Is Company Loyalty Affecting The Choices You Have In Life?

One of the most common paradigms that has been around for a long time is to get a “good” job with a company and if you work hard enough and show loyalty to a company, you will be rewarded through job promotions, higher pay and better benefits. Plus if you show loyalty, you will be given job security.

In recent times, especially over the last couple of decades, that paradigm has been challenged and there are some risky downsides to be operating from that paradigm. I think this idea of job security is a thing of the past.

Why do I say that?

Having experienced and also witnessed company restructuring, downsizing or rightsizing throughout my career, I’ve seen firsthand how it affects people and how they respond when change is forced upon them.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

There used to be the 40/40 model which stated that after your formal education, you get a job where you work 40 hours a week, for 40 years, which will give you a comfortable, secure life. That’s the model I was raised with and so did my parents generation. The fact is that model worked for a time called the Industrial Age, where a lot of industries were established in order to support human evolution.

Today, we’ve moved past the Industrial Age and are now in the Information Age. How long we’ll be in the Information Age is anyone’s guess but the problem is, we’re still operating with the Industrial Age model. The idea of being loyal to a company and expect the same loyalty back is a nice idea, however the reality is that it’s not a model to be dependant on for long-term security and comfort.

I think there are some risks with relying on a company to support you and your lifestyle over the long-term, and here are five reasons why I think that.

  1. You’re not in control of your career and life. Your options in life are dictated by a company (or by your manager or boss). Someone else approves your vacation/holiday, someone else determines what time you start and finish work, someone else determine how much income you earn. You really have little power because if it’s not your company, someone else’s decisions can affect you personally.
  2. Your mindset is affected. Having been an employee myself, I know employees tend to have a “me” mentality — What can the company do for me? or I’m loyal to the company so they should be loyal to me too? or Don’t they know just how valuable I am? Having this “me” mindset results in unrealistic expectation of the company you work for and when those expectations are not met, it can result in frustration, anger and resentment toward the company’s management.
  3. Your growth may be stifled. People tend to get into a comfort zone when they’ve been working for a company for a while and not challenge themselves to develop new skills in areas that may benefit them. Generally, most of the training and development opportunities offered by a company are really for the benefit of the company. Your progress and growth may be limited only to how the company is performing. Bad times — less opportunities. Good times — possibly more opportunities. Again, your future is in the hands of someone else.
  4. You’re trading your life for a job. Over the years, surveys conducted have revealed that more 80% of people either dislike or hate their jobs. People feel obliged to do work they don’t enjoy just so they can earn money and pay for the lifestyle they want. On one hand, there is nothing wrong with that as that is one way to earn money, however, on the other hand, almost a third of people’s lives are spent at work. Wouldn’t it make sense to do work you enjoy and work that is meaningful to you? It’s our responsbility to find work we love to do and develop the necessary skills to be able to do the work we love well.
  5. You’re at the mercy of external conditions. At the end of the day, your fate is determined by what is happening in the economy, the decisions made by your government or by the company you work for. Think back to the global financial crisis… how many countries, businesses and individuals were affected? It was in the tens, if not hundreds of millions of people! You really aren’t free if your life is dictated by things outside of your control.

The question now becomes, “If company loyalty is a thing of the past, what are my options now?”

The thing is understand first and foremost is that I am not suggesting having a job is a bad thing. What I am suggesting is that it is not wise to be totally dependant on a job as your only source of income. You must have different options for earning income. It is no surprise that there are so many home-based business opportunities available today and if there is one that resonates with you, it is worth checking out at least.

The age of company loyalty being rewarded with job security is gone forever. Evaluate where you are in life. Are you living the life you want? Or are your trading your life for a job that you don’t particularly enjoy? If the answer to the second question is yes, it’s time to get real and do something about it. It’s your choice.

Question: What have you learned about company loyalty from your experiences in life?

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