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Something I Wish Everyone Knew About Work – The Company is Not Your Friend

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While I share a lot of interesting articles across my social network profiles because they provide an interesting insight, or different approach, it’s somewhat rare for me to find something that I absolutely, completely, think everyone should read.

Occasionally though, I read an article and find myself enthusiastically nodding in agreement all the way through. That’s what happened with this Lifehacker post:

The Company You Work For Is Not Your Friend

What I especially like about this article falls into two categories:

1. Understanding that the company, including HR, will always do what’s good for the company. That’s not a bad thing, but it is the reality. They will help you insofar as you being focused on work makes you more useful to them. You are the only one who can take responsibility for your career.

2. The importance of networking. It’s tempting to land the new job and let your network drop, but you should never consider yourself “off the market”. It’s not marriage, it’s a job. You are free to leave if there’s a better opportunity out there, at any time. The only way you stay in the loop on potential opportunities is by staying connected to your professional network. Any position is a two way street. If you don’t do your job up to expectations, the company can get rid of you, unless there’s a contract of some sort, and if the company fails to live up to what you expect, you are free to leave. Never let anyone make you feel like you are lucky to have your job, you are there because you bring the company value, that’s what they pay you for. At any point if you don’t bring the value they expect for their money, or the money/opportunities/atmosphere doesn’t live up to the value you bring, the relationship can, and probably should, end. Most people, however, let the company tip that balance of power by not staying connected and not continuing to be aware of other possibilities that are out there. They find themselves locked in, because they don’t want to go through the whole job search thing again, when they should always be on the lookout for a better opportunity, not just when they consider themselves “on the market”.

Now, go reconsider your own career, and spread the word to those you care about!

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