The detrimental effect of loyalty

Last night I had a eureka moment. Well, it wasn’t really me, but I received some advice that suddenly called into question one of my most important and as I see it desirable traits.


I am in the main fiercely loyal. Both in my personal life and my working life.  I will support, argue for and defend anyone who I am loyal to, and woe betide anyone who tries to cross me when I’m passionately fighting the corner.

This particular post is centred around loyalty in the workplace.

I work full-time for a company where I’ve known members of the board for many years.  One person in particular head-hunted me for this role and is possibly the best leader you could ever have.  He is supportive, he understands I have a young family, he is flexible, he trusts me and he is inspiring.

It is for this reason that I have an unwavering loyalty towards him and I want to succeed in my role, and to help the business succeed.

Now, here’s the problem.

I’m unhappy.


Whilst I work with an amazing leader, this is not a 2-man company.  It is substantially larger.  There are other members of the board and multiple colleagues and peers.  Some of these people I work well with, and some I don’t.

This is normal.

You can’t expect to get on with everyone.

I have passion and drive, I feel I have a lot to add but this isn’t recognised and as a result, over the last year I have felt underwhelmed, undermined, under-utilised and upset.

Now, as I’ve said, I’m very loyal.  I left a previous job to move to this company to help my leader because I trust him and was excited about the challenge.

I have been praised for my work and encouraged by my leader. However, this hasn’t been the case from others, which makes the leader’s praise almost worthless.

I have been carrying on with the role, trying to articulate my frustrations, show initiative but with little progress.

I continue because I am loyal.

I do not want to let my leader down – he has faith in me and therefore I will strive to do well.

But how long should someone put up with unhappiness?

Is loyalty enough?

When my friend told me to leave after I had mentioned some of the incidents that had occurred, my immediate response was that I couldn’t.  It is not because I was worried about finding another job, it was because I am loyal. I feel bound to support my leader as he has supported me over the years in different jobs and roles.  I feel like I owe him.

But then I thought about it.

My career path is my own. I choose my destiny and I should remain in control.  If I am respected as an individual and an employee then I should still be respected if the unhappiness continues and I choose to leave.  It shouldn’t tarnish my integrity.

Loyalty is a great trait to have, but only if it sits alongside happiness and a sense of worth.

This goes for everything – career and home life.

So, if you’re in a situation where you are loyal but you have nothing else backing it up, ask yourself something.

Is it enough?

If it isn’t, make a change.




The emotional attachment to clothes (theirs)

After a busy weekend, today I felt inspired to start going through my daughter’s clothes. This exercise happens every 6-12 months when I’m beginning to get fed up of rummaging past old outgrown pairs of knickers and odd socks for the new pack of vests I bought the other week.

child-and-snowman-1394151-639x424The only difference today was that I was also going through another secret stash in a old wardrobe, one that I hadn’t dare open for quite some time. It was whilst pulling out unused packs of nappies, nappy sacks and the baby bjorn that I suddenly felt a little sad.

Not because of these items but because there, nestled away on a wardrobe shelf was my daughter’s pink snowsuit.

I loved that snowsuit.

We have pictures of her at 5 months lying in snow with a smile on her face, snuggly and warm with a fake-fur-lined hood and no hands and feet visible. She looked like Maggie from The Simpsons.

I don’t just love that snowsuit, I miss it.

I put it to one side, for some reason unable to throw it into the charity bag along with the umpteen baby gros, sleepsuits, a slightly stained cardigan and several pairs of pyjamas that had managed to escape the cull the last time round.

It is items such as these that make you remember the really joyous times with a newborn. It isn’t that you have no photos of your beloved in these outfits, you have plenty on your phone, laptop, potentially a photobook, or framed and sitting pride of place on your parent’s mantelpiece – but holding the item is different.

Entirely different.

It’s empty.

You realise that you’re unlikely to ever use it again. It came from a different stage of both our lives and that stage has been and gone.

At the same time as I was going through the clothes, my daughter actually decided to try and put on one of the sleepsuits. It was funny to watch a four year old wrestle with the legs of a 9-12 month item of clothing and she gave up after a few minutes with two legs pulled up around her knees.  I had to let her try.

tiny-clothes-1527650-640x480It snapped me out of my memories but I still couldn’t let go of a few more items that included a little dress that she wore to a first birthday party and a swimming costume bought by her late great-grandmother. These items are essentially useless to me and to my daughter. They can’t be worn or used and they are taking up precious space in our house, but emotionally I’m still attached.

So for now I’ll find another place for them.  They will be forgotten again until the next time I decide to declutter and I wonder what their destiny will be then.

Do you have any specific items of clothing from your children that you can’t part with?  Let me know.


Petite Pudding