Being a generalist in a personal-brand world

Hi Elpha friends,

My journey into the world of HR has been anything but straightforward. I started off at university as a pre-med student, passionate about helping people and thinking becoming a doctor was the best way to do that. Then I ventured into non-profit work, dabbled in clinical psychology, and eventually landed on pursuing my Master's degree in IO Psychology.

Six months into my first true HR role as a Recruiting Coordinator, I was impacted by cursed macroeconomic conditions and laid off. Now, as I do some soul-searching to find my next great role, I feel bombarded by advice to "find my niche," "build my brand," and "showcase my expertise."

In my professional experience, I have thrived most in opportunities to wear multiple hats and dip my toes into cross-functional water. Additionally, I'm an open and curious person who likes to look at things from multiple angles. Essentially, I am a generalist at heart.

In today's job market, does anyone have advice on how to market my skills and stand out in networking, job searching/applying, and building a meaningful personal brand?

Much appreciated in advance!

You should definitely get in touch with @millytamati. She is the founder of Generalist World, a brilliant community for generalists (
Hi Evie! Ugh this is really hard. I've also struggled with jobs leaning on trendy hiring keywords because it's the "thing" to do.I'm not in HR, but with the role of "recruiting coordinator", I can imagine that having that understanding of the entire system and not being an expert probably makes you BETTER suited for your role. I'd lean on your generalist knowledge as empowering you to better managing entire teams with different individual specializations, how you can be flexible and lean on different skills and areas of your knowledge for specific problems, and that seeing the forest for the trees is an incredibly valuable niche skill that many specialists DON'T do. It encourages understanding and empathy when coordinating larger teams or when seeing a project from start to finish across specialities. I'm not sure if you've heard of this in HR, but in marketing, we have something called a T-shaped marketer. It's essentially someone who has that generalist understanding, but is deeply routed in ONE aspect of that. If you are a generalist but with a lot of experience in people management or any other part of HR, it's another way to advertise yourself. On a personal note, I am very much ANTI personal brand creation. I don't want to live my life online and build a "reputation" because I appreciate my privacy. So, stay strong in that and know you're not alone.