I am jack of all trades, master of few type of person. As a history major and high school teacher/tutor, I study a very wide range of topics. For example, yesterday I was helping a student with Geometry and today I am teaching Civics and Economics. Sometimes I get thrown into situations where I have to teach three of four different subjects outside my area of expertise. I also work with a lot of native Spanish speakers so I am always trying to improve my Spanish and my cultural knowledge of Spanish as well as all other cultures, especially as it impacts their ability to learn. I think part of being an academic oriented person is realizing how little you really know and how much you have to learn. I suppose that is why I am titling this: The Pros and Cons of Being a Generalist.
I am an expert on baseball for sure, having played in junior college, coached all levels, and studying the game intensely for yeas as a fan. Even here though, there is always more to learn, new techniques to follow, and general knowledge of the history of the game to improve upon. Similarly, I am considered an expert in the Social Sciences, but there is so much to learn that no one can truly master all of it. I wish I had an infinite amount of time to pursue and learn everything that interests me.
What are you an expert in?
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Excerpt from Forbes Article
What Is A Generalist?
“A generalist is a dabbler, an explorer, a learner — someone with broad knowledge across many topics and expertise in a few. Generalists are likely to have a meandering career path like mine. Although the life story of a generalist can look a bit disjointed, if you were to draw a Venn diagram of their experiences, you’ll find a great amount of overlap as one opportunity leads to another, like throwing a stone into a pond and watching the ripples spread out concentrically. I’m specialized in product design and development, but over time I’ve stretched myself and my expertise to encompass venture finance, operations, engineering, etc. All knowledge builds on itself, and the generalist takes his suitcase packed full of wide-ranging experience with him wherever he goes, offering companies a tremendous amount of value.”