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How Loyal Should We Be to Our Employers?

Kevin K. Johnson
A Front-End Developer with a passion for learning how people work, the efficacy of good design, and a growing interest in the complexities of functional programming.
・1 min read

Ultimately, our employment is a transaction. We provide skills and knowledge; they compensate us financially—or with ping-pong and LaCroix.

Beyond staying long enough, working hard enough to make sure the job is done: What do we owe? What, if anything, has inspired you to give more of yourself? What has caused you to be defensive and lookout for yourself?

Discussion (6)

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Dan Fockler

The capitalist in me says you don't owe anyone anything besides what you agreed to when you were hired. In general employers have much more power than their employees, so we shouldn't give them more power just because they ask for it. A lot of employers use a kind of 'changing the world' rhetoric to try and add a sense of fulfillment to people's work.

Things that made me enjoy work were interesting problems to solve, a low-stress environment in which to solve those problems, and co-workers that I enjoyed getting to see and work with everyday.

On the defensive side of things, insane deadlines, isolation, high stress, wild office politics, and boring work make me want to duck out early.

I think if you feel happy, and healthy (physically and mentally) then it's probably not a terrible place to work.

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Kevin K. Johnson Author

I can agree with a lot of that. When there are interesting problems (and interesting ways you're allowed to solve them), it's easy to continue thinking about work all day.

I'd also add that both sides might agree to something at hiring time, but you'll never know what it's really like then. Everyone is putting on a facade. And in an environment where everyone else is doing more due to the culture, anything else will stick out.

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Kevin K. Johnson Author

How do you feel the culture becomes fixed? Recent news has mentioned crunch time at game development studios plenty and they're far from the only place experiencing these issues. Someone else's emergency naturally becomes ours.

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Jorge Castro • Edited

How to not earn loyalty:

  • pingpong, foosball tables and other crap that HR likes but everybody hates or consider superficial.
  • Events and some useless meeting that nobody wants to assist.
  • To work more than 10 hours per day.
  • To work the weekends.
  • To put some bosses (or leader).

How to earn loyalty in a nutshell:

  • Good salary
  • Respect
  • Decent working hour.

In fact, a decent shift is way more important than anything else.