In these uncertain times, you are faced with many unknowns – among them whether you’ll be working virtually or at the office. You may not know what you will be doing, based on the needs of the company or the market demands. Being loyal to your employer is a wonderful characteristic that shows that you were there for them and willing to commit everything to the organization.
Loyalty used to be seen as the golden ticket to moving through the corporate ladder by putting in the hard work and supporting those above you. But as we look over the last few months loyalty doesn’t mean anything other than you did a great job for a long time. In the end, you are just a number that can be replaced or let go based on the needs of the company. No one cares who you are other than they make sure you get your cardboard box as they walk you out so you don’t take any extra pens or paper on the way out!
If you’re still starry-eyed and dreamy about loyalty, that may end. You may be in for a rude awakening over the next few months if you believe otherwise. My hope is that you’ve been spending some time building up your career resilience. Career resilience is the ability to cope with change and challenges while learning and focusing on the future skills and knowledge needed to stay current and grow. You’ve probably skipped or let go of some great opportunities in your career because you didn’t want to leave and betray your company or manager because of “loyalty”.
Well, I hope this article will get you to consider a few things to build your resilience so that you can maneuver your career skill set if you are let go or if the market deems that you need to adjust to other responsibilities within your career. One of the most important things that you can do as you stay “loyal“ to the company is to build and expand your network.
Your network will be your lifeline to allow you to maneuver during these uncertain times as you look for opportunities and information. By keeping your network alive and expanding it, you will be open and ready for new opportunities. This will allow you to be ready if someone comes knocking at your cube and walks you out the door.
I hope that you’ll give serious attention to building up your network list – people you know and colleagues you would like to know. Reach out to potential areas of interest within your career that you want to connect with. It is important that you engage with at least one person a day and that you try to add at least one person a week to develop a strong support network to help you grow. Develop a Google sheet or Excel sheet to keep track of your contacts and how many times you have engaged them.
The most important person in your life is you. Don’t forget that! Growing and nurturing your network lets other professionals know who you are and puts you in a more favorable place if you ever get the boot after your years of loyalty. You need to build up your resilience continuously through learning new things, accepting change, setting goals, and practicing daily self-care. Never make the company or your career your life unless you are willing to give up family and friends. In the end, you are just a number. Serving employee number 89 Next!