and age, there is so much change happening around us and a new challenge can await us. Loyalty is brilliant, but you cannot let opportunities to better your career pass you by. When speaking to candidates who seem very loyal, particularly on paper, I'm often told "life is pretty good here at Company X. I'm comfortable and that's what keeps me here". This isn't always a bad thing, particularly in times of financial uncertainty, but it can be seen as being unmotivated.
You might not need to change jobs or careers to find that new motivating challenge, but you should not get bogged down doing the same thing over and over again - life is too short to be mundane. It is important to speak with your employer if you do think you are becoming too comfortable and your job is "easy". If your employer does value you and there is the right challenge available, you'll get what you are looking for. But staying in the same role for an extended period of time, longer than the norm, is not loyalty - it's being too comfortable.
It certainly can pay to be loyal, but it is important that your employer is loyal to you too. Whilst you are "being loyal" you may be missing out on opportunities to progress your career further and be better off than you are today.
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