Do you consider yourself a "generalist"? Are you open to sharing your career story?

#ask #careerstories #generalists

Hey Elpha! A few years back I launched Unstuck Project where I profiled the non-linear career trajectories of different professionals. Really the goal was to dig into the question “How did you choose?“, highlighting the messy middle of how our careers play out and understanding what factors - experiences, mentors, community - have the greatest impact on our trajectories.

Fast forward a few years and I’m ready to dive back into this series. This time I’m specifically interested in connecting with professionals that define themselves as “generalists.”

While I don’t have a specific definition in mind, generalists could include professionals that avoided specializing in one area, that sought to wear multiple hats, work across multiple job functions, topics, teams, etc. The goal is to gain a deeper understanding of possible generalist career trajectories and how other generalists have navigated their careers.

I find that stories are what help us learn what’s possible. If you’re open to sharing yours (with a write-up you can share with your network if you’d like), feel free to grab a slot on my calendar or shoot me a DM. :)

*If you just want to share your story without a write-up - that’s cool too! It’s always great to connect with other Elphas. :)

This is an amazing project! I am completely open to sharing my generalist background and how it has helped me in my roles. I just grabbed some time on your calendar and look forward to speaking with you soon!
Awesome @nataliehoop! I look forward to connecting. :)
I love cold calling her (and perhaps she hates me for it already) but @LucyN has an amazing story that needs to be heard, as a generalist! you can read here
As if I could ever hate you @iynna! Thank you for the tag!Always happy to sing the generalist praises - sounds like a great project and would be happy to chat @lauramarks!
πŸ₯Ί you're so sweet Lucy!
Awesome @LucyN! I just read through the article @iynna shared about your generalist path - super interesting. It also led me to - so exciting to see resources like this out there for fellow generalists!I'd love to chat! Feel free to grab a slot. :)
Thanks @iynna! Can't wait to take a look.
Love this! I just signed up!
Really excited about this - I've just signed up as well!
Awesome :)
Very interesting! I’ve just signed up.
Finally, feeling SEEN! Looking forward to chatting
I love this response. lol :) We exist! Looking forward to connecting.
Hi @lauramarks, such a delightful project. I wish there were more resources like these when I started my career. Booked time on your calendar and looking forward to connecting with you!
Amazing :) Thanks @mitamandawker!
Happy to discuss!
I am embarking on a generalist journey and I'd like to share my story and can't wait to see what the end goal of this!
Nice! I'm not sure either - I just hope getting these stories out there can help some people. :)
Happy to to share as well! I identified as a generalist who has many different interests and roles in their life & career (ad creative > event coordinator > marketer > data scientist > marketing analyst > leadership & life coach). Would love to share and help other understand that generalists do lead a fun and fulfilling life :)
Wow! That's a roller coaster. Can't wait to hear more. :)
About to book time on your calendar for next week if you're still looking for folks! I define myself as a creative generalist and leveraging my project management background has helped me excel in a variety of different roles and special projects
Amazing :)
Hey! I would LOVE to connect with you if you are open! I am just entering my project management journey and recently decided to OWN the Generalist identity (which is tough)! Hope to connect:
Hi Pamesha! Happy to :) UPDATED: I got my account back!'ll connect with you shortly!-----------------Caveat: My original LinkedIn account is currently hacked (as of July 5) and working with the team to get it back but it's a slow process. But my portfolio is here: to chat over DM or feel free to book a time to chat (over the phone or over a Zoom; lmk what you prefer) here: happy to connect you with other PMs in the industry that I'm close with <3
I do! It took me a while to even find the word and even that sounds you're an all-over-the-place kind of person. With most of society focused on specializations, I always felt a bit like an underachiever for not being one. Sometimes just having diverse interests and varied skillset is a blessing AND a curse. People insist on finding a box to put me in but I just don't fit in any and I honestly don't want to. I'm glad this is now coming to the forefront and getting the attention and recognition it deserves. I definitely signed up to chat with you!
I completely agree with you, it feels like we're never good enough!
Never good enough, almost sub-human, honestly. Some people turn their noses but we do the bulk of the work that others don't want to.
For sure. I'm curious about how to get employers to value what generalists bring to the table. Any thoughts on that?
This is, unfortunately, a very tough one. This is societal more than anything, and will require a seismic shift. The thing is, the bigger the company, the more bureaucratic they become - wanting things more and more defined, shoving people in boxes etc. I think generalists are best suited for smaller companies, start-ups, small businesses, and ones that have flat system, that way you get the most of their abilities and also provide the individual the stimulation they need to stay focused and committed.
I 100% agree with all of this. Looking forward to connecting!
As someone who has become disenchanted with the concept of a "career path", I appreciate this celebration of a different version. I have booked time and look forward to talking to you!
Sounds like an interesting take. And I agree!
I left a large tech corp b/c corps don't really afford the opportunity to develop as a generalist. Corporations really like to plug people into specialties and keep them there; the thinking being that it's less risky, more efficient. I was a growth marketer by trade but knew (and desired to) develop product as well. Leaving was the only way I could effectively do that. Best decision ever. I love being able to move seamlessly between several layers of product development and almost all disciplines of marketing. It's particularly a superpower in the startup space. Happy to see this type of role being elevated.
Amazing. I'd love to learn more about how you made that jump and how you positioned yourself to employers in order to take on those responsibilities. I hope we can connect!
Hi @lauramarks! I couldn't make the transition so I created my own. I left big tech and jumped into freelance and startups. In so many ways, it FORCED me to learn more skills (fortunately, skills I wanted to learn) and level-up my abilities. I'm so much more versatile than I ever thought I would be, and I'm so blessed for the opportunities I've had to demonstrate that. I am very much a generalist in pretty every sense of the word. I love it.
I'm super new to this platform and this is the first time I'm reading the posts. I am so glad I stumbled on this one, I have been battling with this for a few years and finally decided to own the generalist journey and allow my soft skills to shine. I cannot wait to read all these stories :)
Awesome so glad it resonated! :)
Hey @lauramarks, I logged in to Elpha after a bit and just saw your post. Absolutely love this and can't wait to read everyone's stories.Are you still looking for people to chat with? Happy to grab a time on your calendar if it's not too late.
For sure! Feel free to grab a slot. :)
This is my tribe!!! looking forward to chatting
This is a fantastic topic! Going to explore your project! Scheduled a call and looking forward to talking to you! I feel I tried just a fraction of what I wish/have a desire to try/do, so would love to find a like-minded community - maybe we could have a call all together to share stories and inspiration?:)
LOVE this idea. Can't wait to chat and explore more. :)
Hi @lauramarks- I definitely identify as a generalist, and would be happy to chat if you're still looking for stories! I started as a teacher and edupreneur in India, transitioned into social impact tech, and most recently cross sector strategy/innovation consulting. Many seats, many roles, and have so far loved it :)
Oh wow. Yes - that sounds like a great story. Feel free to grab a slot. :)
Just here to say hiiii generalists! πŸ‘‹πŸΎ Such a brill project Laura, and super excited to have you join us in too!
Yes! Posting this was actually how I learned about you! Love GW and excited to be part of the movement. :)
As a generalist in an industry/society that lauds specialists above all else - THANK YOU! I feel seen and it's wonderful. 😍Looking forward to following this series on Unstuck Project.
Happy to hear it! I'll be launching soon and will share the link on this post. :)
Hey Elphans! If you want to check out these stories, you can follow along here:'ll be officially launching tomorrow πŸ™Œ