organizations are made up of people and therefore act like people. because of that, our relationship with our organization really ought to function like a healthy human to human relationship would.

it cannot be a one way street. if your organization gives you everything and you’re not earning it, that’s not a healthy relationship. sooner or later, someone is going to figure out that you have been slacking and they’re going to dump you. and, conversely, you should not give of yourself tirelessly doing hours upon hours of unpaid overtime, doing fantastic work that goes unrecognized or unrewarded, and being on a career track that’s not taking you where you want to go. that’s not healthy either and you would do yourself a favor to look for another organization to be a part of.

one side can’t ‘fix’ the other. if your organization doesn’t like parts of you—they want you to do and be something that doesn’t align to your true self—and they try to change you, that’s not a healthy relationship. sooner or later, you’re going to regret the organization for changing who you are. and, similarly, you shouldn’t be a part of an organization simply because you want to fix it. change must come from inside. either you must change because you believe it’s best for your personal growth, or the organization must change because it believes that it is the right, sustainable, and profitable thing to do moving forward. when there is conflict, talk about it. try to resolve that conflict, but don’t try to fix the other person.

you both must be like-minded. that doesn’t mean you have to agree all the time, but you and your organization must share the same values and beliefs. you should share a common purpose. it simply won’t work otherwise. know that your wants and desires may change over time as well as your organization’s; it’s all part of our continued growth. that means it’s natural to grow apart from one another; there is nothing inherently wrong or bad about that.

the only bad thing is being part of a relationship that’s not healthy.