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Generalist vs Specialist?

posted on May 6th, 2019

Which is a better option today?

Here are a few observations based on my experiences over the last 20 years.

Pros of being a Generalist

1. You can quickly move to another area if the demand for a skill goes away, so risk is lower

2. You get to learn & experience multiple things at the same time

3. It prepares you better for leadership & management roles later in your career

Pros of being a Specialist

1. Not only can you develop a niche but also a micro niche which is where the world is going to

2. Demand for specialists will always be higher because of the limited supply

3. Once you learn to be specialist, you can later become a specialist in another area because who have learnt the art of becoming an expert

A generalist is like a hustler, driven by FOMO (Fear of Missing out) knows how to survive.

A specialist is more focused & clear on what he wants to do, will not only survive but will also do very well one day.

In my career I was average when I was a generalist, learning was amazing. The moment I started to become a specialist things began to change, it was boring initially, but the results were amazing.

Maybe in our early careers we need to be generalists!

What are your reflections?