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Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Hi there,

Great post and a relief of sorts for me! I seem to quite fit into this definition of jill of trades or whatever you like to call it.

The problems is that many big as well as small companies don't think of it as advantageous. I had HR from companies such as Microsoft and smaller ones give me an impression that that I don't fit because I am too wide in my interests and experiences, which for them implies superficiality/shallowness in general and lack of experience in their desired skills in particular.

So while I agree with your points, practical-wise it is hard to find as open-minded a company to be employed. Even Google and Yahoo have issues with this at least in MENA where I was.


You're right - the need for multitalented employees hasn't quite been the sweeping zeitgeist that I made it out to be. In some professions, a talent for seeking out and learning a variety of skills might not seem like an asset, especially if you want your hire to consistently perform a defined set of tasks and those tasks are not expected to change much over time. I also see a lot of resistance in academia. Although there's been increased interest in interdisciplinary research and collaboration, when it comes to publishing, getting funding, and getting tenure, the old models are still very much in place and you may not be taken quite as seriously if you haven't dedicated yourself solely to your field. But I think if universities are going to educate the workers and teachers of the future, they need to start modeling interdisciplinary work environments by reaching across departmental lines.

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