employer-loyalty-what-you-really-owe-themYou have been with your employer for 4 years now as an Administrative Assistant. While you have definitely shown employer loyalty, you feel the job is getting a bit stale. Your career isn’t moving where you’d like, nor is it moving as fast as you’d like. The company is a small one, with little growth momentum, so that is not likely to change. So you begin mulling over the possibility of hitting the job market. I mean, things are looking up for the overall economy, right? So you’re thinking,”Now is the time”. But just then, a little voice begins to chirp in your ear. “The boss depends on us so much, I am not sure we should leave. Who will the vendors talk to? Who will find the Gunderson file that is always getting lost? Who will correct the grammar of his written communications?”

Loyalty. It is a virtue that is valued by all employers. But one that can end up being your demise if you aren’t careful.

While you can be thankful to your employer for taking you off the unemployment scrapheap, remember that the basis of capitalism is pursuing one’s best interest. Unless you were hired because of “somebody you know”, your boss brought you aboard because you were the the best available of the pool of applicants that came along at the time. During that time, the likelihood is that you showed employer loyalty by putting in an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay. Quid pro quo (loosely translated, “this for that”). You provided time and expertise, and your boss provided compensation. Other than that, the people you owe first are yourself and your family. You spend at least 8 hours per day at a full-time job. You need to be fulfilled not only from a growth perspective, but a financial one as well.

In most cases, the only thing you truly owe an employer is two weeks notice before leaving. From there you determine a balance between your need to move on and time frame to do so. But if you find a new position and they want you to begin right away (you know, because you let a certified professional resume writer handle it for you), it would not be prudent to let the opportunity slip by simply because it would be inconvenient for your boss. Let’s face it. It you are “that employee”, it will never be convenient. But in most cases, if the bottom line suffered enough, the decision would likely be made to let you go. They may not like it. They may feel bad doing it. But if it is either you or their business, you will be the victim. 

Employer loyalty is fine, but be loyal to yourself and your professional needs first. You’ll be sorry if you don’t.