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Abstract

“Drift,” as a noun, may ignite feelings of unease. Daunting nouns such as “scope drift,” “change management,” “conflict resolution,” and “project management” swirl around the professional landscape, and in facing these nouns, the work associated with them can be unfamiliar and frightening. However, productive outcomes can quickly emerge when these terms are reframed as inspiring verbs. Managing change, resolving conflict, managing projects, and drifting with scope are verbs that grant some control over what happens next, which is much more inspiriting and motivating than watching from the side and hoping everything turns out fine. From the perspective of a drifter, this article is a case study of one professional’s journey riding with the changing tides of her career in a way that has resulted in growth and opportunity. It will explain how each educational experience, new/evolving job description, and redirected initiative were not means to an end, but tools acquired along the journey and to be used for the duration of the journey. Even though many professionals find themselves in situations where they no longer do what they started doing, this case will provide an example of how every piece of information, professional advice, certification, and educational moment can be leveraged, re-used, and repurposed while drifting with scope.

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