What happened to loyalty?

I remember when I had a job working for another company.

It wasn’t a huge corporate, it was a relatively small company, with a lot of software developers based in India, and a smaller team based in the UK.

I was quite senior, and I really believed in the company.

But, at the back of my mind, I just felt like I was being taken advantage of.

Long hours. Carrying the weight of the company on my shoulders. Having to go above and beyond every day.

Questions would race through my mind.

When does life get better?

When do I start making money?” (I wasn’t really after money but I did want to live a decent life and take the odd trip away)

I want to make a difference but I’m wondering if I’m just burnt out

And then I would think about loyalty.

Don’t I owe it to them to stay? Don’t I owe it to them to give it everything?

The turning point was when we had a total disaster. I had been working 16 hour days for weeks. It was tough. And things still failed, we lost a significant amount of money and we had to sack a number of staff.

It was horrible and I took it very badly.

Then one day, my friend said to me “I don’t understand why you blame yourself – I’ve seen how hard you’ve worked for the bosses and you can’t blame yourself for all the things that went wrong – it was their decisions that lead to this

That was a trigger for me.

Why was I being loyal?

Why was I working so hard for these people?

Why was my well-being tied to people who were making bad decisions, who were making choices that lead to others losing their jobs?

And that’s when I decided I was going to figure out how to start up on my own.

At least that way, my fate would be in my own hands.

If I succeeded, it was down to me. If I failed, it was down to me.

And my loyalty would be to people who deserved it.

If this sounds familiar, if you feel like you’re tied to an organisation that has taken you for granted, that is even taking advantage, check out my free “Hackers Guide to Quitting your Job“.