Loyalty is Overrated

Loyalty is Overrated

I wasn’t going to say anything about this Equifax thing since so many others are but something that My Money Wizard said made me want to.

The majority of companies don’t care about you or your data.

Doesn’t Everyone Secure Their Data?

As you may know, I am a software developer and in my seven years of writing jibberish, I’ve seen some things at companies one would call …lax. My first job was at a major insurance company. I worked on software that managed the information of your insurance agents (you know those people you buy insurance from if you don’t have a computer).

Besides adding new features and fixing bugs I would do reports on the data. Faceless people would put in requests for data, I would run queries on the database and send them it in an unsecured excel spreadsheet. That may not be troubling until I tell you it generally included: Name, address, phone numbers, social security numbers, and birth dates.

I questioned these reports every time I got a request for one and would be told by multiple managers to stop questioning them and go back to work. The data wasn’t secured in any way. No passwords, encryption, or lock of any kind. Imagine if that information got into the wrong hands of one of its own employees. The chaos that would ensue is unimaginable.

(Do you have warm fuzzies?)

I don’t bring this up to cripple you with fear but I want to scare you. Every time you provide any piece of information to any company, rest assured they are not doing their due diligence to protect it.

Companies aren't loyal to you, stop being loyal to them

My Company Cares For Me

This reminds me of a weird paradigm I have noticed with the older generations. Corporate loyalty. Remember the good old days where your first company was generally the one you would retire from? Yeah, I don’t either. Maybe I am just a pessimist (read: realist) but when was the last time any company ever had anyone’s best interest in mind other than their top-level staff and shareholders? I’ll admit I’m sure there may be one or two out there, but not enough to tip the scales in favor of those doing all of the actual work.

Younger generations have been given flack for being job jumpers but a lot of that has to do with lack of loyalty from the companies we work for. Rarely do you see someone getting a pension? Most companies average a 3% raise which is only to keep up with inflation. The job jumps can net me 7-10% increases. What incentive do we have to stay for companies that don’t reward good work? Or, even companies that don’t provide decent benefits to begin with? Maybe the younger generation has a higher self-worth and knows that they should be equally compensated for the skill set that they provide a company.

I Buy Brand X Because They Care

Which brings me to the last form of loyalty, brand loyalty. Much to the same effect, the corporation that makes or sells <insert product here> disregards your privacy and data security. Not that far back Target decided to ignore countless warnings from a security program and lost a boatload of payment information. I being one of those at risk. That did not stop me from going back there and shopping though. To me Target still has the most reasonably priced essential grocery items and a good selection of other good in my driveable area. As soon as that changes “Bye, bye bullseye.”

People often also forget about the quality aspect of buying stuff. I bought a Samsung computer monitor because it had the best quality for my price point and left the Samsung phone on the shelf because despite what some say Samsung can’t write a line of Android code to save their life. (got a little geeky there sorry about that)

Worry About Yourself

Let me boil it down to what an actually helpful appliance salesperson once said, “You don’t buy all of the same brand for your kitchen because one brand is better at one appliance than the other. Buy the best (for your price range).”

Corporations have no problem leaving you out to dry as long as they can turn a profit. That is true if you work for them or are a consumer with them. Just be smart about who you shop with or work for and always remember to stop and ask why? If you are ever unsure.

20 thoughts on “Loyalty is Overrated

  1. I agree with you when it comes to big corporations, BoaS. I work for a small company and we have a team culture and an overall positive work atmosphere. If things bottomed out in our industry, yes we’d likely have to lay people off. However, our company has never laid anyone off in our history (since 1924) and we also are very conservative and keep >6 months of business expenses in the bank.

  2. Yes! People need to put their own needs first! My brother in law just switched jobs and he agonized over abandoning his old company. It was so confusing to me, your coworkers won’t be mad, and the company will find a replacement for you. Find the balance you need.

    My last job jump netted a 9% raise and triple the 401k match. It was an easy choice.

  3. I think there is certainly a sense of loyalty from past generations (thinking, the times folks would work at one company for 30+ years) that isn’t applicable today. Granted, there are still good companies out there, but I agree that brand/company loyalty today needs to be taken with a grain of salt!

  4. This is awesome. I’m a “job jumper” and have stayed at jobs an average of one year. I know it’s not wonderful and it definitely was NOT my plan. The issue is that, yeah, companies care about the bottom line and expect you to work for peanuts. I’ve also had an issue with toxic leadership in many, many jobs. I’m not sure if it’s an issue of this generation of bosses not having leadership skills, or if it’s now acceptable to realize that our bosses are bad people. Hmm.

    Either way, I’m not about loyalty. That’s not the PC thing to say, but it’s true. I was also able to ridiculously grow my income by hopping jobs. In one case, I nearly DOUBLED my income by switching companies. I’ve also never been at a company that offered cost of living increases, so it’s like they’re incentivizing you to leave over time. Sigh.

    1. My current manager, who is one of 2 managers I’ve had who are good, flat out told me that my current employer only gives out cost of living increases unless you blow them away with your skills. It is a sad state of our current economy.

  5. I worked at a company years ago,not my current company and I won’t tell you their name, that kept customer credit card numbers in an unencrypted access file. I recommended they at least encrypt and lock it down, but at the time it fell on deaf ears. One can hope it’s been fixed with today’s better credit card laws.
    Similarly my college use to use social security numbers as student Id. A few years ago I found out they posted those ids on the internet for years. It’s since been resolved.
    Companies don’t care about security unless publicity makes them. A company is nothing more then a collection of people pursuing a common goal. The individual is not that goal.

  6. I wrote about this exact thing (loyalty) a couple of months ago! https://www.marriedwithmoney.com/disloyal/

    Totally agree that loyalty is overrated in a lot of cases. Jobs are a big one for me. I’ve switched jobs a couple times and am now making about 44% more (based on my hourly rate) than I was making a year and a half ago. I got some good raises when I started, but those tapered off and switched to cost of living increases after about two years. Seems about par for the course, so my strategy is basically – work for a company, get a few raises, switch, rinse and repeat.

    At the end of the day you need to do what’s right for you, and stop caring about hurting some faceless company’s feelings. 🙂

    Also super scary that they just send SSN’s around without much care.

    1. Glad you are making so much more! That sounds about right for what has happened to me. I’m on my 3rd company, probably be there for another year or two.

      I know I think the government needs to rethink the idea of SSNs. We could all get an authentication token or something 😀

  7. I agree that most if not all companies are not loyal to employees and customers. In many cases they have a fiduciary responsibility to increase shareholder wealth and therefore the dollar is king. I disagree that loyalty is overrated. There are some people out there who will look out for you. If you find one, their loyalty will probably be underrated.

  8. Man – I kind of wonder if we work for the same company!? Agree with your points here. I would argue that some companies care a lot more about data security than others. Mine is paranoid about it. Maybe the healthcare aspect raises the stakes, who knows.

  9. I cant agree with these sentiments enough. It is actually a bit maddening because my wife’s family all work for the same company, underpaid and undervalued, and yet they tell everybody how great the company is and how loyal they are to their employees. I have told them how i feel, and how they could do better but they just dont hear it. Sometimes i just wanna say out loud “Yeah – ITS EASY BEING LOYAL to assets that are willing to work for 40% less than they’re worth – You’re getting the s**t end of the deal!” But i know it would go in one ear and out of the other lol..

    1. I had a long talk with my mom about how she is being “loyal” to a company that repeatedly screws her over. She agrees now but is so close to retirement it isn’t worth finding a new job

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