What if you’re neither a specialist nor a generalist?

Signs you might be a temporary specialist:

  • You’re insatiably curious
  • You take pleasure in learning and tend to learn quickly; understanding unexplored subjects is an end in itself and is part of what drives you
  • You lose interest in things once you feel you have mastered them or when your attention is drawn to another new and fascinating subject
  • You struggle to recall much about anything you’re not currently ‘specialising’ in off the top of your head (this can be a disadvantage in interviews when you’re asked about stuff you’ve done in the past — it can be mistaken for superficial understanding), but given a chance to refresh your memory you can return to your previous level of knowledge in that area with relative ease
  • You often feel like an imposter because your knowledge in an area never quite matches that of a life-long specialist, yet you don’t maintain the constant breadth of understanding of a generalist
  • You can be trusted to complete even unfamiliar tasks competently, thoroughly immersing and educating yourself in everything you need to know to get the job done
  • You can connect with people from a wide variety of backgrounds, because chances are you were once passionately interested in something related to their field

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Productivity, systems, and optimization. Effective altruism, science, futurism, tech, econ, and rationality.

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Rosie Campbell

Rosie Campbell

Productivity, systems, and optimization. Effective altruism, science, futurism, tech, econ, and rationality.