We don’t even think about leaving an organization/space/community if its people let us grow and nurture. It’s a matter of principle. It’s a matter of seeing our face in the mirror and being able to sleep at night well.
But if an organization (like Google and many others these days) feels like we don’t serve their purpose, they can let us go. They made us who we are.
Above is a controversial statement. Many will miss the point behind it. So I need to explain.
The key idea is to renew our perception of the term ‘career’. If I enjoy what I am doing, I do it without attaching the term ‘career’ to it. ‘I enjoy what I am doing’ has two components:
1. What exactly do I enjoy? &
2. What kind of people am I interacting/working with?
If the response to the above two statements is positive, I enjoy what I am doing.
So my controversial statement is not about ‘career,’ a rather new concept in the written history of the world (It was coined only in the mid-18th century). It’s about growing as fulfilling individuals (Aristotle’s Eudaimonia ) and being in a state of calm with oneself (Stoicism).
I consider them more important than a ruthless run for money (though it’s important for survival in this world replete with climate fiascos) or having a streamlined trajectory of ‘career’ or a false sense of superiority over others, that we feel when we are undeserving and yet on the upper rungs of hierarchy by luck (tuche) or by flattery.
In the end, when on deathbed, our career will be but an insignificant portion of what’s in our mind. What will be more important is a simple question–“Were you able to lead a self-satisfactory life with good people who care for you and you care for them?”
Now, an organization is different from the people that make it. It is an important distinction, along with the new idea of ‘career.’
An organization will be brutal, as it’s supposed to be. But we have to look inside the organization at the people. Are they caring enough for your soul? And we have to look inside ourselves: Do we care about them, and share a mission with them?
Above is an example of a self-made principle. And a principled approach is what makes an entity great- whether it’s a person or an organization.
The moment it’s a give-and-take relationship in the mechanical sense, the organization (and more sadly, its people) begin their fall.
So, again, if an organization helps us grow and nurtures us well, we don’t leave it unless we have paid our due. It’s not about being a family. But it’s not about being in business either.
It’s about two components that matter most to me personally:
- Self-fulfillment (as a principled person/organization)
- Continuous growth
Consider the organization a living being. An employee is its basic building block–a tissue. And like a tissue, it has its function and a role. So,
- The body has to supply oxygenated blood and essential nutrients to it continuously. &
- It has to perform its function well.
They are not in a business agreement. Both need each other.