Generalists vs. multi-skilled specialists

Generalists vs. multi-skilled specialists

Fusion Charts • Live charts commenting • 2014

I have never been fond of the term "generalist". It somehow has the feeling of being surface-level or generic. I have struggled to articulate this sometimes as well. Folks today have become content with a niche too early. Unlike before, today a researcher only does research. A product designer only designs flows with basics of design system. A visual designer only does visual design. This gets only worse the higher up you go in the hierarchy.

I think speciality is important. Building a specialist in a particular skill gives you compounding benefit in years to come. And as one grows, creatives should learn to become multi-skilled instead of generalists.

I love food and find comfort in watching great chefs running their kitchens. If I were to travel the world, it'd only be for shopping and eating. While watching the shows, YouTube video, what inspires me the most is that regardless of a chef being young or super old, they're always cooking. They're hunting for some new remixes with ingredients. They're constantly practicing while managing business, a team and delivering great food on the table everyday.

I think this is what designers should get inspired from. To always be practicing craft no matter how young or senior you are in the industry.

(The image above is one of my work from 2014 during my time at Fusion Charts. Found it in the archive and felt like putting here. The image has nothing to do with the post.)

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