Why “Don’t Take it Personally” is a Terrible Work Advice

“Don’t Take it Personally”, or “Hey, its business, nothing personal” are some of the common sentiments one comes across at work, and it can get as absurd as it can. Work is the place where one spends most of his/her time of the day, and as a matter of fact, most of his/her life.

So naturally, how is one not supposed to take it personally? By “not taking something personally” you only protect yourself from the work contexts, which at times can be relentless, threatening, and challenging. 

Take it Personally Vs Don’t Take it Personally

This very fact relates to success and well-being at work. You must have often observed that the people at work who are inspired, energized and are successful are usually the ones who take their work personally. And funnily enough, the people with whom you haven’t liked to work are the ones who have depersonalized their work. Thus it is evident that success at work place is linked to you taking your work personally. 

This is not only with reference to personal psychology, but also about business results. For example, let us consider the connection between employee engagement and business performance. But then what exactly would be employee engagement if people won’t take their work personally? And it has an impact on the business results if employees don’t take their work personally. 

But obviously, there is a huge difference in taking things personally at work, and attaching oneself to the work; that is managing the boundaries. It is different to have passion for your job and attaching too much of your self-worth towards it, that you are not able to protect yourself psychologically, so much that every mishap in the organization, or any mistake penetrates deeply to the core of your self-esteem. If your work-life becomes too dominant then it can prove to be dangerous. 


Concluding, do take things at work personally; it will have an impact on your performance. But don’t beat yourself up about it. Don’t just consider something as a failure, your life and career are not defined by it. On the contrary, understand what went wrong and work on it. You can always learn something from the experience. 

If you are willing to take work personally, there will be challenges along the way. You will be let down, frustrated, and disappointed, but then what really is the alternative? To not take it personally, so that you would never be disappointed? Nope! 

So for your own sake and for the sake of those who work with you 

Do take it, all of it, personally. 

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