Why it Pays to be Emotionally Attached to the Workplace…

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.


5 Responses to Why it Pays to be Emotionally Attached to the Workplace…

  1. Amy says:

    yes i agree with you, actually even i was in a troma whether it is wrong to be emotionally attached to the company where we are working in? but i think if we are attached that does not mean we cant stay without it.

    Also people say staying at one company for more than 2 years stops your career growth, is it true as you have been in the same company for 8 years now

    • Lakshman says:

      As you rightly said, being attached to a workplace does not mean we should not move away from it. And this “saying” of growth will be limited after 2 years is only a myth. If you look at any Sr.Management or executive level growth, its always been with and for people who have been serving the organization for atleast one or one and half decades. As for my personal experience, I started out as a developer and moved out after 8 years as a Delivery Manager.

      From my experience, growth is mostly about how much value we add to the role we are performing, and not how much value we gain out of it. Ofcourse we also need to gain from the role, but what also matters is how much we give back. So as long as we know we are not only adding to our personal equity but also able to add to the role’s equity, we need not worry about being attached to the worklplace.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I used to hate my job and the company and cry everyday feeling insulted by the boss
    After a hard search I finally got a job
    I soon resigned from the current one
    Now am serving the notice period … but but I just came to know that the new place dosent have as much a scope of carreer growth like the current one… there the manager is also not that experienced as the current one…
    and I am also having the feeling that I do not want to go the new job.. and am seeing all the good things that my current job had to offer me…and since I am going at this place for sometime now, it has become a part of my life ..I am feeling it very difficult to leave my current job…should i take back my resignation and what if my manager dosent approve for it…… what should I do

    • Lakshman says:


      Though I don’t know what exactly transpired, I think you are in the dilemma most of us face, to move or not after a few years in a company. To put it more bluntly, whether a known devil is better than an unknown angel. What I can guess is, you probably want a change of role, but maybe not a change of workplace. Let me try to answer this in parts.

      “should i take back my resignation and what if my manager dosent approve for it……” To reflect on this more accurately, retrospect on what happened during the resignation process. Did your manager even make a feeble attempt at retaining you? He might not have made any promises, and he cant, but did he atleast have good things to talk about your work and that your work will be missed? If he did, then chances are that he will seriously consider your proposal to take back your resignation. If he didn’t, then chances are that he might not.

      Secondly, before deciding to take back your resignation or move on, you can reflect on the following things:

      – Did you plan to move just over a few months of downward spiral? If you did, then its probably not a good idea. Everyone has to go through phases of up’s and down’s, which are many times due to factors not even under our control. 10 years back, I’m sure no one even imagined Vijay Mallya would loose primary ownership of any of his business, leave alone his flagship business. The best option is to wait out a few months to see how things span.

      – Does the new job offer you a better role? Even if does not, does the pay hike justify the move? If the pay hike is good, what are the chances for future hikes? With Inflation, I don’t think a 10-15% pay hike will be sustainable for more than 2 years, given you have already mentioned that growth opportunities are limited.

      – What are the chances that you will find a job sooner if at all you stay back, but feel like moving after 12 months? Is your role relevant in many companies across 2-3 industries? If yes, then you can find a job irrespective of whether you stay on or move on and feel you need a change in 1 year.

      Once you have made an analysis of the above and the answers to them still warrant you to stay, its best to have a conversation with your manager, or someone with influence, maybe the HR manager or your manager’s manager. From what you have written, I understand you would not want to have a conversation with your manager, but at the same time, you cannot side step him either. The best possible way is to ask him something like this: “After some careful considerations, I feel I need to talk to someone regarding the options I might have if I want to reconsider my resignation, I would like explore other roles within the same company.” If your managers intentions are good (Im assuming it must be since you have mentioned he is competent), he might take it up himself or put you on to the right person.

      Irrespective of when your are having this conversation or with whomever you have this conversation, please do not talk negative about anyone or anything, it will only reflect bad on you.

      If at all you have such a conversation, take cues from the questions thrown at you. You might start by saying “I believe I chose this move for a new/different role/experience since I had hit a plateau in my current role, but I would like to talk about options that I might have if I want to stay on, since I realized that I liked working here”. If there are way too many counter questions like “Why didnt you think of this before?” or “what is the guarantee that you will stay for 2 years if given a new role?” etc. come up, I think its time to quickly close the conversation amicably and move on.

      Irrespective of what happens, just remember everything is a phase, good and bad times. I’m sure no one can claim that things have always been good or bad.Secondly, a lot of people might disagree with this, but analyzing too much (using your head to take a decision), might only result in confusion since every possibility might have multiple hypothetical repercussions and every repercussion some effect. The best thing to do is think long term (8-10 years time frame), analyze the current situation/decision based on what you want to do in the long term (whether it fits your 8-10 year vision), listen to your instincts and take a call. Instincts can many times prove to be more useful than analysis. All the best!!!

  3. TractariAuto says:

    Ma bucur ca am mai aflat inca un site pe placul meu.

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