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Why You Shouldn’t Feel Guilty About Your Professional Wandering Eye!

16 Dec 16:00 By Vicki-Anne Craigen

Creative Recruiters Vicki-Anne Loyalty

I’ve been reading a really interesting survey done by Indeed and Harris Poll. It’s called ‘Talent Attraction Study: What Matters to the Modern Candidate’ and one of the headline stats out of the research is that 74% of Australians surveyed are actively looking or open to a new job. 

It got me thinking about loyalty. 

A lot of people will tell you loyalty is dead. Or if not dead, about to be put out of its misery by a chronically impatient and cynical Generation Y. 

I disagree.  And the 74% figure – which many people will find surprisingly high – doesn’t change my opinion even slightly. 

Yes, it’s absolutely true that the days of people working for 40 years in the same position at the same company are long gone. (Only 9% of people surveyed said they could not be attracted to a new job for any reason.) But if loyalty is simply “showing firm allegiance to a person or an institution”, then many employees and employers are still demonstrating that value today. I see it daily.

The problem is, I think, some people get trapped by a sense of loyalty. Or if not loyalty, at least a feeling that to be looking elsewhere during a difficult time for an organisation is in some way unscrupulous. They stay in a job they don’t like out of duty or because they don’t want to look ungrateful.  


Loyalty is no longer a one-way promise.

Loyalty is one of those words (like chivalry and valour) that brings to mind a bygone era in which people pledged allegiances to kings and nations. I don’t think loyalty is extinct, but I think it’s changed since those times – it’s no longer a blind, one-way promise to an almighty institution. 

Yes, it involves selflessness as it always has, but those who exhibit loyalty today can and should expect something in return. At the very least respect, but, as the survey says, fair compensation, flexible hours, meaningful work, a safe and enjoyable work environment, benefits and career advancement opportunities are also important considerations.

And yet, when people see none of this, when they get no reward for their loyalty, their hard work and their talent, many still feel guilty when their career eye naturally begins to wander. 

They shouldn’t.   


If you’re looking around, you’re not on your own.

Now, I’m not suggesting that every employee reading this should open up their favourite job search app and start hunting straight away. 

What I am saying is facts are facts: if you’re not loving your job at the moment – or even if you quite like it, but can’t quell your curiosity – and have your jobseeker doors even slightly ajar, you’re not some kind of never-satisfied career oddball. In fact, you’re very much in the majority. 

You have nothing to be guilty about. In fact, you’re being smart. Very smart. 

Nearly three quarters (72%) of employed adults surveyed agreed it’s important for them to be aware of jobs currently out there in the market. Just under two-thirds (63%) of adults surveyed said they looked at jobs at least monthly. That’s not disloyal; that’s managing your career cleverly. 

But not everyone’s perusing the job market purely for research purposes, so what does the research say about what inspires people to consider a job change?

A combined 46% of people surveyed said they considered looking for a new role when feeling:

  • Dissatisfied in their current job (27%) 


  • Discouraged about their current job situation (19%). 

Eighteen percent of respondents said information about an interesting company or job sparked their interest. 

In other words, people don’t just decide out of the blue, and for no good reason, to change jobs. Great employers will still retain great staff. 

The survey isn’t suggesting employees are more disloyal than ever; it’s suggesting the majority of people aren't ‘passive’ about their career. It suggests that professional restlessness is completely normal.

It’s your career, so take responsibility and don’t be too hard on yourself if your ‘career eye’ wanders from time to time.


Have a great week everyone!


Director - Creative Recruiters

m: +61 413 453 563




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