In the last few months, I have questioned the reward for loyalty and hard work in the workplace. What is the benefit of putting yourself and your needs second so that you can focus on organisational vision, goals and work responsibilities? It is the first time in my career I have felt I may have gotten too comfortable. It is the first time I am considering that maybe loyalty is overrated.
I have done some analysis of my experience so far and came to some new findings.
Loyalty is Valuable, but …
But as far as your boss, senior management and the board are concerned, a variety of skill, the right assortment of experience and a vibrant network will trump loyalty and hard work any day. Most employers seeking to expand and create a competitive advantage for the business will be willing to sacrifice a loyal and hard-working employee for one that has just the right combination of skill, experience and network. In less than three months, I was moved from being a leader of two thriving organisations and a significant decision-maker to the leader of one, cramped into a corner and only being called to the decision-making table when it suited top management. At first, I was demoralised. I complained to those that would listen, and I cried when no one was watching. Then I remembered that I might not be able to control what is happening, but I definitely can control how I responded to it. So, I chose to take learnings and identify where I may have missed it.
First, never restrict your career growth to fit into an organisation.
I did this, and as you can tell, it backfired.
I should have sought other opportunities after a couple of years working here. I should not have gotten so comfortable or be carried away with the accolades I received. I should have considered the offers I got from other prospective employer and not be sentimental about leaving my current employment. I should have thought critically about my future and how this organisation fits into it. I should never have assumed that I will always have a place here even if my boss suggested it severally. I should have been more deliberate about building my network. I should have let the exit of former colleagues inspire and motivate me to chase better career prospects.
But I have learned and still learning. Instead of wallowing in what I should and shouldn’t have done, I am staying in that corner, determined to continue to shine. I will hold up the corner and expand it into a much bigger space so I can breathe. I have thought long and hard about what I want and what I wouldn’t take in my next challenge. I also started digging out old contacts, putting the word out there that I am open to opportunities. I am commending myself for being loyal and hard-working. I have forgiven myself for getting too comfortable. I am searching for and researching jobs and investment opportunities.
Be Careful! Don’t jump from the frying pan into the fire.
I have seen a lot of people leave one job for another in rapid succession, using this approach to climb faster in their career. I have also seen an equal amount of people lose the quality of their experience because they moved too quickly or get stuck because they made the wrong move. The sudden change in my career atmosphere is enough to make me leap without looking. A lot of people have made that mistake. So, I am careful not to jump ship too quickly. I am adapting to the change I am experiencing and at the same time finding the silver lining that I can explore.
I am learning patience – which has not always been my strongest suit. I am identifying opportunities to develop myself. I am filling the time I now have with the things I have always wanted to do. I am taking my happiness in my own hands.
I hope someone finds this inspiring and until you read from me again, Teeanah.
Image Credit: ID 7165793 © Bhe017 | Dreamstime.com