There once was a time where employers and the general business community assumed that if you were an accountant at a law firm for instance, that naturally you could successfully perform the duties of an executive assistant if you so desired to. Or as another example, if you were competent as an IT professional in one type of software package…let’s say Microsoft Word for example, that you probably had the tools to learn and master a similar software package like Microsoft Works. In fact, the general and broadly accepted assumption used to be that if you had a certainly level of education or experience, that again, naturally you could assume a certain level of responsibilities or duties.
Well, things have changed. In the age of the specified education and where there is a certification for everything, most jobs require formal experience and education in order to assume a role performing related duties. So just because I was a front desk manager at a hotel, doesn’t mean that I could also employ those same wonderful customer service skills to work at a high end restaurant.
The problem with living in a “Specialist” economy is that it is easy to become pigeon holed. Recently I had the strong desire to make a career shift from software implementation consulting to a management consulting role as I believe my brain is better at assessing and devising solutions for business and operations type problems. Only to run into what most people who desire a career change run into. A bunch of closed doors to the lack of formalized “Specialty” experience and education.
Well, if it were up to me I would usher in the return of the Generalist era. I came across this great article on Forbes about the fact that Generalists pretty much rule and I wanted to share it with you. Enjoy!