After my article about “Generalist or Specialist: Which is Better”, I received this note.
Hi Sharlyn! I read your article on specialists versus generalists and wanted to say thanks for sharing. I’m on the fence about what I’d like to do in my next stage of my career. Do I want to specialize? If so, what should I do? I don’t want to pigeonhole myself into something that I might regret. I would like to focus on organizational development, training, coaching, and career development but don’t really know where to begin. Any suggestions?
I wish I could say there’s an easy answer. There’s not. And it’s something everyone has to figure out on their own. The good news is that there are LOTS of resources you can use to figure out what’s best for you. Here are six to get you started:
Career is everything for many of us. We work tirelessly to develop ourselves and our career. Capella University shows us 3 proven strategies to achieve career goals.
In her new book, author Debra Cohen PhD talks about creating a career portfolio for HR competency development. Whether a generalist or specialist, it can be practical and flexible.
Career lattices are another option to the tradition career ladder. Organizations should be flexible and offer both for employee success.
Talent development includes everything from career management to succession planning. No wonder it’s strongly connected to recruiting.
A career in learning and performance can be exciting and rewarding. Here are several resources to help with learning and performance career development.
Certification is one way for HR professionals to stand out. Especially when competing for great jobs. Here is a list to consider when choosing the best HR certification.
There’s one other thing that I believe is important to remember when it comes to the decision about generalist or specialist. There’s no rule that says once you decide, you can’t change your mind. In fact, it might be something to consider as part of your career development plans. Does it make sense to intentionally plan to specialize at some point then become a generalist? Or vice versa – be a generalist for a while then specialize? The good news is that whatever you decide after some careful thought, it will be the right thing for you.14