How Do I Reskill Myself? Do I Specialize or Generalize?

During the Coronavirus pandemic, millions of people who thought their jobs were stable and secure found themselves unexpectedly unemployed. If you’d like to protect your career against future economic downturns, you may be asking, “How do I reskill myself? Do I specialize or generalize?”


Should I Reskill as a Specialist?

Specialists focus on a certain area. They are experts in a specific subject in their field. For example, dermatologists, cardiologists, and ophthalmologists are all doctors who specialize in one part of medicine.


    • Your depth of knowledge can make you more valuable and increase your earning potential.
    • Larger companies use teams of specialists, each with a different skill set, to solve problems.
    • With a narrower focus, you’ll have an easier time keeping on top of trends.


    • Specializing may limit your career options.


Should I Reskill as a Generalist?

Generalists know how to complete a wide variety of related projects. For example, a handyman may be able to do the work of a plumber, an electrician and a carpenter.


    • A broader skill set can make you more marketable.
    • Smaller companies need people who are multitalented.
    • You’ll be able to branch off and explore various parts of your field.


    • As a generalist, you may not have the expertise needed to complete advanced projects.


So, Do I Specialize or Generalize?

The answer depends on your personal preferences as well as your career goals. If you are genuinely interested in a specific area within your industry and you’d prefer to work for a larger organization, specializing may be the way to go. However, if you like learning about different areas of your field and tackling new experiences, you probably be happier generalizing.

Nevertheless, many experts argue the best-case scenario is a combination or a T-shaped approach. The top of the T is the generalist approach. You’re familiar with many parts of your field. Whereas the vertical line is the specialist approach. You’ve decided to dive down into a specific area. Of course, on your T, the horizontal line may be longer than the vertical line or the other way around. That’s OK. Simply having some combination of general and specific knowledge can make you more valuable AND more marketable in any job market.


Are You Eager to Put Your New Skills to Work?

Whether you’re looking for a new job or a better position, BOS Staffing can help! Our recruiters place medical staff, IT professionals, office workers, and manufacturers with top companies in Athens, Georgia, and beyond. Browse our current openings discover your next opportunity today!

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