The Value of Drifting
Dec 21, 2010
August 3, 2010 - I read an interesting article on the subject of this post in Mint yesterday. It talked about the valuable lessons learnt by an entrepreneur switching jobs in different industries and markets frequently. The fact that the author is an entrepreneur who runs a famous Job search site is recognized. This post is not about the author of the article. He has obviously executed a master strategy in drifting.
Firstly, point well taken. Yes, variety does provide value. However variety can also kill if the strategy is not right. If one works for about 20 years, then it makes sense to acquire and demonstrate at least 20 years worth of work experience and wisdom. However, in India, especially in the IT industry, there are many of those who have existed for 20 years and have 20 x 1 year worth of experience only. This is a sorrow state to be in after such long working life.
Secondly, a person who chooses to drift has to reestablish himself / herself in new environments - new teams, new bosses, new processes/procedures, etc., Credibility fuels growth. There must be a bigger return for the person in making a reset like that. Those who go behind money as the return value usually lose the edge very quickly.
Third, it is really possible to drift within the same organization if one is recognized as an asset with potential who can be trusted.
Fourth and not the least - one must drift if the current environment does not truely deserve the person. Organizations with an impeding culture and management style are not worth working for.
So, I am not against drifting. But the person who is drifting must ask the question "What am I gaining from the drift? Is it of short term value or long term value in my career?". In order to get a meaningful answer, the person asking this question must have a strong vision about where he or she wants to end up in life. The second relevant question is "Is is possible to make the drift in my current environment?".