Why I don’t want to specialize

I love variety and need to challenge myself by trying lots of different activities. Not to mention, I feel like every job post is looking for a unicorn that has a multitude of skills. While there is a debate about whether or not this type of candidate exists, with shrinking budgets and constant need for talent the marketing field is shifting toward hiring more multi-talented individuals.

Companies are no longer just looking for a fantastic copywriter. Now they’re looking for someone that can design your site and also run its PPC. Someone who can design, write, and also manage. Plenty of skills to go around.

With love of variety and expanding skill sets, it still can be a challenge to get the kinds of experiences that allow you to become a “unicorn” candidate anyway. I like to joke about the qualifications people expect (I saw this meme and thought it was perfect).

In the spirit of not specializing, I read and loved this article about Elon Musk which explains a theory about why Musk has done so well: he never limited himself to one field and became a generalist-specialist. When you’re limited to only technology, oil and gas, or any other field, you know longer are receiving the stimuli to help develop new concepts by bringing insights from other fields. Instead of only focusing on one field, he learned a lot about many so he could apply principles he learned in one to another.

Musk continues to innovate in new fields when he announced his new company Neuralink. His newest venture’s goal will be to implant electrodes in the human brain to further meld technology and biology. These types of innovations will start to help people suffering from brain trauma and then expand toward healthy individuals.

So why be limited to one field or type of position? A diverse career can be the mark of a great creative thinker and hard worker.

How has diverse career experiences helped you to bring new ideas to the table?

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