You work hard, your employer is satisfied and you have a nice work/life balance. There’s potential for moving up in the company. But then an external opportunity happens with the promise of a sharp upward shift in your career. You’ve cautiously mulled things over and decided to leave. Yes, it is in the middle of this big project, of course. You have misgivings about the disruption for your coworkers. You considered the impact on the company. You are feeling torn between loyalty and opportunity. Are you being disloyal? Is disloyalty a bad thing?

These are normal and even admirable concerns. However, the short answer to the disloyalty question is: ABSOLUTELY NOT! This scenario plays out every day and you’re not being disloyal. People and organizations recover and move on. Check out these stats from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2018. The typical tenure for most of us at any one job is less than 5 years.

The median tenure for workers:

  • Age 25 to 34 is 3.2 years.
  • Age 35 to 44 is 4.9 years.
  • Age 45 to 54 is 7.6 years.
  • Management, professional, and related occupations have a median tenure of 5.5 years.
  • Service occupations have the lowest median tenure at 3.2 years.

It’s Business

Keep in mind that during your tenure, you’re serving the needs of your employer. If you weren’t, you’d experience the flip side of loyalty in a heartbeat. It would benefit every worker to assume the role of CEO for their own career as they consider the virtue of loyalty. Think of job changes as personal mergers and acquisitions. M&As are almost always disruptive because of the need to make new adjustments and transitions but in the end, you’re “stock price” will be higher and your “personal dividends” will enrich you and your family’s lives.

Ready or Not…
According to the above statistics, either by your choice or theirs, leaving your job and your company is highly probable. Consider where you’re at in your tenure. Are you ready to make a move? Are you prepared to respond if your employer makes that choice for you? Being indecisive leads to anxiety, which can lead to paralysis, leaving a person unsure of what to do or how to manage a stressful situation.

Not Just Ready – Really Ready

Given the statistics alone, no one has an excuse for not being prepared for either scenario. Keep your network strong and always, always, always keep your resume up to date. Your resume is often your only chance to make a first impression. Does it look and read like everyone else’s? If your resume doesn’t make you stand out from the crowd if it doesn’t communicate your professional value better than your competitors, what will?

Your resume needs to be powerful. It should shout out your value, not just be a wordsmithed version of your job description. It must incorporate multiple strategies in order to effectively communicate that value to everyone who touches it. Strategies for audiences, algorithms, competitive communication, and authentic demonstration of your value and potential.  See my other blogs for more insight,