I overheard a conversation between a couple of designers on the train this morning. They work at the same company. One has been in his current position for about two and a half years. The other indicated that she was a more recent hire. They were discussing other places they've applied to in the past. A pretty mundane conversation, but they were using a peculiar term to describe their time spent in an organization. One spoke of a well-known organization that neither had worked at to date...

"I don't know if I'll ever run through that place."

A bit later, the other spoke of an industry she had not yet worked in...

"I've thought about doing a run through an advertising agency just to get a view of that world."

The term "run" speaks to a certain culture around employment in design right now, and perhaps more specifically, digital product design. That culture seems to favor relatively short stints and variety of experience over depth. Having been in my current position for 4 years, I've found the depth of experience with a large and complex project to be very rewarding. I've been able to see the ship turn, as it were.

It's one thing to move from project to project with different organizations after those projects are "complete". To me, that shows that a person has a sense of commitment and values follow-through. I wonder how one could attempt to uncover a potential hire's true feelings around commitment. I wouldn't want to work with someone who thinks about skating every time stuff gets real.