Career NOMADS Are Parasites to Organizations & Individuals


They Kill Real Performance Achievement and the Spirit of the Individual & Sole of an Organization … 10-Ways to Smoke Out NOMADS!

Human-Capital is the new global economy power currency and to the individual that realizes there is a never-ending pursuit of continued talent development that allows you to be relevant today and tomorrow, your currency will always be in demand. In times of “uncertainty” your currency will be tested.

The Career-Nomad is an organizations number one threat in the new normal global economy … From crushing organic greatness within organizations with fellow coworkers to continual undermining of innovation, do to false-narratives designed to heighten their appearance of greatness at any self-absorbed cost, is the internal mantra of Career Nomads!

These NOMADS have always been present, the difference is that today the survival and relevance of an organization can no longer ignore or excuse these individual’s away. The leader within you and within an organization must have the ability to objectively evaluate human capital and guard against the systematic Career Nomad that is a cancer to others, organizations and society, by asking at a minimum –

“Who truly brings value to my life or to the organization and who does not?”

“How can the organization and its’ leaders engage to develop the human capital now within and when the organization returns to some semblance of normalcy (even though the reality is that the New Normal is the UnNormal), to be better than we once were?”

To do this, innovative organizations and leaders must not wait for the next “Uncertain Times” to ask how to be better, how to survive or ultimately in any times, how do we thrive?

These Nomads may appear to be an asset to the team in the early days, but they most often leave a wake of human resource traumas in their aftermath. They serve as the catalyst to hostile and toxic workplace situations, and can serve as the catalyst within organizations of real talent being forced out or actively leaving an organization. In the end, the culture and integrity of an organization can crater when Nomads go unchecked.

Many times, these Nomads are very astute at leveraging their gender, ethnicity, lifestyle and age as a veil to hide behind or deflect accountability from the systems, procedures and management that should catch, correct or remove them before damage can become rooted.

Nomads are Parasites to the health of individuals and organizations. These Nomads are very strategic in their actions and in deflecting others attention away from a stark future reality when exposed!

To attain peak personal and organizational success, consider a few strategic ways to identify and smoke-out NOMADS, as they may in fact be undercover and eating away at the health of your organization and the best of your human capital right now:

  1. Smoking out the NOMAD/References – If they change professional roles within an organization every 12-months to 2-years (this is not a part of smart talent pathway management process), then don’t mistake that for growth and achievement. Dig in and evaluate, this may be the reality of an organization not willing to hold them accountable, knowing how to access objectively for accountability, and merely passing them around the organization. They may have been with a large organization or association for a period of time, don’t equate that to them being a Super-Star. Ask for the Names of their peers and rating supervisor in each role, then ask if they can produce “testimonial letters or some degree of endorsement from each” or if you can reach out to those names via LinkedIn or an email for discussion on their performance and character? What body-of-work can they show for their tenure, and then vet for legitimacy.
  2. Smoking out the NOMAD/Performance Evaluations – If they change professional roles within an organization every 12-months to 2-years, then don’t mistake that they may have been with a large organization or association for a period of time as a great sign. Ask for copies of their Quarterly, Semi-Annual or Annual Performance Evaluation documents for quantifiable evidence of whether they are a Super-Star or in reality were they actually a Crashing-Star. Benchmark these evaluations off of the macro KPIs of what that business unit they were attached to was expected to produce. You may realize that the other organization failed to manage, grow, coach, counsel or terminate this individual. Worse yet, is an internal Nomad that is not receiving timely performance assessments by either the hiring manager or rating supervisor at all, so it is easy for them to assert anything on their own behalf.
  3. Smoking out the NOMAD/Continuous Performance Coaching – If you suspect one is heading down the path of becoming a NOMAD, then it is time to engage and work to change that person’s trajectory. Hold weekly quick check-ins as a form of Continuous Performance Coaching (CPC) and benchmark against very specific Key Performance Indicators of position or task management expectations; Require documentation trails on both your behalf and theirs for any communication exchanges and work-product activities; If they are generating new work product ideas to an organization that “you” historically have not seen, even ask about the genesis of their ideas, proposals, new deliverable creations for example … If they claim sole ownership great, and if it later turns out to be pirated, stolen, plagiarized, etc., you will have more than just-cause for termination.
  4. Smoking out the NOMAD/Job Description (KSA=TDR=KPI=ROI) Verifications – If they change professional roles within an organization every 12-months to 2-years, then don’t mistake that they may have been with a large organization or association for a period of time as a great sign. Ask for copies of their Job Description for each role they served within, and identify and ask if they actually possessed the Knowledge, Traits and Abilities (KSA) to execute the Tasks, Duties and Responsibilities (TDR) for that role or position. Ask and listen for the answers to these six letters (KSA/TDR) and if they can’t respond, NOMAD!
  5. Smoking out the NOMAD/Certifications & Degrees – If the roles one serves in would traditionally come with a person holding certain levels of advanced or specialized education and they don’t hold such, probably a Nomad. If there are professional trade associations associated with employers, jobs, or roles they have held and there are corresponding professional trade certifications one would be expected to hold and they don’t, probably a Nomad!
  6. Smoking out the NOMAD/Social Media Verifications – Evaluate all professional social media platforms that one may be visible on. For example, if they have a LinkedIn Profile, slow down and review their (A) Experience (B) Education (C) Licenses & Certifications (D) Volunteer Experiences (E) Skills & Endorsements (F) Recommendations (G) Accomplishments, dig into the narrative under each listing, as one source and evaluate whether the dates, math and body-of-work illustrates human capital currency of bankruptcy. Evaluate other platforms as appropriate, remember once posted, very difficult to make disappear. Another classic sign of a Career Nomad is when large bodies of their work history disappears from one day to the next on these platforms or they have impressive titles to their job history yet, what they are doing now is out of trajectory alignment.
  7. Smoking out the NOMAD/Deflection Behaviors – A classic behavior of the Nomad is in the case of someone questioning their actions and claims of fame, is to not be able to back up their accomplishment in first person speak and instead deflect attention away from them by creating noise about someone else’s failures. Or, they double down on getting others terminated or their reputations tainted. This is one of the central themes of NOMADs and this is always where the engage in false-narratives, check-the-facts!
  8. Smoking out the NOMAD/Colleague Turnover – Evaluate and vet if in their job-hoping or position-hoping history, if they ever experienced being among a team where downsizing, cutbacks or termination took place whereby their colleagues were jettisoned from that organization – yet they remained. This deserves a deeper investigation, to ensure that you are not about to hire a Nomad that will create a toxic passive-aggressive environment, whereby otherwise stellar individuals will be ran-off.
  9. Smoking out the NOMAD/Pay Attention to Who They Follow – A classic behavior of Nomads is in the ability to sniff out the real Super Stars within an organization, that has and is making success happen. Many times the person they follow actually did a herculean effort in righting-the-ship as they say, in taking over a broken work area (business unit, region, division, line, shift, etc.), and the NOMAD is smart at aligning their career pathway to follow the Super Star so in their short tenure following them, no one really notices the horrific damage they create. Once they leave and the next leader comes in, the bottom falls out, and the NOMAD is gone, they can deny responsibility for their actual legacy and say “while I was there we were good or it was not that bad” and in fact yes it was. If after each position of tenure, a NOMAD holds, they leave a wake of failure, despair and trauma behind them – they actually own it!
  10. Smoking out the NOMAD/What Was or Is Their Net Body-of-Work Legacy – Pull back the rhetoric, emotional bias and political correctness and really do the deep dive analytic of during their tenure and opportunities what really of matter was accomplished?

What is painful as a Human Capital Developer and serving phenomenal global leaders, entrepreneurs, military general’s, and organizations, is to see individuals-within-industry being held back from their true possible greatness and seeing great individuals being derailed because of NOMADS-gone-WILD … and lack of leadership do to personal agendas!

Crushing organic greatness within organizations and with fellow coworkers, at any self-absorbed cost, is the internal mantra of Career Nomads … UNLESS YOU DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT!

Commentary by Dr. Jeffrey Magee.

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