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Careers for generalists: A few resources

Author:   Raymond Yee  
Posted: 1/31/2001; 8:06:15 AM
Topic: Careers for generalists: A few resources
Msg #: 49 (top msg in thread)
Prev/Next: 48/50
Reads: 3071

Last updated: Jan 31, 2001 9:15 am PST

I continue to struggle with being a generalist in a specialist's world. I've always had many interests, some of which intersect in interesting ways (at least to me). But how does one early a living being a generalist? I've been fortunate to be working at the Interactive University, exercising my skills and interests in technology, education, strategic planning. But how many IUs are there out there?

It goes without saying that I don't have the answers. I do want to list a few resources that have been helpful to me:

  • Barbara Sher. I Could Do Anything if I Only Knew What It Was Chapter 6: "I Want Too Many Things: I'm All Over the Map" Here she distinguishes between divers and scanners, first laying out a scheme for determining which type you belong to -- and then career options for both.

    See http://www.barbarasher.com/archive/answers-feb99.htm for a small discussion on scanners vs divers.

    The following summary on scanners vs divers has been posted:

    Make a List. Write down the things that you need in order for you to achieve that goal. As you go out into the world, remember, you achieve success everytime you conquer your fears. "Do it first. Learn how second," Sher adds.

    Unfortunately, some people cannot easily decide on what they want in life. Other people want a lot of things for themselves. Are you one of them?

    If you are, here are two possible reasons. It could be that you are a scanner, or a diver pretending to be a scanner, explains Sher. Usually, scanners are gifted people who possess extraordinary skills and can easily adapt to new cultures. Poets, freelance writers, brilliant sales people, gifted teachers, documentary filmmakers, librarians, and explorers are scanners.

    Usually, the scanners' interests are diverse. They take delight in anything that's new. At work, they are faced with the danger of job drift, of moving from one job to another. "Instead of designing your life to fit the world, you can design a life to fit your abundant gifts," Sher says. Don't worry if you end up with a strange-looking resume. Just tell yourself that you change jobs so you can keep on improving your skills, she points out.

    If you are a mathematician, musician, scientist, artist, and professional artist, you are a diver. Why not harness your potential, your talent? All you need is to focus on the things that you do.

  • Carol Lloyd. Creating a Life Worth Living. The subtitle describes the book well: "A practical course in career design for artists, innovators, and others aspiring to a creative life." She presents two typologies that I think are useful in this context. (I will have to summarize them later.)

Something I just found:

An interview with Linda Stone: "A Generalist in a Specialized World".

Last update: Wednesday, January 31, 2001 at 9:25:03 AM.

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