Being able to clearly & confidently explain your value can be a career maker or breaker. But for generalists, this can be extra tricky. I know this because I've spent my WHOLE career not quite feeling like I 'fit in' at work.

When talking about your squiggly skillset.... How deep do you dig? Which experiences should you focus on? How do you frame it in a way that makes sense?

There's 3 things traits I see as the DNA of high-calibre generalists. Understanding these can help give you the framework to recognize, talk about, and leverage your skillset. I call this the 'Generalist Value Pyramid' and I hope it can help you too!! :)

Here it is:

💪 The Foundation: Broad Expertise

A deliberate cultivation of skills and knowledge across multiple fields. This layer emphasizes not just a superficial acquaintance, but a meaningful depth that enables unique insights from one discipline to another.

Your broad expertise lends itself to you being a lifelong learner, and savvy at applying this knowledge in real-world scenarios of varied, sometimes seemingly disparate, domains.

This diversity in skill sets allows for more creative problem-solving and the ability to adapt — huge assets for a world of work which is changing what feels like every quarter.

🤍 The Heart: The Generalist Mindset

Though harder to measure, this is an undeniable measure of a great generalist: the little sparkle of magic you seem to bring to every single job. A surefire sign? Your colleagues and bosses can’t quite put their finger on it. They just know you’re an incredible asset to their organisation.

Characterized by your unique approach to thinking and problem-solving. This includes the ability to spot patterns in disparate data, simplify complex scenarios, envision the larger system at play, and apply creative thinking to develop innovative solutions.

You’re often known as the ‘go-to’ person for anything ambiguous. Even without direct experience, you have a reputation for instinctively finding a way forward, or for wrangling the best people together, to figure it out.

Generalists excel in environments of uncertainty and complexity because they can draw on a broad base of knowledge to see connections that others might miss, and they have an innately unique approach to connect these dots.

⛰️ The Apex: High Emotional and Social Intelligence

This is why generalists make incredible leaders, c-suite execs, founders and CEO’s. Your high EQ means you lead, communicate, and collaborate better than most.

You’re likely highly empathetic, have a knack for building strong relationships, and find that influencing positive outcomes in team and organizational settings comes as second nature.

It’s your strong interpersonal skills that tie everything so beautifully together. You don’t just have diverse expertise. You don’t just have a knack for solving problems and being a ‘fixer’. You aren’t just empathetic and a great leader.

You’re all of these things, combined. And that combination has tangible, inexplicable value to an organisation.

Would love to hear if this resonates? :)

Full essay here: