Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Generalist vs Specialist

I thought that it was time to think a while and a bit.

I was hauled into my boss' office today and got told off about non-performance in a certain aspect of my job. Seriously, this is not a new issue. She's been absolutely graceful about this, as I have not been performing right from the start. I guess her patience is wearing thin.

The problem is, every time we have a chat on this issue, my direction in life gets questioned. That's the problem of having such a nice boss; she practically tries to solve your problem for you. The only problem is, I am not sure whether I want to solve this problem her way.

I'm in a dilemma, you see. Part of me wants to do well at my job because it's part of my duty, but part of me is saying that I don't want to be doing this for life; so why stay there for so long?

It's a confusing state of mind. You could say that it is an anti-thesis of most of the management theories out there; that I kind of enjoy what I am doing, but at the same time, I am not enjoying some of the things that I am asked to do. It's like, I like half of the job, but the other half, I struggle to get to grips with.

I think my problem is that I am a generalist, living in a specialist world. My job specifies that I become a specialist, but my core nature dictates otherwise. I can improve tremendously in almost anything that I put my heart into, but it's just not in my nature to do it for a long time.

I am in a sense, still looking for my life's calling; and after today's chat with my boss, I am beginning to wonder if I would ever have a 'life calling' per se. I keep on having this feeling that my life revolves around jobs that doesn't last me a lifetime. Maybe I am Gen-Y more than I thought I was. Maybe I am in such a dilemma because I am part Gen-X and part Gen-Y.

After about 3 years at this job, I feel that I've seen most of what's in store, and I am fairly sure that I don't want to be doing this for the rest of my life. However, that being said, I am lost in a sense that I do not have another direction in which I can head to.

The thing is, I have so much that I can do, that I end up not knowing what I should do. I mean, I don't mind doing this job for another 2 years, maybe even more, but ultimately, deep down, I know that this is not my final destination.

The issue with this post is that I don't think I will ever have any 'final destination' in my pursuit of career advancement.

A jack of all trades has its own spectrum of problems. Maybe I'm just a flexible peg that can be hammered into multiple shaped holes.

Is there any career in 'multi-purposing'?

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