And if you need an extended description of who a hyper specialist is and a 239 years history of how they came to be, you can read the following Harvard Business Review article -- The Big Idea: The Age of Hyperspecialization
So why should you consider becoming a hyper specialist?
- Nowadays, it is possible to see lots of people with all the skills you can ever put together. People now hold certifications in as many as 10 different skills set. People who used to feel safe in their jobs and not bother apply for work in other companies are now actively looking for working. The competition in the job market is crazy and offers little chance for the recent graduate as employers are no longer willing to hire newbies and train them, when they can hire skilled people at that same pay. However, if you focus on one very narrow and difficult field and better yourself at it, you stand a very great chance of getting work. You can easily sell yourself rather than compete with everyone, especially people with more certifications and years of experience than you. You don't even need to be an expert at it. You can read to acquire the knowledge part of the skill and then offer your services on volunteering sites like UN online volunteer. Soon you would have built an impressive work portfolio and knowledge base to get real job at a much better pay than a newbie. You just need the confidence to not follow the crowd in doing all those time consuming no-real-edge giving certifications. Focus on something specific and build yourself extremely well in it. Jobs will come pursuing you. You might even end up as a consultant and no longer want to work for a company. Once you have acquired a few strong experience doing volunteer work, then go on freelance jobs sites and offer your service for sale.
- With the rate of change and rapid development, it's a waste of effort to try to know everything. It is increasingly becoming difficult to stay on top of developments in more than 2 or 3 fields. And as long as you want knowledge or skills for a workplace environment and career progress, not knowledge to compete in who wants to be a millionaire, then you have to stop trying to know everything and be a master at something specific. Know everything about something. Just be very deliberate in your choice because the idea is to spend the rest of your professional career in that field.
- The competition is low for very specialized knowledge. And the pay is often higher. It's those jobs that want all the skills the HR can think of that pay low salaries. The ones that require very specialized skills pay a lot higher and often hire across continents. It is all about having a breaking-in strategy and not following the confused crowd.
- Finally, you never get obsolete. The opportunities keep coming. You can write a book, become a part-time trainer, speak at conferences, and maybe invent something better. All because you are a hyper specialist. Generalist are still trying to catch up with the happenings in the many jars they've stuck their hands in.