Five Minute Friday: LOYAL

Five Minute Friday

Today’s Prompt: LOYAL

Because of the current political climate, I had plenty of opportunities today to pull a quote about loyalty related to our president’s expectations. Things along the lines of “everyone knows loyalty is what matters most to him.”

But. I. won’t. do. that.

Instead, what is on my mind is something I said in an email to a prospective employer recently. This was a follow-up to a verbal conversation that had occurred between the individual and me a few weeks prior. In trying to extend our rapport (and make my case), I mentioned that, above all, I am loyal.

That particular situation didn’t pan out, but the door is still open (and I am glad).

But I have asked myself since I pressed “send” on that email if loyalty has become an old-fashioned notion, if emphasizing it as one of my strongest qualities is a quaint, Baby Boomeresque choice that actually works against me.

Moving on from that particular email exchange (but staying, in general, on the topic of who we choose to (get to!) work for, I’ll just say — in general, if being loyal is wrong, I’ll take my chances.

Leaving Healthy Kids after (almost) 20 years in May 2014 was the right thing to do, and I didn’t know …

*** end of five minutes ***

…at the time that the vista of “jobs that weren’t quite as soul sucking as my previous one had become” would shrink to “jobs that I could do from home while being caregiver to someone with short-term memory disorder, the side effects of two mini-strokes and cancer” but I am confident that whatever happens in the future, there have been lessons about loyalty from my experiences as a freelancer.

I have learned:

From the first freelance position I held after my transition, that we get exposed to people who will be a part of our universe long after the formal freelance situation ends. (And that my loyalty leads me to overdeliver (or try to…) which requires some moderating to use the employer’s resources most effectively and not create unrealistic expectations for the next freelancer after me who inherits the tasks……)

From another freelance position I held for a few months, that sometimes leaders have loyalties that are somewhat mystifying and completely unrelated to the quality, consistency, and heart you as the freelancer put in. I chalked that one up to “lessons learned” and still retained the “good” relationships and contacts (and did I mention the lessons learned?) that came out of it?

I also have had one several-hour shift as a photographer’s assistant for a large business that does photography at graduations, etc. (and another one coming up this Sunday). The coordinator at the first shift I did said, “I had three assistants in your position say they would show up to the last graduation I did, and they just didn’t show.”


Loyalty may or may not be old-fashioned but in my book, it never goes out of style and always adds positive organizational fuel. My plan is to keep showing up, loyally.

Five Minute Friday


12 thoughts on “Five Minute Friday: LOYAL

  1. one of the things we see in job posting in my area, I won’t hire you if you didn’t show up to your previous position regularly. (or words to that affect). Always makes me shake my head. A FMF neighbour

  2. When I was contemplating what I would write about loyalty, the thought did cross my mind that it isn’t a word you hear much anymore. That’s sad isn’t it? I’m with you though, Paula:even if it is old fashioned to be loyal I’m sticking with it! Have a great weekend! Cindy

  3. Are dependability and loyalty the same thing? Both seem kind of old-fashioned, I suppose. I’m leery of loyalty, right now, because of the connotation that is currently in the news — being loyal shouldn’t mean following someone into immoral or criminal behavior. I still intend, and usually succeed, at being dependable. Thanks for deepening my thoughts!

    • I’m not sure. And maybe I need quite a few more five-minute segments to break that down. I guess my intent in the email I referred to at the beginning of the post was to say “my work product and work ethic so far shows that I am consistent (which I equated as loyalty)” but I started thinking maybe it sounded like a bash against other generations or some kind of implication that others would not be loyal. But to your point, I suppose my goal was to communicate that loyalty breeds dependability (but not to the point of staying true to a person or organization that has become immoral or unethical).

  4. Perhaps loyalty has gone out of style but one day (if that day hasn’t ready come in our lives) we will need the loyalty of at least one person we know to carry us through a difficult time. In the meantime, if I promise to show for something, I will do my very, very best to honor my commitment.

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