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10 Workplace Myths

Willingness to Stick Around Will Be Rewarded
Losing patience with your job? Don't stick around just for loyalty's sake.
Losing patience with your job? Don't stick around just for loyalty's sake.
Christopher Robbins/Digital Vision/Thinkstock

Loyalty to your friends or your favorite sports team means that you're willing to stick with them in good times and bad. In fiction, a loyal hero is often rewarded with money and fame. Since loyalty is such a valued trait, you'll surely be rewarded for your loyalty to your employer, right?

Typically, no.

Loyalty in the workplace is an old concept that has all but died out in the United States. For your parents or grandparents, retiring with the same company after 20 to 30 years and collecting a pension was considered admirable. In those times, a long résumé with lots of job hopping was a sign that you couldn't hold on to a job. Plus, raises and promotions were often a reward for loyalty and hard work.

Today, though, long-time pensions are increasingly underfunded, and raises are few and far between when a worker is willing stick around without them [source: Bunkley, Hilzenrath]. People in industries like information technology are considered stagnant if they've stayed in one job for too long. For those people, the only way to get ahead or to be admired is to move up or move out every few years. Moving up sometimes means moving out, too, as employers often find more benefit from hiring executives that can bring fresh perspectives from outside the company [source: McKenzie].