Friday, October 3, 2014

One track or explorer?

When I was in MBA, one of the favourite lines we heard about job hopping MBAs justifying their job hopping was this "You have may 30 years experience, but it is actually 1 year experience multiplied 30 times".

While not exactly true (and it is a much longer topic to discuss), it is an important think while thinking about a long term career.

One way to make a career is to do one thing and get really good at it (and there is no escape from getting better at something if you want a good career).

Key questions if you are a one thing person is: Are you doing that one thing for fear of not exploring other things? And if you are in that one thing are you contemporary on all those things that you need to be upto date in those things? The world is changing rapidly - are you on top of them? Are you in touch with the latest developments? Do you experiment? Do you try out new things (both for yourself and for your team)? Or are you happily claustrophobic in your office? And what is your delta year on year? (Check that such a person is not a close minded person while you hire a person of this nature.)

The second way to make a career is to keep your eyes open. This is about exploring 'Adjacent Possibilities' (I think I read it somewhere in a different context - aha, found it). 

These adjacent possibilities chaps are different from the 'one track' people. They try different things. Fail in a few, work in a few, are not afraid to change direction, handle change - but they are constantly growing, learning and trying out new things. The one track guy may also be doing it, but the Adjacent possibility guys have to do it - it is an imperative. It is more likely that your adjacent possibility guy may be a better choice if you are looking at someone who is open minded, flexible, creative etc. (They may lack focus, but I hope your recruiting process takes care of that).

Evolving thought, so, pardon the lack of coherency!

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