Yes this post is inspired from a random, YouTube-suggested revisit to the best dialogues of a terrific film that left its impression on me at a very young age, Fight Club. The particular quote that inspires this might be looked upon as a rather negative and dark point of view to affiliate to – “You are not special. You’re not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else. We’re all part of the same compost heap” (Chuck Palahniuk). Instead of probing the actual content and its meaning, I will try to see the quote in context of the current corporate ecosystem and the timeless ‘Specialist vs. Generalist’ debate.
On my relatively short career path, I’ve come across quite a lot of people and a lot more advice (hell lot!!); and I’ve realised that we all want to be or are told to be “unique”. Rather, we have to be unique. The competitive nature of the market demands from us a ‘specialist’ CV; and we confine ourselves to a particular category of expertise at very young ages on the misjudged (pardon the judgement) rationale of opportunity rather than interest. Everyone wants to make unique career choices and be the best at what they do. Everybody wants to be a niche. So much so, that the niche is becoming the mass. Everybody wants to stand out. Nobody wants to fit in. But can we all succeed in doing so?
In our ambitious quests to become unique assets for organisations (and pocket lofty salaries), we tend to undervalue the ‘breadth’ of knowledge. In comes The Generalist; the jack of all trades who knows a little bit about a lot. This highly adaptable breed of people can ‘fit in’ to multiple ecosystems and mould themselves to a variety of situations. Be the round peg and the square peg. Generalists are the people who contextualize things, put things into perspective. And in today’s data-driven market this is going to be a necessary skill to have.
Now question is how do we achieve this breadth of knowledge? By exploring a variety of subject areas and industries we can gain perspective and choose a specialized field later on in our careers. But will the market afford us such time? Not now, but eventually. In a time where the workforce is becoming a mass of highly specialized resources, maybe a Generalist label might help you to Stand Out, adapt and most importantly survive.
The point I am trying to make is that it is okay to not be a specialist in a particular field. Especially for young people like me who have room to explore..and fail. The industry is always going to need untrained minds that can be moulded; minds that can understand the broader fabric of things rather than be confined by vast one-dimensional knowledge. So, if you cannot stand out… fit in!
Carefree.. is a myth!
Before you label me a pessimist and sit on protest on my front porch… read.
Carefree is a term bandied around to describe people who seem to be unfettered by or aloof to what is happening in the world around them. These people do not feel anxiety, don’t know a thing about worry and are always, always, ALWAYS HAPPY! These blessed souls that we admire, and aspire to be..the ones who are nonchalant in the face of adversity and merry in the gloomiest of times..do not exist.
Modern life has brought upon us more challenges than ever. We live in perpetual dilemma, juggle multiple personas and all this at a frantic pace. Our troubles range from the most significant to the most trivial. We are battling terrorism and global warming and pollution and economic meltdowns while also losing sleep over not being accepted (and adored) on Facebook and’blue-ticks-no-reply’ on Whatsapp. We live in a world that demands us to be on our toes..all the time. Can we really afford to be Carefree??
What we actually do is, we wish that we could be carefree! We wish that the world wasn’t as cruel and demanding and dog-eat-dog. But reality check! It is. Therefore, leaving us with no choice but to create a “perfect” identity and project it onto ourselves and others. We wish, we try, we strive but..Carefree is a myth!
But there is good news. In fact, great news! We don’t need to defy human nature and forego our apprehensions and angst. We need to react and rise, shake off the blues and move on. Solve the problems instead of denying that they exist. That is my definition of carefree. As Led Zeppelin would say, “upon us all, upon us all, a little rain must fall… it’s just a little rain.”
Augmented reality has for long been the ace up The Marketer’s sleeve, but it hadn’t swept through the masses….until recently. The Marketer, now tired of pulling the strings through feeding us corporate created social constructs and mass media propaganda, wants to move up a gear. Enter, Augmented Reality.
We (the human masses), as a species, are evolving to grow immune to thought control. Therefore, controlling our opinions, interests and self-images is not enough anymore. Our actions need to be controlled. The Marketer aims to do exactly that, albeit indirectly (as of yet). But, don’t blame The Marketer; ‘it’ has a mortgage to pay.
Pokemon GO is the first piece of the puzzle that’ll control our lives. So don’t be surprised if you find a rare Pokemon inside a Burger King around lunch time. Or, at an IKEA during a sale. The marketer is taking things a notch higher… Is it too high?
In a desperate attempt (if I haven’t already failed) to not sound preachy, I leave you here to ponder. They do to us only what we agree to let them.