Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

The whole concept of loyalty towards a corporation is off. You can have loyalty to family, to friends, to a country but never to an economic entity whose only purpose (on paper) is profit. I think that professionalism and well-defined internal rules should be the only things expected by employers.

I totally agree. To ask an employee for loyalty is nothing but moral cohertion. Employess should be comitted, yes, to their work, to the quality of their work, to having good relations with team and colleagues.

Where do employers get the idea that a job contract is a soul contract? Unless you are offering significant profit sharing, why expect to be normal that people simply sacrifice themselves for the sake of your company? And seduce you into believing it's nothing more than your moral obligation?!? It's a moral harassment policy!

Want people to work overtime and not complain? Pay them fairly for that! Want people to stick with your company and not leave? Provide a good workplace and a deserving salary!

The only ones that should have unconditional loyalty to a company are the company owners!

Besides, wake up and realize that there is no longer such a thing as a carrier in a single company. At least where I live, you shouldn't expect and IT employee to stick around longer than 4 years, and most leave within 1-2 years.

Stop thinking you hire loyalty.

And employess, realize that your company won't be any more loyal to you when things get rough and they need to make cuts. In fact, when that time comes, they usually go for the fat paychecks of those that stuck around.

> The only ones that should have unconditional loyalty to a company are the company owners!

Why? They can just as well shut down the company, if they want, or sell it, or do whatever.

In this day and age, yes, you are largely correct, but I don't think it was always so. I get the impression that at one time, "loyalty" between employer and employee actually meant something in both directions; the company might take some losses to hang on to people and/or help them out. Perhaps more so than would happen today.

I'm not sure that's such a bad thing, yet I wouldn't say that what we have today is bad either, I suppose they're just two equilibriums. The problem more likely lies in the transition from one to the other: employees that expect to be treated with loyalty and are summarily dumped with a few years left before retirement, or employers who invest a lot in employees and expect to see them stick around because of it.

This is pretty off topic, but I'm not particularly a fan of 'loyalty' to countries either. Most people happen to be born in a particular one; at least a company is something that you likely chose.

In this day and age, yes, you are largely correct, but I don't think it was always so. I get the impression that at one time, "loyalty" between employer and employee actually meant something in both directions; the company might take some losses to hang on to people and/or help them out. Perhaps more so than would happen today.

The chocolate maker Cadbury would be a good example of this.

This is what it comes down to. Most companies treat workers with absolutely no loyalty these days. (Downsizing, anyone?) So it is absolutely wholly unfair to expect employees to treat companies with excessive loyalty in a one-sided manner, beyond the sort of basic professionalism you talk about.

/nostalgic for an earlier era I am to young to have known

In the main I agree, but despite the buzzwords if the corporation really believes and acts as if "employees are the most important asset" and it truly gets that to be profitable it needs to take care of the "knowledge workers" (whatever that means) then it may be that some companies, because of their profit motive, are worthy of some loyalty. Most companies fall short of the ideal so professionalism is more than a second best in this case.

Yes - if my employer is loyal to me, I feel more inclined to be loyal to them. If they make it clear that they'll fire anyone, anytime, as soon as profits drop, then I'm happy moving on whenever I please.

You are loyal to family, friends and country if said entities are worthy of it - i.e. if they reciprocate it. I can think of plenty of reasons why someone would choose not to be loyal to family. Someone I know is gay, his father never accepted, or even respected that, during an entire lifetime, and the guy didn't even show up to his funeral.

If a company shows genuine respect, compassion and, indeed, loyalty to an employee, there's no reason they couldn't be shown the same in return - even if it's ultimately for the profit of the company (if said values are expressed, the profit of the company should also positively reflect on the profit of the employee).

Surely you can. Wouldn't you be loyal to your own startup if it turned into a corporation? Any way, you should be loyal to your employer while working there, but that shouldn't be mistaken for selling your soul to them.

I don't see the problem with being a job hopper except it sounds really hard to jump jobs once a year or more often considering it takes about half a year to get settled into a new job. Personally I've set myself a 5 year limit as max time to work at one company before moving. This is part of my not-form-lifelong-habits program. So even if I do have my dream job I force myself to leave after 5 years. Forced perspective is good for you, you should always try to push forward and you can't do that by sitting tight in a job.

I would be skeptical about hiring someone who switched jobs 6 times the last 5 years, but I'd be even more skeptical hiring someone at 30 with less than 5 jobs on their CV as that might suggest them being lazy sods who didn't have summer jobs etc.

what makes it possible to be loyal to a country? a country is just a bureaucratic + economic entity you randomly get assigned to.

Many people (including me) see their country as a collective of shared history, culture and tradition they can associate themselves with. If you see your country as a 'bureaucratic + economic entity' then probably you've never lived in a foreign country. Believe me, that would completely change your perspective.

Actually, living in another country has completely changed my perspective - the other way. I wish more people would realize just how similar we all are in the end, and how shallow and arbitrary these cultural differences really are.

It's amazing how many people get a sense of superiority simply because they happened to be born in a certain spot. Think of how easy it is for politicians to exploit this feeling. How many wars started this way?

I live in a foreign country that I chose to go live in. I don't really feel any great "loyalty" to the one I'm in or the one I was born in. There are good and bad things about both.

Oh, and my current country of residence, Italy, is a very bureaucratic entity;-)

I lived in countries other than that of my birth for most of my life. Understandably, I think, this has given me a very different appreciation.

I mean, what's a "foreign" country, anyway? Is it one different than the one you're raised in? Your parents were raised in? One that doesn't harbor the same culture as you? Where am I from? Is it the country I was born in? The country I grew up in? The country I formed my political beliefs in? That's three different answers, and there are more to choose from.

So, I don't buy this "loyalty" thing. Who am I supposed to be loyal to? Why? Why can't I be loyal to an altogether different country that I like more, but have never spent much time in?

I think you and exit are confusing two different things that are both frequently called "your country". exit is pretty obviously using the "state" as synonym for country, where you seem to mean more "society". As expanded, I can actually agree with both of you.

> Believe me, that would completely change your perspective.

i've lived in two countries other than the one i grew up in.

I agree with both you and davidw that loyalty towards a country is wrong from a formal point a view, but since humans are not entirely rational beings one cannot deny that the random entity you happen to get born into shapes a big part of who you are. Hence, the loyalty to the group of other people 'like you', whatever that means.

Then loyalty to the random people who happened to have the same parents as you is also irrational. Wait, this can't be right...

This whole discussion is off track. Terminal values can't be rational or irrational, they just are.

Sure you can be loyal to a corporation. Just like you can be loyal to your government or customers can be loyal to you. The real problem is when you're asked to put loyalty to the company above all else.

I agree. I would not encourage people to be automatically loyal to any company which they might happen to work for, unless that company has shown loyalty to the individual in return. If the only consideration is profit, then just think of working for a company purely as a business transaction and nothing more than that. Loyalty need not be part of the equation.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Apply to YC | Contact