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.
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.