I read a post over at TLNT a while back that reminded me of my experience with my previous career at Macy’s (formally The Bon Marche). It’s about workplace loyalty and how it can work in the job market today.
A point she made personally resonated with me:
If you’re an employee and believe that your loyalty will be remembered by your employer when it’s time for the tough decisions, my question to you is, “why on earth would you place your career decisions entirely in the hands of someone else?” Not only will working at one place for too long make you stale, you’re giving up the control of managing your own career.
What if your manager retires, transfers or gets a new gig outside of the company? So much for all of those years of loyalty. Do you think your manager is going to present a succession plan for you on their way out the door? Avoid being naive and recognize the excess of “dog eat dog” attitudes in Corporate America.
I spent 22 years working for The Bon Marche’/Macy’s. Twenty of those years for The Bon Marche’ which was reorganized and converted to Macy’s where I remained for two years. I worked my way steadily up the ranks during my twenty years at The Bon Marche’ where there was a core group of executive and regional management who I knew well and who knew me and what I was capable of accomplishing.
We had a long and positive professional history that I was proud to have developed and count on when it came to my performance and career decisions.
When the company reorganized and converted to Macy’s, they closed the Seattle corporate office and laid off all the executive management. They also restructured the regions and brought in “new blood” and expanded the regional management staff.
My entire 20 year history of accomplishments, skills, and knowledge was immediately wiped out and meant nothing to the newly reorganized company.
Rather than being relied on and trusted to run and operate my store as I was trained to do – and was very good at – I was being told how to run my store by group of people who never ran a store. I gave it my best but eventually realized I was no longer a good fit in the reorganized company.
I was miserable and dreaded going to work every day. My experience, knowledge, skills, abilities, and creativity were no longer valued or even considered. I had to leave and move on.
I made the mistake of thinking my work history, accomplishments, and loyalty to the company would benefit and help my continued career with newly organized Macy’s. It didn’t.
So, I left and took my KSA’s to Denver and am loving my current job as Director of HR, IR/PR at a uranium mining company.
I learned a valuable life lesson.
You need to have complete control over your career. It is your responsibility, not your employer’s. Network in your profession and in your industry. Network outside of your profession and industry. Develop relationships with recruiters. Grow your knowledge in your profession and industry. Periodically look at job openings to see what is out there and what they are paying.
You’re not being disloyal to your company, you are being responsible and taking control of yourself, your family, and your career.
As the author of the blog post I linked to above says:
Do you think your loyalty will be reciprocated when your company is facing tough times and has to review numbers and headcount for a reduction in force?