Why it Pays to be Emotionally Attached to the Workplace…

2010/10/27

India’s best known entrepreneur, Mr. Narayana Murthy (Co-founder of Infosys for people who did not know) once said to love your job but not your company. With all due respects, I would like to differ with this.

The fundamental question is, how can we love the job if we don’t like the place we work for? Maybe the context was different, maybe what was implied was, we need to love what we are doing, but not fall in love with the place so much that we don’t feel like moving on. But fundamentally, I feel it’s not possible to love your job without liking where you do it from.

Generally, we work in a place because it provides us with enough opportunities for growth, challenge our competencies, and also recognize our efforts. Above all, it should also give us a social identity.

If all the above parameters are met, why should we not fall in love with our workplace? The moment we are emotionally attached to the work we do and feel the same about the place we do that work from, we automatically put the overall goals above our personal goals. This feeling is the starting point to reach the above targets. I guess it’s not possible for us to grow if the company we work for does not.

It’s universally agreed that only the best of performance should be rewarded. Hence, the more value we add, more are the chances to get what we want from our work place. But then, is it really possible to add value to a place that we don’t like? Is it possible to give our best to the job, irrespective of where we do it from?

I believe loving your job and the workplace are two mutually interdependent events, and one is not sustainable without the other. What do you think?

PS: I have been working at a place for about 8 years now (pretty dumb for most people in post-liberalized India), and I can proudly say I love my job and my company. And this does not mean I will not move out either. I get a hint of the most logical question that comes to mind now. I will be more than willing to reply to it in the comments text box below.


Friends at Workplace…

2010/10/22

For anyone who thinks workplace is a professional environment and there is no room for personal relationships, please understand the basic fabric of humanity stems from the need to socialize. So it does not help us much to keep people at a distance and hence be seen as an unapproachable person. It neither works for us, nor the people around us.

There are many advantages of having “good” friends at workplace,

  • We have a person to fall back on during times of frustration. A good friend will not ask for the source of frustration but will only listen to what we have to say.
  • We have a person on whom we can test our pet projects and ideas on before taking it to the next level. We can do role plays to ensure we have the basics in place before talking about our ideas in larger forums. One level of feedback over!!!

There are many more, but let me stop with these two for now. Any comments on what I missed are most welcome.

On the flip side, I guess we also need to be prepared to deal with disappointments in relationships at workplace since there are more chances for that, than anywhere else.

  • Notwithstanding all great talk otherwise, professional recognition, roles and money are the most important things at workplace. So if “friends” start behaving strangely after a few changes, its ok, I guess we have all seen this with our relatives, and also experienced many relatives accusing us of the same. (This is more specific to eastern cultures than the western counterparts).
  • Role models change with roles. And it’s natural for people to behave like their role models. This could result in clashes of ideology but it’s good to remember people are liable for opinions in a democracy, and the responsibility lies on us to ensure no ugly scenes are created due to this change.

Again, I can list a lot more, but let me stop here and as always, will be open to comments to add on to this.

There are numerous materials that talk about how best things can be worked out and how to get things back on track, but personally, I feel the best thing to do sometimes could be just letting it go.

The bottom line is, it’s very important to have friends at workplace. I also feel it is equally important to let go of a few at workplace.


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