The Importance of the Niche in the Marketplace. Advice For a Generalist In the Time of Experts and Rockstars. 11/18/2009
I've finally figured something out. It's something I've never really thought about, something I'm not necessarily proud of, but something I've learned to love. What is this profound realization that I speak of?
I have no niche, I'm not an expert on anything, I don't have a specific skill, and I'm not 100% sure what my strongest asset is.
Sounds horrible right? Wrong.
I like to consider myself a generalist. Whereas an expert is fundamentally better than everyone else at one thing, a generalist is someone who is very good at a lot of different things. I'm a writer, an active participant in social media, a blogger, an informer, a team player, a multimedia strategist, and a marketing planner. I'm not 100% devoted to any one of these titles. Quite frankly, I feel like I could add or subtract to this list at any time. The question I'd pose to you is this:
"In this current economic time, what is more valuable in an employee, an expert in one specific area, or a generalist dabbling in all realms of a certain industry."
In a recent interview with an account planner, I was given this piece of what I'd consider invaluable advice:
"As an account planner, you should be a second best at everything you do. You need to be the second best copywriter, the second best developer, and the second best creative director."
This is great advice for the ad industry, but I'd like to hear some opinions from other people as well. I personally like to believe in a wider skill set being more effective, more useful, and more accessible to a wider range of companies, but then again, maybe I'm just crazy; generally speaking or course.