Saturday, January 19, 2008

Our work that makes Us !!

It was one day that it struck me like lightning that how mutated we gradually become because of the work we do. Mutation is not only about genes and chromosomes adapting to situation but also I kind of relate it to the way our brain mutates to adapt to the work situation that we do day in and day out.

Try talking to a software programmer of 10 years experience about abstract illogical creative thinking. He can hardly appreciate the same. For him, it sincerely appears to be utter bullshit.

Observe a creative copy writer or art director of 10 years experience in terms of his/her forgetfulness, casual undisciplined behaviour and attention span. He or she is generally absent minded, hates following rules and constantly seeks for newer things and these traits keep getting more and more prominent with experience. Unlike the programmer he would never get kicks out of logical thinking and outcome.

I have seen people who does defined operation work organised into an everyday process flowchart, becoming flustered and UN-easy when they are told to think for themselves and innovate. They are attuned to follow a particular schedule without any mistake, day in and day out. And they are good at it.

Talk to a sales guy of repute and experience. He would have the flair or habit of saying things to convince of his ideas to his/her friends. He increasing tends to stay in his selling mode even when he is not selling. More often he would blurt out things that are beneficially in the immediate short run, but may have adverse repercussions in the future.

I am not sure if I am completely correct in my analysis but one thing I would like to theorise is that every profession needs certain traits in the professional and those traits keep developing in an one track dimension, slowly killing certain other supposedly non critical traits in that professional. This leads to specialised lifestyles and reduce diverse thinking. It is getting more and more acute in today's highly knowledge oriented society and in cities like Mumbai where there is no time for anything else but your profession. It brings monotony and boredom.

This thought was like lightning to me because I for myself do not want to get straight-jacketed. My philosophy is to stay 'jack of all trades'; mastering one or two of them. Till now I have managed to do that. I have been growing myself into diverse but related functions. Advertising, Marketing, Online Marketing and now technology enabled marketing. But now what. I cant keep going to newer functions. I need to choose one or two of the above to be the constant in terms of my profession. If I do that, how do I maintain diversity?

The answer was immediate. I need to play more sports, read more books and go for more adventure trips. It may not be possible to maintain diversity in your profession but involving yourself in other extra-curricular activities would always give your mind the broad spectrum to develop and flourish.

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