Generalist Versus Specialist


I've been debating with myself about the pros and cons of being a generalist or directing my profession towards becoming a specialist. I have changed my professional profile seven times in 3 years. Being a generalist myself, I love trying new things and overcoming challenges but when specific profiles comes which I am really interested in, I lack the experience in that specific area even though I have the required years of working experience. What I don't want, however, is not utilizing the skills I picked up along the way. What do you suggest? What is the ideal position to be between being a generalist and a specialist?

Generalist Profile
Professional Growth Issues
Kuljan Singh Chanambam
46 months ago

2 answers


You have to specialize in one thing. As a generalist, there will always be too many people around with the same skill level as you, as a specialist you stand out. Being a generalist may serve you short term, but will hurt you long term.

Mind you: as a specialist you're still good in all of those skills you're currently enjoying as a generalist! You just make yourself a heap less vulnerable.

Bart Groenewoud
46 months ago

As a generalist you can work for different industries in different area. In some area being a specialist is an advantage for career advancement. Every skill could be beneficial, just need to find the right area to use these. I have chosen to be a specialist in my job but developing further skills to keep other doors open at any time in case I would like to go for a beautiful exit. It costs time and efforts but it looks it is paying in my case. Just find your way, be sure and go for it!

Paolo Beffagnotti
46 months ago

Have some input?