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NextGen Magazine


When (and Why) You Should Take Things Personally at Work

Jason Wong
Published Date:
Mar 30, 2016

Happy at Work“Don’t take it personally” is a piece of advice that is often given in work contexts, usually in relation to criticism at a yearly review, a negative outcome of a deal, or any other general career low. According to the Harvard Business Review, however, that piece of old advice is actually bad, and here are a couple reasons why:

Engagement. People who take their work personally tend to be more engaged with it, meaning they’re more productive, and easier to work with. Odds are you’ve worked with someone who depersonalized their work – and odds are, they weren’t very pleasant to work with.

Ethics. “It’s just business” has often been the justification for many corporate ethics scandals, ranging from fraud to issues of worker safety. Taking your work personally means holding yourself responsible for your professional actions.