I bumped into a relative last weekend in a mall (yeah, where else in Jakarta can you spend your weekend comfortably??) and I noticed that he has lost some part of his hair (his head hair, not the other hair). When I asked what happened, if maybe he’s been using the wrong hair products, he only replied with a weak tone: many things are going on at work lately, and I might have been thinking too much about it. I didn’t say anything to respond to that expression (well, seeing that he seemed so depressed and so on), other than “oooh.. that’s bad” as an expression of sympathy at that moment, but I have something else in mind.
In my relatively short working period, I’ve worked for 3 different companies. It’s not something to be proud of – I look a lot like a job-hopper and it’s not good for my image, but at least I learned something from the companies. The first company that I worked for was a multinational company, where the people tend to be very competitive. In short, one can even knock his friends down in order to be the best. Despite the competitiveness, I learned about professionalism from there. Yes, it’s true that people step on your head to reach the top, but they do that professionally (at least for most of them). We had a work-life balance there. Outside of work, we can be friends and laugh together, forgetting what’s happening at work. I believe it’s a good working environment, where I could leave all things work behind and not think a bit about it at home.
The second company that I worked for was a 180 degrees of the first. It was a local company, where work-life integration is the principle. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate or blame the company or the management. It’s the industry that shapes it. In that particular industry, every second matters and working there means you have to be part of the rush. Not only after office hour, but also on the weekend you have to deal with work. The competition inside is much less, but the pressure from outside is much much more. Given the condition that I’ve worked for the first company, I couldn’t stand working there for long.
In my opinion, most local companies in Indonesia are the typical “second company”. We are moving toward Singapore, where people are forced to be workaholics. As I know it, that relative is also working for a local company, so maybe the “work-life integration” where it’s impossible for you to leave things behind outside of office hour is the case. If the company owners and management are not changing their mindset about work, then there will be more and more “relatives” who become bald and depressed. 😦 Hope it’s not gonna happen.
I’m not going to comment about the third, because I just started it. Gonna write another post about it in maybe 2-3 years. 🙂