A few weeks ago, I was talking to one of my senseis about life and the state of the world and all that nonsense, when we began to talk about how our lives felt different depending on what company we were working for. I talked about how happy I’ve been at the company since I joined and how comfy it is to work there, but since he knows I also like to work on personal projects and take the initiative and take chances, he warned me of the possibility of beginning to think like my company.
This is the gist of the idea: the more a company has to lose, the less risk it wants to take as an entity. As a full-time worker at a large stable company, you become more and more in-tune with not ony your job there, but the kind of attitudes your company has towards certain things. For those of you who haven’t truly experienced it yet, the reason they call it a full-time job is because the massive bulk of your most productive time and energy goes towards that job. As you take in a plurality of your stimuli from your workplace, you begin not only to act more and more within your role, you begin to act more and more like your company. If your company is risk-averse as an entity (if it’s not a very small startup), you will be more likely to act in the role, and therefore you will become more risk-averse as an individual.
You can combat this subtle change in your personality by actively working on personal projects, doing exciting things in your free time, trying new things, and anything that gets you out of your comfort zone. Being /comfy/ is good, but then not only do you become less able to handle change, but your mind begins to narrow on possibilities as well as your idea of how your life ought to be, and that narrow mindset inhibited my ability to enjoy my life as I outlined in an earlier article.
In conclusion, even if you love your job, even if your life is awesome, even if you want to stay at your company forever and forever, you will only do yourself good by keeping your mind fresh.