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Plateauing well

A note on personal growth in the corporate ecosystem.

The (current) system runs on growth. Economic growth starts (or ends) with personal development, a dynamic often illustrated by the corporate principle of a 'growth mindset.'

Grossly speaking, this translates to treating individuals like gears of the system. This is Meritocracy. This seemingly obvious logic only started to show its downsides during the pandemic. Locked in, it became hard to miss the lack of humanity, particularly in the tech ecosystem.

Like most things alive, humans don't just constantly grow. We evolved in nonlinear patterns. Ups and downs, trials and tribulations, are inherent parts of the human journey. The current corporate system isn't designed for that. Rapid turnover, burnout, anxiety, and other ills have been documented extensively. From personal observation, it's empathy and individual effort that keep things going.

Deloading is a common strategy to deal with the pressure and issues associated with it (depression, anxiety, burnout). Sabbatical and generous leave policies allow the release of some steam but don't address the root cause. Downgrading is rarely an option. When it is, it's often a tough transition.

A Plateau is periodically a relevant trajectory. Unfortunately, it is tricky to explain in a performance review. Yet everyone sensible understands the energy scarcity that comes with certain phases of life.

Plateauing well is about increasing leverage while reducing mean effort. The time opened is where one can recover, cope, or both.

It's okay not to desire to do more.

← Index / Published on 2024-03-25