This episode’s question is a long one…
It is difficult for me to get enthusiastic about helping customers who I’ve never met, so instead, I motivate myself by helping my co-workers. I put effort into learning how to meet the needs of each person I work alongside– only to find they will not be my colleague a few months later. It seems a developer is expected to last only two to three years at an employer. Is that familiar to you?
And if so, do you get personally-invested in building a culture, institutional processes, and relationships, that strengthen an organization on the long-term? Does that require us all to develop the mindset of a contractor, in which we do it for nothing more than a sense of satisfaction with our professional self-image?
I watch leaders invest care in building the well-being of an organization which is not tied in any way to their own well-being. The colleagues whose best interests they fought for, are scattered to the wind. We hoped to make each other happier while we were there, but did all the benefit of our work go toward making a rich stranger richer? I don’t want to be enthusiastically complicit in our own exploitation. But I don’t want to develop a cynical attitude either.
Do you consider yourself better off because you made your organization more effective, even if its future is not tied to your well-being? I wish I could build or join a team, most of whom will still be a strong foundation for me ten years from now. Do you have any advice to make it possible?