Punishing Loyalty

By July 3, 2014 life

I’ll be the first to admit I’m just your average white guy. Won the genetic lottery with the family, been given ample opportunity, raised in the burbs, became an Eagle Scout, etc. Along with all of that came a notion about the importance of loyalty. Not only with your loved ones but also with your employer. I’m not sure where that came about. No one ever sat me down and said you must stay with company x for y years or you are not loyal. My grandfathers both worked for the same company for decades. My dad worked for only 3 companies during his professional career. Maybe that was it…

Anyhow, let me steal from Ben Folds and “tell ya’ll what it’s like being male, middle class and white” when it comes to my career and some articles I came across regarding length of time at a company and the impact on salary.

The first article you want to read is Employees Who Stay In Companies Longer Than Two Years Get Paid 50% Less from Forbes and the second is an expansion of the Forbes article titled The Cost of Employee Turnover.

Both of these stung. Big time. The key sticking point was the concept of being “punished” for being loyal. I always knew the only way to significantly increase your base salary was to go to another company. I’ve just never seen the numbers. Wow.

I’ve never been a fan of jumping ship just for salary. As the Forbes article points out, there is more to consider than just salary. With that being said, I do see (and have experienced) the truth of these articles. When the paycheck is all that remains, how long should you continue to punish yourself?

Maybe I’ll fire up Office Space this long weekend and re-evaluate life. Good to do that every now and again.

Stay safe out there this fourth of July and remember that if you hold on to a firecracker too tightly you just might lose your hand…