“Don’t be stupid and work hard for the company. The company doesn’t care about you. Do the minimum required and look after yourself first.”
This is dangerous career “advice” because it puts people in an adversarial relationship with their own company. It’s you vs the company.
They subconsciously believe that if the company is winning, it must mean they are losing. And for them to win, the company has to lose. That they are not “on the same team”.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Because, think about it:
How could our career flourish if our company is struggling?
Our relationship with our company is symbiotic.
If the company does well, it reflects well on us. And the reverse is true also. If the company dies, people will see that we were partly responsible for it. After all, a company is only as good (or bad) as its people.
I’m not suggesting we should sacrifice other important parts of our life for our work. But I am suggesting that we should value our employers better and how our work contributes to the company’s success.
So the next time someone gives you this toxic advice, realise that this mentality is one of the most damaging mindsets for your long term career.
Our company wants us to succeed. Because that’s the only way the company succeeds. Our goals are aligned.