By Neel Patel:
I still remember when I got my first job in an IT firm and everyone was giving unwanted (and unasked) advice about career planning. The most common was – “That firm is very good; never leave after joining; it’s time to settle now”. I fully agreed with the advisors that the firm was the best place to work, however how can you settle for a company, especially when you don’t know about the job role, challenges or work culture? I am not against stability and loyalty for one’s workplace, however I am against staying on when it is leading nowhere and threatens our own growth. The idea of “growth” is very intuitive; it is about personal development and the benefits that growth provides. However the main question is – “Why does growth matter?”
After joining that company I did nothing, except reading newspaper in library, making reports and chatting all day. That was my routine for almost a year. Now, if I want to settle down for the same organization, then I need to perform the same activities for rest of my life until I get a real project. During initial days of career everyone wants to learn, explore, and create something; however all I was creating were excel reports! Then I changed jobs and was assigned some real work which I was able to perform well. Again, after some time, the question of settling down hung over my neck.
Employers want loyal long-term employees however, in majority of companies, employers are not willing to offer benefits (vacation, preferred work location, insurance, and salary) that encourage such loyalty. Employers need to understand, if they want flexibility to hire & fire at will, and offer whatever benefits (or salary) they like, employees will treat themselves as “free agents“, selling their services to the highest bidder, who offers them the best balance, of pay, environment and benefits. So simple!
No employee would want to change jobs regularly. It is a very exhausting process. And it doesn’t help build careers over the long run. However, many employees feel that the only way they can “get ahead” is to change. India is becoming a pool of talent where employers need to reward loyalty.
The down side of loyalty is when you no longer adding value to yourself and simply doing “a job“. At the end of the day your job is just a job, not a marriage, not a lifetime commitment and you’re free to leave and pursue your aspirations. In fact your employer may prefer you leave, if you’re unhappy in your current role. You don’t need to stay with a company forever (if you are unhappy), but you need to accomplish something measurable before you leave, otherwise, what do you have, to offer the next company?