Capitalism & Loyalty

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There is a nagging voice in my head – not my own (and not the schizophrenic kind) – which keeps returning me to a frame of thought – I am a sucker for not already looking to switch to a better paying job. Because as they say – you are quicker to get a raise by switching companies than you would by staying and aiming for promotions and salary raises.

So, if you ever saw the headlines in places like LinkedIN or other business magazines, you may have noticed, currently, what they say – it is quite normal that a person, “on average” (whatever that means) – stays in a company for 2 years, and then switches.

Apparently – economically that is the best strategy. For whatever reason, promotions and raises simply don’t happen so fast within a one company – maybe, because there are enough “suckers” around who agree to stay a little longer without asking, probing or threatening to switch if they don’t get their raise or promotion.

From my personal perspective, why this might be happening – while I was hired to do quite simple things, but right off the bat started doing a little more advanced things (which would normally be considered of a different level – who also gets payed more), AND I have curiously been studying the industry as well as anything around business, risk, marketing, branding – within the company I am still somehow seen as the low-salaried noob whos time is being used to design an edgy mailer.

I have raised the topic with the boss, but it keeps getting, you know – kicked down the road and it feels sort of unachievable for me, at this point. And can I really do my job well and merrily work on these side-projects that ought to benefit the company, WHILE I am convinced I am a complete fool for doing all this for the salary and position I am in… It hurts me.

But it’s not like I am short of money or that I care about seeing as a higher level specialist on the spot – of course, why it annoys me, first of all – knowing that others get more, or somehow grabbed their promotions based on achievements that remain invisible to me. Is it tenure? I don’t know, couldn’t be.

If I were a cold drone, I would have no problems just looking out there, seeing what my chances are (especially as remote work is getting more popular now – and I can use my current status – as being entrusted to get the job done remotely, too), apply to all sorts of places that mayhaps have more to do with what I am interested in solving (direction, strategies, whacking people with a ruler to not get blinded by data, research, ideating solutions in groups…) – but there’s a BUT.

I am happy with the company and the people I work with. I have no desire to leave them – and not particularly because they are out of this world the best people I have ever known (they are okay) – but there is something unexplainable that’s keeping me. A bond of a sort – something that I cannot explain, neither rationally nor even emotionally.

But somehow it looks like loyalty and such bonds don’t pay. I don’t know what exactly constituted to all those other people getting their promotions (who knows, maybe they asked already a year ago, and they got stalled the same way I do now – but it’s a taboo to ask what someone earns and how someone gets the deals they do, within a company, for some darn reason); and because it is all so opaque – the impression it leaves to me – you won’t get promoted for loyalty, but only with leverage that signals disloyalty – when you go to the boss and say “or else.”

However beneficial it might be regarding status or money – excuse me, but I don’t want to play dirty. Does it make me a sucker?

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