Jack of all Trades and a Master of None can still have a Comparative Advantage
A comparative advantage for individuals can be described as a situation in which one can produce goods or services at a lower opportunity cost.
One example of comparative advantage that explains this is the case of call centers in India that employ Indians who don’t speak English as well as Americans. But as the Americans are more productive doing something else than working at a Call Center, they can afford to pay the Indians to do it for them. Although the Americans have an absolute advantage of speaking better English, the Indians have a comparative advantage in the call center business.
But why should generalists care?
At first thought, generalists seem to lack comparative advantage for most jobs. Being a Jack of all Trades and a Master of None can feel disheartening as recruiters can always find someone more specialized.
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Focus on Problem-Solving
Generalists are blessed with the ability to think out of the box and see connections between seemingly unrelated problems to find innovative solutions.
Practice makes perfect. Start small and grow your circle of influence in problem-solving.
Learning & Adaptability
If you have proven abilities to learn a wide range of knowledge and skills, you can keep learning more efficiently than others. Keep your mind open with a growth mindset and acknowledge that learning gets easier with the more you learn.
Generalists are often great at translating complex ideas across disciplines. Hone your communication skills by capitalizing on social media, blogs, vlogs, etc.
Networking & Collaboration
Building a strong network with specialists can be highly beneficial. For example, I am building a prototype or an MVP for an Investment Web Application and will use my network of specialists to scale it up.
As much as you need those specialists, even they need you to help synthesize their expertise to create value. So a Win-Win attitude is key for Generalists trying to create synergy.
Specialists have stable jobs, while Generalists are often discarded by the job market during high-interest rate environments. This is because Generalists deliver on the innovative growth, which is unfortunately heavily discounted in such times.
This is the time for Generalists to build up their comparative advantage. The dopamine that comes from knowing that you are one of the few qualified people in the world to solve a highly differentiated problem is unreal. It will feel like the best job ever!
Liberal part time Blogger and full time Researcher with a broad range of experience, professionally and personally in Austria, Italy, UAE & India. Loves Finance, Business & Technology. Cares about society.