Stickiness not Loyalty

The “great resignation” has shown that it wasn’t loyalty, it was stickiness.

My boomer generation too often says things like “in my day you’d find a job and stay there 30 years. That kind of loyalty doesn’t exist anymore.” It never was loyalty, it was stickiness.

Changing jobs was hard. You often had to apply in person. Had to uproot your family. Had to risk losing your health insurance because of the tyranny of pre-existing conditions. And you risked your seniority, along with the automatic raises that came with it.

Today, you get a job over the internet. You don’t have to worry about pre-existing conditions. With remote work, you might not even have to move. And often the best way to get a raise today is by changing jobs. You’ll be assured of a market rate.

So, if you are worried about being considered disloyal, stop it. Follow the path that’s right for you. Don’t sweat about gaps in your resume. Don’t worry about being labeled a “job hopper”. The best places don’t worry about those things, neither should you.

If you’re a leader still whining about loyalty, get over it. People aren’t stuck to their leader, and certainly not to the company. They are loyal to the mission, the vision, the goal. If you want people to stick around, give them a real reason to stay.