Do you require loyalty to you and your company or organization?
Very much so: 30 percent
Not essential: 70 percent
The typical American college student who graduates in the year 2003 will have twelve to fifteen jobs in his or her forty-five years in the workforce. This simple fact about the employment world today dictates that you cannot expect long-term loyalty from your employees.
Thirty years ago, it was quite common for employees to spend their entire careers at one organization. The reason was simple: loyalty was a two-way street back then. Companies had a policy of "employment for life," according to Mike Sears of Boeing. Your company would virtually guarantee you a job, so the company, in turn, expected you to stay with the company until retirement. No more. With the new corporate environment—global, fast-paced, and cutthroat—companies must always consider downsizing, outsourcing, mergers, and layoffs to keep their competitive edge—all of which means that your company can no longer guarantee you a job. Now, according to Sears, the best and most conscientious companies guarantee only "employability for life"—meaning that you will learn skills that you can transfer to other companies or industries if your own company cannot keep you. That shift in emphasis from "employment for life" to "employability for life" changes the dynamics of professional loyalty significantly.