Moonlighting: The Future of Work?

Author Debabrat Mishra, Co-founder, BoardsNXT & SHRM Advisor
Moonlighting: The Future of Work?
The practice of moonlighting may have been viewed through the lens of monetary gains in the past, but over time, it has added several new layers to it, such as deriving creative satisfaction, rekindling forgotten faculties, learning a new skill, etc. As more and more organisations are waking up to the reality of their employees taking up jobs on the side in addition to their primary employment, they are forced to acknowledge the practice, if not endorse it fully. Debabrat Mishra, Co-founder, BoardsNXT & SHRM Advisor,  sheds light on the practice of moonlighting and how it stands to rewrite the future of work and organisations in this podcast.


Smriti Sharma 00:02

The ongoing debate on the practice of moonlighting—working another job while being a full-time employee, has opened a pandora’s box both for employers and employees. While moonlighting, as a practice, is as old as work, it has led to a contentious debate in India, particularly within the tech sector, post the sporadic firing of hundreds of employees by some top-tier IT firms. As organisations stand divided on the practice of moonlighting by their employees, it is time to address the complexities of this matter and find out if employers are ready to tackle the bull by its horns.

Hi, I am Smriti Sharma, representing ISB’s Management Rethink—an online management practice journal published quarterly, by the Centre for Learning and Management Practice. In today's session, as we discuss the practice of moonlighting in India, and answer some of the burning questions around this topic, we at Management Rethink are excited to have with us Debabrat Mishra, Co-founder, BoardsNXT & SHRM Advisor. Debu as Debabrat is also known has over three decades of experience in transformation, innovation, leadership, and board governance consulting, across the Middle East, India, and the Asia Pacific region. Welcome to ISB’s Management Rethink podcast, Debu. It’s a pleasure to have you with us.

Debu 1:19

Thank you. Thank you for inviting me. And I really look forward to this.

Smriti Sharma 1:23

Great! So how do you define Moonlighting? How has it evolved over the years? And are there any industry sectors that witnessed this phenomenon a little more than others?

Debu 1:33

Okay, so, moonlighting, the traditional definition is that it is to work another job, in addition to one's primary or full-time job after the work hours of the primary job. So that's the reason why it is often done at night, and hence the term moonlighting. It has been around for decades, and it's somehow, though, it has caught the fancy, suddenly, of everyone around. But moonlighting has existed for as long as work has existed, or defined work has existed. It has existed in really mature economies for far longer. So even very highly skilled roles, like doctors and people … hospitalists and teachers have all been moonlighting. So, if you look at the progress of moonlighting, it has existed, people do it for various reasons, and nobody seems to have a problem, like it is being made out to be right now.

Smriti Sharma 2:34

Would you suggest that the practice of moonlighting is ethical? And are there any specific laws that govern moonlighting in India?

Debu 2:43

India or globally, the only laws that govern moonlighting are the laws that govern the employment contracts; and if there are any specific clauses, deterring or stopping people from taking up any other role or any other assignment. So, globally also, the employment contract defines whether you have permission to do something else or not. Or if it is silent, then you don't have any conflict or you don't have any issue, but if it explicitly calls it out, only then you need the permission of the employer to be able to do anything which is classified as not allowed, within the employment contract. So, if the employment contract is silent, then there is no issue with moonlighting.

And coming back to what is ethical or what should be allowed as a part of moonlighting, in my view, moonlighting has a conflict of interest only, only when the person moonlighting through their act of moonlighting is in a position to steal or deprive the primary employer of revenues or increase their costs. Okay, so I’ll give you an example. We take doctors, so a practicing doctor, if the doctor is able to take the patient away from the primary employer, which is the hospital, then it is a conflict of interest. But if the doctor in the other place is not taking the patient away or luring the patient away to another place, he’s just practicing at another place or runs a clinic, that’s not moonlighting. There is no conflict of interest, there is no loss to the primary employer.

Let’s take the field of techies, which has been at the heart of the moonlighting controversy. Information technology workers or professionals, what can they steal from their primary employer? Can they steal the code? You have IT security and other mechanisms where they can’t steal the code, they can’t steal the idea of a product and go and execute it elsewhere. If they’re that smart, then you probably need to give them due recognition for being able to do it. But you can’t steal code. So, the only thing that you’re doing is that you’re practicing your skill at some other place after office work hours without impacting the productivity of your primary employer.

So, in reality, there can be no conflict, for most knowledge workers, unless they’re deliberately depriving their primary employer of revenue or increasing their cost, or stealing official secrets and passing it on to the other/secondary employer. There doesn’t seem to be an example of a conflict of interest anywhere. I can steal your customers if I was a salesperson, and (if) I was able to steal your customers and take them to some other place, that’s a much bigger issue. And we haven’t seen salespeople moonlight. Nobody seems to be talking about them.

Smriti Sharma 5:37

True. But what about the intellectual property right? A lot of employers may think that their employees’ intellect is owned by them since they are their primary employers. What about that?

Debu 5:51

It is indefensible in a court of law where the intellect of the employee is the ownership of the employer. It can’t be defended in any court of law. The intellectual property of anything which is created at the workplace is the exclusive right of the employer, (and) that’s perfectly fine. So if I'm writing a piece of code on the laptop provided by a primary employer, which is an information technology company, and even if I innovate and come up with something new, that's perfectly fine if it belongs to the primary employer in terms of intellectual property. But the fact that if I did something similar elsewhere, without copying the code, I'm still using my own mind and saying that, okay, I can do better than that and I write that piece of code. That's not stealing intellectual property, and that intellectual property doesn't belong to the primary employer.

Smriti Sharma 6:40

Do you think increased instances of moonlighting imply that employees are not deriving enough meaning from their existing roles? Or are the incentives to keep them in their jobs only monetary?

Debu 6:52

Both. So, I'll explain the reason why it is the case of both happening or in some cases, both happening to the same individual. So, let's look at first which is meaning from the role. Show me one job, any job, give me an example of one job, which taps the potential of an individual completely. It is impossible. There is no job on this planet, where that single job is the perfect fit for an individual whose entire potential is fulfilled by performing that job, impossible to do it. And for that, we need to take a look into the fact that who are we as humans. So, we have various capabilities that we possess, and all of those are different faculties. So, there is a creative element that we all want to indulge in. Then there are stuff which we do for our own pleasure, so we get a lot of satisfaction by doing it. We want to challenge ourselves because that is what motivates us to try and do better so we have to be in the zone of creative tension, which is tougher than what I can do easily, but not impossible so that I strive to improve my ability to do it.

So, every human being needs challenge; needs an avenue to fulfill all the interests and passions that they have; and they also need to find a way of fulfilling their basic requirements of an income, being able to take care of the family. So, all of these are a complete set of requirements. There is no job which can allow an individual to fulfill this from the job itself, they will have to do other stuff. So, just to give you a quick example, when I do leadership development work, so when I coach leaders or when I speak to them, I come across a very unique problem with very senior leaders, which is that they have an achievement drive, so they want to improve, do better than before. And this leads to leaders getting into an overdrive where they're almost at a burnout stage because they begin to micromanage. They want everything to be better because they're not able to satisfy that need for that achievement of seeing progress or witnessing progress. The one thing that I suggest that they always do, and this is a consistent pattern, is to tell them to find a hobby where they can feed this whole need for achievement. So, take up running, take up golf, take up a sport where you can even if it is not a competitive sport, but you can see yourself improving. So long-distance runners are able to fulfill their achievement drive by the distance that they can run, the number of marathons that they can run, the timing, all of that satisfies that, so they become better leaders at the workplace.

Now, in a way, this is the positive side of moonlighting, that if you allow them to fulfill something, which is really of interest to them, outside of the workplace, then when they are at the workplace, they can devote their entire energy to do what is supposed to be done in the workplace. The problem happens when you believe that you own the employee, and you own their lives, and they need to not think beyond the workplace. That's impossible for any one of us to be able to do that.

Smriti Sharma 10:11

Let's talk about the culture, the work culture. So how does moonlighting affect the overall work culture of an organisation? And would you think that moonlighting is any indication that an organisation has failed in aligning their employees with its goal and purpose?

Debu 10:28

Let's go back to culture. Okay, so culture is, an organisation’s culture, is that how things happen when nobody is supervising? So, if there is no supervision? How would people take decisions? How would they work? How would they react? How will they interact with each other? That's the truest culture of an organisation. And if we take that definition, what is the best culture? Where people know exactly what is expected of them. That's the best kind of a climate in which organisation culture thrives. And there's a lot of research into it. And the best climates for performance in any organisation start with three necessary conditions. So, one is, they have clarity around what is expected of them. So, what is it broadly that I need to deliver as outcomes that clarity exists. Second is they know the standards which are acceptable. So not anything will do. But these are the bare minimum standards that I have to deliver on. And the third is that I'm given complete freedom and autonomy to deliver on those expectations. And with those standards, that's the best scenario for employees to thrive, be highly engaged, and also create a very high-performing organisation culture. Where in these three necessary conditions do you see an employment contract telling them that you cannot do this? Because the fact that I described as a high-performance culture, it sits on top of autonomy.

Put that aside now. So, I am an employee who is moonlighting. Okay. You are my primary employer, and I go out and moonlight. During the moonlighting exercise, what is it that I will realise? If my primary employer is an outstanding organisation, I realise that look, such a nice place. Everything else that I do, doesn't match up to it. So, it's a great reinforcement too, because if I'm sitting inside the organisation, (it is like) the frog in the well syndrome. If I have a tight no-moonlighting contract, you have put me in a well. I don't know what the outside world is. And I'm always dissatisfied with what it could have been if I had been allowed to do something else. So, dissatisfaction goes up because I don't know what's happening outside. Moonlighting allows me to keep sensing the external world and realise that I'm in such a nice place.

So confident employers who have created an outstanding workplace will never be at the risk of moonlighting employees finding that this organisation is not that great. If you've done the right thing, then they should actually realise that by going out … that you are such a fabulous employer. So, if you have a culture which builds this high- performance environment, there is no way any moonlighting person will find the outside world to be very lucrative.

Second, what does moonlighting do? And I take the leaf out of the field of neuroscience, so how our brains work? The human brain is very unique in the animal kingdom. When we are born, our brains are a work in progress, and it stays a work in progress till we die. That's called the plastic brain. Now, at the age of two, a human child finally has all the possible synaptic connections established in the brain. And from there on, it starts pruning itself till adulthood, where 50% of that is lost. And how do we lose it? So it is almost like a circuit board, that we are born with a superhuman circuit board, all the circuitry is in place by the age of two years, and then from two years till we become adults, we lose 50% of the circuitry because we don't use it. So what we don’t use goes away, and it makes us who we are. So if a job does not allow me to use certain aspects of my brain, because it is telling me that you do only this, this is what is expected from you, then I start losing all of those faculties, I will start losing that ability. Moonlighting allows me to keep those circuitries alive. So it's a very powerful tool for even fighting stuff like dementia. So if you look at the research around cognitive decline, one way of dealing with cognitive decline is to start picking up new stuff to do, because it triggers that part of the brain, which is not being used actively, or those circuitries, which are not being used actively. So new practices, new experiences, are great for the development of the brain.

Now, going back to the intellectual property, you know, I own the intellect of the employee. So, if you own the intellect, and it is depleting because they're not able to experience new stuff outside, as an employer, shouldn't you be allowing them to have those new experiences because it is great for the intellect that you seem to own? That would be the premise that I would put forth to employers who are scared of moonlighting.

You can structure moonlighting, which is great for the organisation. So I'll give you an example, in 2009, when I was with Hewitt, and I was living out of Dubai, running the Middle East office, we implemented a moonlighting platform in 2009, 13 years ago. And why we did it was primarily because of three reasons. One is that when you're in a knowledge workers environment, every knowledge worker has an aspiration of what is a cool thing to do. And then there is drudgery, or monotony because of all the stuff that I'm doing repeatedly, over and over again. So there was a lot of dissatisfaction with the kind of projects that people were getting to do. So we did a design thinking exercise which was very simple. We started out by asking people saying that, okay, for this year, why don’t you tell us what are the new capabilities or skills that you would like to explore and build? So you draw up a list. So they drew up a list of items and then we said that, okay, and what are the stuff that you're good at doing? So you had a list. We created a platform, which was very simple. It was on Lotus Notes, if I remember correctly, where any new proposal, which was to be written or had to be developed, we would actually announce it to the entire team, saying that this is the proposal opportunity. And if you would like to volunteer, that was moonlighting, so you're not going to get hours for writing a proposal. This is beyond your work duties. This is after office hours. If you volunteer to do this proposal, we will match you to the proposal by using the data that you have provided us. If you are interested in building this capability and the proposal relates to that, you will get a weightage for being staffed on this proposal. If it is something that you aspire to work on, you'll get a weightage and you’ll get staffed. And that's how we started matching people to proposal opportunities. We did the same for staffing people on projects. So our project staffing was not that you're a specialist in org design, and therefore you will get staffed. We said that somebody who's a rewards consultant, will also get staffed on an org design project, if that is one of their highest aspirations for the year as a learning opportunity. Project proposal was using moonlighting, and staffing was based on aspirations. But what it did was, it allowed us to have a fascinating insight into all the aspirations that people had. So there we sat without having to second guess who was happy or unhappy. We said that if we met these requirements, people would be highly engaged. And it worked brilliantly for us. We were a very highly successful team, as a result of tapping into the interests and passions of people.

Smriti Sharma 18:12

That's a great exercise, and even a greater example for all of us to follow here. So, you already spoke about tapping potential and upskilling, in what ways can employers make work more meaningful and learning-oriented to avoid stagnation among employees?

Debu 18:30

Let me use the frame of… as an employer. So if I was an employer, what is the best approach that I need to take to all the talent that I have in the workforce? So first of all, I need to know that my view of what is a good talent for the organisation is not necessarily the reality. So I might perceive that this kind of a person is best for doing this piece of work, then I'm imposing past knowledge on what is possible. I'm saying that this is, I know all the answers, you need to be this in order to be able to perform this particular role. That's a very myopic view, because you're not discovering the newer ways or you're not using innovation, giving innovation an opportunity to thrive. The second is that for an individual to be very good, or to realise their full potential, we have already talked about it, all the passion, capabilities, interests, what drives them, I need to find a way of allowing them to fulfill that then they are highly engaged. How do I do it? My job, I first understand what that individual is and what is the best that I can do to fulfill a large chunk of their requirements., So, I match them to job opportunities inside the organisation, then whatever is left, I allow them to fulfill that through moonlighting or outside the organisation. If you look at the world of coaching or even life coaching or mentoring is an exercise of telling people what they need to do, which is beyond their daily work, to be able to be more productive, more fulfilled, and better individuals. And moonlighting provides that as a framework to employers to be able to do that for every single employee in the organisation. And as I said, that there is no risk of moonlighting unless somebody by moonlighting, they're able to steal either your customers or your products, or increased costs for you. So unless they are able to do these three things, moonlighting is never a risk. It's always good, beneficial for an open relationship to thrive, because then it tests the relationship, not the contract.

Smriti Sharma 20:46

Yeah, that makes sense. As moonlighting becomes a growing reality, how can organisations leverage moonlighting phenomenon to improve their business outcomes and enhance their productivity?

Debu 20:59

There is a very interesting concept, which is called ‘umwelt’. It's a German word, and there is a very strong theory around umwelt which has been in existence, and it is one of the primary reasons which is driving innovation in the world, business world, and the world around us. So umwelt is, means my world. So one of the biggest use cases of the concept of umwelt is to look at different worlds. So the world of insects, the world of birds, the world of dolphins, and sharks, and they inspire us to bring some of those artifacts into our world and leads to innovation. So if you look at most of the innovations, so drones or the textile for swimwear, and so on and so forth, are all inspired from not the human world but from the world outside. If an organisation were to take that approach, saying that, what is it that I can go out and learn from other worlds which my organisation doesn't reside in? And can I enrich myself with those insights and become a better organisation? The only way to do it is to use your workforce who can experience it and bring those artifacts back. So this whole exploration of what is happening in other aspects of other worlds, which is not the world of this organisation, that's a very powerful tool. And to enable that is great for any organisation, because your sensing mechanism of what is changing around you, becomes very, very strong. You have certain CEOs who are … they participate in rock bands. Music is fantastic for building leadership capability, just like art appreciation is a fantastic opportunity for leaders to develop the theory of mind, which is to put yourself in the mind of a character and therefore see … or even writers, authors, fiction writers or authors … their creative avenues being explored through writing, music, painting is great for the role that they play in the organisation because it makes them far more empathetic, far more tolerant to ambiguity, which is all business realities that we face on a day to day basis.

So moonlighting as a formal mechanism is a very powerful tool for employers. Let there be no doubt about it. Let's take the flip side of it. Employers who penalise moonlighting, or who make it absolutely impossible for people to pursue anything outside of the work will create a negative brand perception in the marketplace. There was a very interesting piece. So I was doing a Twitter spaces on moonlighting a couple of weeks ago. So somebody from the Silicon Valley, participated in that. She said employers forget that people will deal with their realities, the best way that they think. So if employers think that they have the power to choose, it is incorrect. Because now the employees have the power to choose.

Smriti Sharma 24:10


Debu 24:11

So the employers have to be chosen by the employee, and you need to make yourself attractive. These kinds of rules are not going to make you attractive. And what's happening in the west coast is that tech workers are not even making minimum wages. So they have to moonlight and organisations cannot sweeten the deal and give them higher compensation with no moonlighting, because it will just make them unviable. So it’s the best case for both the employer and the employee in those kinds of markets, to allow moonlighting to happen so that even the economic interest and the emotion…the psychological interest, both are met through these avenues. So there is an economic incentive, psychological incentive, and also a great learning incentive. The moment you go and do something new, which is not what you're doing at the workplace, there is cross-fertilisation of stuff, which allows you to probably find new ways of doing things at the workplace.

Smriti Sharma 25:11

So, job satisfaction and creative outlet, those are also the two incentives.

Debu 25:17

So a better brain, better capabilities, job satisfaction, engagement, and feeling fulfilled, and the feeling of autonomy, which is extremely important for human beings.

Smriti Sharma 25:29

Yeah. So, there's room for improvement for everyone, and a room to grow.

Debu 25:34

Yeah, everybody can grow.

Smriti Sharma 25:36

True. Will moonlighting change the future of work?

Debu 25:41

Charles Handy, a very famous philosopher and thinker, once talked about a portfolio career. So in fact, in 2020, when I quit my full-time role as a partner in the consulting business, I set out to explore my portfolio careers, so doing multiple things at the same time. That's typically not feasible. So moonlighting is one, but portfolio career is the other end of moonlighting, which is you're doing four or five different unrelated things, and you don't even have a primary employer. So you're doing kind of smaller gigs, but a portfolio of gigs. Now he talks about why the portfolio career is important is because it allows you to satisfy your creative potential in a far better way. And there are various ways of learning stuff and at some stage, I also drew a grid. So what I know, and what I don't know, are one side of the scale, and what will pay and what will, what I learn with, is another side of the scale. So my portfolio has to meet all the four quadrants. So what I know and what will pay becomes my income avenue; what I don't know, and what will pay, becomes my future income avenue. So I need to start building that. What I know and from which I learn even more, so that becomes my primary activity where I keep honing and going deep into that skill. And what I don't know and will improve my skill is absolutely unrelated exploration of stuff, which is out there, which is like the black swan opportunity, a skill set, which I have no idea that I could be good at. So I need to explore. So when you start looking at a portfolio career, you should be able to fulfill all the four. And there is a need for all of us to explore that deeply because it changes the way we think, it changes our outlook to life. (It) may not always be successful, but it is very enriching.

Smriti Sharma 27:46

So you suggest that the future of work will see the professionals having portfolio careers, going in for consulting jobs at multiple places, instead of having a formal employment in one place?

Debu 28:03

The future of work will probably challenge the need for organisations, so you don't need organisations. So if you look at (what the) decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs) so they are creating, using blockchain. So if you have smart contracts, you don't need employment contracts to be there, because the smart contracts take care of what you will provide in return for an X amount of compensation. So the contract has to be very clear about what are the outcomes that are being provided. So knowledge workers will start moving towards these kinds of smart contracts. So it's not going to be ambiguous like it is today. So if I were to pinpoint what is the biggest reason why we are having this whole debate around moonlighting, is neither do knowledge workers, and I say this specifically for knowledge workers, because all others, in the manufacturing sector and laborers, they know what is the measure of a productive day. So there will be either a piece rate or output which is measured, and they're paid according to that. Knowledge workers, they cannot define what is a productive day, neither can you explain what is your average productive day? How do you measure it, you have no definition. You feel satisfied. Yeah, maybe that's one measure, or if you have a very busy day, you define that as productivity. Employers also don't have a clue about what is the productivity of a knowledge worker. Now, the moment we start moving towards smart contracts, you cannot have a smart contract without a measure of productivity. Now, the day that happens you won’t need organisations. It will be smart contracts, which will be settling. So the future of work is about smart contracts, which allow you to constantly moonlight and build a portfolio of offerings without having to even take up employment. That's a reality, which could come our way very, very soon. Web3 is enabling that, blockchain is, and smart contracts are enabling that. So I think the future of work is a big threat to organisations as such. It's not just that organisations are going to implement future of work, future work could basically challenge the notion of organisation and it is happening quite rapidly. And before we know it, we will find the work happening through auto settlements and with a very clear measure of what was contracted and what is delivered. Then it solves the … there will be no debate about moonlighting then.

I was recently reading about somebody who had so much of burnout that he decided to go and become a worker in an Amazon warehouse. So let go of a knowledge job and is a worker in an Amazon warehouse, and I think that's very smart. So if I'm a creative professional, for my income, I'm doing routine stuff, which is repetitive stuff, I don't have to use my brain. But I do it for a couple of hours, which I do in an Amazon warehouse, it fulfills my monetary requirement and it also calms me down. So when I go back to my creative space of passion, now I have taken care of this income and basic income and stuff, and have the freedom of doing what I want. But if I'm a knowledge worker, who doesn't have a definition or measure of productivity, I'm constantly stressed as to you know, have I done enough? Is this something that I should be doing? So I think the future is where people will start doing simple stuff, which fulfills some of their income generation requirements, and then going into the complex stuff, which is personal exploration. So that's going to happen.

Smriti Sharma 31:41

So is it time that organisations, they accepted it as a norm, the moonlighting and have specific policies in place along with the terms and conditions of employees? I know you mentioned about the smart contracts as well, and could there be a larger, greater good that can be derived here for organisations, because they are still existing?

Debu 32:02

One of the… so the view about change management is, there's a very interesting view. So typically, what happens is, if you live in a building society, you will find that people have built pathways and then there will be signs saying that don't walk on the grass. But every society or every place, you see these rectangular pathways and large patches of grass, you will find that the grass dies in certain areas, because people actually walk on it. Even if you tell them not to walk, they will walk on it, because it's much more convenient for them. That is what they would prefer to do. The fascinating thing is that, work doesn't happen the way you designed it. Work happens the way people decide that this is a smarter way to work. So instead of imposing policies and designing policies, saying that this is exactly how we will allow you to moonlight and stuff, that's so wrong. Because then you are saying that I have the answers and you don't know what you're doing. It's a very wrong communication. Rather than look at people moonlighting, and then say that is there anything which is creating risk for the organisation, and fix that. Don't put the constraints, like those rectangular pathways, but build… lay the concrete on those pathways where the grass has died. That would be my message for organisations.

Smriti Sharma 33:23

That's an interesting example. Any other parting thoughts that you would like to leave our audience with?

Debu 33:30

From an individual's perspective, there is one aspect which I would like to talk about, which is as to what's a fulfilling career. And most of us and especially in the Asian economies, most of us build careers because of the education that we have had, and what education do we pursue, is the one we finally got a seat in.

Smriti Sharma 33:55


Debu 33:55

Or my parents told me that, you need to do this, and therefore I became an engineer or a doctor or I pursued my MBA. So by the time we come to our careers, we are in a default mode. So we have reached there by default, based on which family I was born into, then what education I got, what subjects I specialised in, what jobs were available for people with those specialisation and that's how I have navigated my career. Now, you're in a scenario where you are an employee, or you're seeking employment. Now, if you start exploring fulfilment from your first job, it's not going to happen. So the exploration has to be at an individual level that I'm doing this job, what aspects of this job do I really enjoy? And what aspects are really draining for me, or I find it very, very painful. And you need to discover ways of pruning out stuff that you don't enjoy. So look at changing roles, or speaking to your managers or your employees and saying that is there a way that I could get into a role where these are the things which are not required by me? Or can I have somebody in my team who can take care of that, so reassigning and changing those, and then focusing on the ones that you enjoy. That's one part and the second aspect is things that I have not even explored. Things I've never attempted or done, that neuroscience piece that I talked about, those circuitries, which are switched off, what can I do in my spare time, which activates those circuitries for me to figure out whether I enjoy it or not. So new experiences, new attempts, new skills, find an avenue of fulfilling that.

Now the moment you do it, you will be very, very powerful as an individual, you will be enhancing your mental capacities, you will be fulfilling, energising yourself by doing stuff which you enjoy the most and you will also be pruning out stuff which is not enjoyable as far as you are concerned, because you are an individual, you are not defined by the job neither by the education that you've had. So far, you're the individual who's defined by the kind of brain that you have, and the uniqueness of your brain. So exploring that becomes a very, very powerful tool. And if you're good at it, your employers will… see smart employers will recognise the power of the individual. So if your employer doesn't recognise your power as an individual, they're not smart employers, so find somebody else who will recognise it.

Smriti Sharma 36:17

Thank you so much for being with us here today, Debu.

Debu 36:20

Thank you. Thank you for inviting me.

Smriti Sharma 36:23

The moonlighting debate may have drawn clear lines between employees and employers, but the future of work will see employees focusing on portfolio careers and the traditional structures of organisations undergoing major transformation. As technology opens up more avenues for ambitious professionals to diversify and utilise their skills and top up their incomes, organisations too need to specify what they will and will not allow their employees to do in a way that stimulates growth for both the sides.  And on that note, we come to an end of this edition of our podcast. Thank you for listening.