Interesting conversation going on between 2 well-known HR bloggers about the wisdom of "committing" to your company. Work with me on this one; here's the first part from my friend Laurie at Punk Rock HR:
- I made a commitment to my husband when I married him in Las Vegas.
- I made a commitment to my cats when I adopted them.
- I made a commitment to stop eating Domino’s Pizza because they support right-wing political candidates and causes.
When I work for a company, I do a job and you pay me. When I suck, you fire me. When you suck, I quit. This isn’t rocket science."
Another friend of mine, Jessica Lee, hit a comment to the post and also blogged about her thoughts in response. Here's the comment in Laurie's post (one of many):
"all these commitment-phobes leads me to believe there are a lot of disgruntled peeps out there. geez! y’all are bringing me down…
to quote someone i respect, our friend Frank Roche… “companies ARE their people… you know how to be loved? love someone. it has to start somewhere. committing to doing the right thing that’s good for you and the company is the way to go.”
i guess my glass is more than half full…"
Laurie's response to that in a nutshell:
"You are not paid to commit, and you should really think about the emotional capital you invest in your job. It’s not healthy, dudes, and it’s not right."
I'm going to straddle the fence on this one as follows. You should emotionally commit to your profession, because doing all the things that entails (passion, extra work, involvement in your professional community, etc.), is really the only thing that distinguishes you within your company. Notice I'm talking about commitment to your profession.
To Laurie's point, the company pays you. I think the commitment you make that provides value needs to be within your profession. As long as the company pays you, all the extra work and the benefits are theirs.
But the key for me is that your commitment is portable. Invest in your profession and the company gets the benefits because you're good. When the relationship ends, you can take the intellectual capital with you to the next gig.