“I owe it to the company…”
Have you ever thought this before? Thoughts of guilt play through your mind. That time your boss let you leave early. Or that time your coworker helped you with a project that wasn’t their responsibility. Or that small promotion that left you hoping for more. You start to believe that you owe it to the company to stay in your current position. Or to work 70 hours per week. Or to decide against taking that vacation. Or to stay there for your entire career.
Feeling loyal to your job is one thing.
Loyalty that stems from guilt can look less like well meaning sacrifice and more like sacrificing your life, health, and happiness for your job, and life. All of us professionals are walking the line between being a great (and loyal) employee and having a healthy personal life. This is how most workaholics are born – over time, slowly sacrificing here and there, and then finding themselves working 70+ hour weeks for a job they don’t love anymore. For many, this doesn’t happen overnight. Our question is – is your loyalty well placed? Or, is your loyalty hindering you from growing in your career, or even pursuing a new career?
Are you being loyal to your own authenticity?
Do you ever think about what being authentic means? Authenticity is a way of making decisions that portray the real and genuine you. So why do authenticity and well-placed loyalty matter in the workplace? Very often, making decisions that are authentic to who you are can become replaced by making decisions that you feel you need to make for one reason or another. Take that job you’ll hate because you have a family to support. Don’t apply for that promotion because one of your favorite coworkers is going to do the same. Don’t even think about pursuing your dreams because they might disappoint everyone – or someone – around you. Have you chosen to substitute your career for your happiness?
We believe that there are seasons of life that demand – for a lack of better terminology – a lot of trudging through the day; patience and persistence. Anyone who has ever started anything understands that pursuing your dreams, or making a radical change, doesn’t always feel like floating on cloud 9. But some things are worth trudging through and sacrificing for, and some things are not. If you’re experiencing one of the following items, it’s our recommendation that it’s time to truly gauge how you feel about your job:
- Lack of sleep
- Anxiety before work (and after)
- Lack of ability to rest on vacation
- Feelings of inadequacy or doubt
- Lack of energy (excitability)
- Asking questions around purpose
Here is the truth – where you place your loyalty, and why, matters. Loyalty is one of the loudest voices in your head when making decisions. Ask yourself the questions above and be brutally honest with you answers, not holding back for any reason. And if you’re unnerved by what you discover, that’s great! A great change, and adventure, might be closer than you think.
Are you being too loyal to your current career?
-The Wolfgang Career Coaches
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