The days of most workers beginning and ending their careers with the same company are all but forgotten. But some employers still demand loyalty.
But is leaving for a better opportunity disloyal? One Redditor wondered that after his boss reacted to his planned departure.
So he turned to the "Am I The A**hole" (AITA) subReddit for feedback.
Redditor TAsalary asked:
"AITA for telling my old boss I don't believe in loyalty and its unreasonable to expect me not to quit for a better paid job?"
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
"Worked at my first job for 6 years. They trained me from ground zero on everything. I had a great boss (fought for my promotions, etc.... in those 6 years my salary doubled)."
"Got an offer from a more prestigious company with better growth opportunities and double the salary. We're talking substantial money (120k vs 250k)."
"I quit without thinking twice, and thought it was more respectful not to ask my old boss to use any of his political capital to get me a match (he couldn't, part of my new comp is stock in the new company and the salary is likely more than his pay)."
"So I simply gave him my notice and explained my transition plan."
"Boss was truly devastated and very very angry. We both stayed professional throughout the discussion but it got heated and he questioned my loyalty as if it's a character flaw."
"I said my view is I paid him and the company back with my hard work so we're at the very least even. Arguably they got a bargain deal because I could have jumped ship for more money 2 years ago (didn't say this last sentence out loud)."
"Should I have handled any of this differently?"
"My wife and some friends say I'm being rather cold and calculating. I should have shown more loyalty since the company gave me so much."
"I think it's disrespectful to assume I didn't give them anything less than enough in return—I know my worth and my contribution to the company's bottom line."
"I've seen people walked out of the door after 2 decades with a 'pink slip' and no one shed a tear the morning after. I respect my old boss, but what the hell is 'loyalty to your job' supposed to even mean?"
Redditors were asked to vote by declaring:
- NTA - Not The A**hole
- YTA - You're The A**hole
- NAH - No A**holes Here
- ESH - Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors agreed that the idea of "company loyalty" has been a largely one sided deal for a long time.
"NTA '... I've seen people walked out of the door after 2 decades with a pink slip ...'."
"Yep, and your boss would have happily done this with you as well. You're talking about more than doubling your salary and you usually only get that type of bump when you switch employers."
"My take is: If they wanted to keep you, they should have kept your salary competitive the whole time."
"I hope you did your due diligence though, more money doesn't make it a better place to work." ~ loudent2
"Yup. The way to promote company loyalty is to get your employees in a gilded cage-train them to the exact niche company specifications so they're the ideally qualified employee for that specific role then pay them more than they would be able to make with the same qualifications anywhere else."
"That's what my company has done and pretty much nobody leaves. They get loyalty and amazing employees, we get the best salary we could get anywhere." ~ deskbookcandle
"NTA - I was ready to say you're an arsehole and give you the whole 'fine line between honesty and rudeness talk' but to be honest I see absolutely nothing wrong with your course of action."
"You worked there. Did your thing. Got a better offer. Let the boss know."
"When the boss asked why, you explained it to him. There isn't much reason for him to be mad except he got frustrated that you have more than two brain cells."
"Loyalty to the company doesn't mean you should turn down good career opportunities. It means not spreading idk, company secrets or talking shit about your workplace and stuff." ~ Cadillac-Blood
"Company loyalty is a one way street, your employer only cares about it as long as it benefits them."
"In 99% of professional jobs, no company would hold your hand and sacrifice for the employee if they were struggling and hurting the team."
"It's basically just yet another way capital owners try to keep workers from making things difficult for them. Loyalty to your employer in our modern economy sounds like such a feudal idea." ~ betweenskill
Ultimately—regardless of what his wife or some friends think—Redditors decided the OP was not the a**hole in this scenario. If it were in the company's best interests, he'd be fired.
Why should he turn down opportunities when they're in his best interests?