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.




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Amelia Salisbury

A thirty-something working Mum of one who devotes her spare time to helping other paranoid, worrying, stressed parents who are trying to juggle careers and parenthood.

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