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Lately I have been bombarded with messages to be a Specialist.  It’s the answer.  Narrow your niche.  Only talk to those people that need your specialty.  But here I sit – a generalist.  I find pride in knowing about a lot of things.  I am interested in so many different things and I enjoy learning about all of them.  The thought of only studying one thing, one subject – is claustrophobic to me.  I can’t even imagine cutting myself off of so much great material.

But society is telling me another story.  Have you looked at job postings lately?  They want a very definite one-subject person with YEARS of experience in the same position.  I can’t even imagine that life anymore.  I know when I was that person I was bored, frustrated and desired to do more.  I have always wanted to do more. 

When I was young and eager to learn about all things business it was a definite plus to my employer – no new technology went undiscovered, I was tireless in learning new software, new ideas in management, whatever they needed I would learn.  Now, some twenty years later I am being punished for doing everything. As I dive deeper the “rule” is 7 books make you an “expert” – are you kidding me?  I read that in a week!  That would mean I am an expert in MANY topics.  Last year I went through my college credits and according to many “rules” I have minors in more than several different subjects.

That is crazy.  You are telling me that I am competing with people who have read 7 books and are marketing themselves as an expert?

I would not say I am “expert” at anything.  There is always something to learn.  There is always more to experiment with.  There is always a new perspective to find, a fresh way of doing things.  It’s a journey.  It is a wonderful journey of discovery and learning and growth.  It is such a shame that so many are now discounting the journey and the process of discovery.  For me, it is the reason I live.  To learn and grow and share what I have learned is fantastic.

But I digress.  I am a Scanner as Barbara Sher  defines.  Here’s a test to see if you are one too:  Are You a Generalist?  This was my result - big surprise!

Ultimate Generalist - Teri Temme

I am burdened, or gifted, dependent on your perspective, with the need to be involved in many different things.  It’s not what I want as much as what I need.  I don’t have a choice.  I wonder if Da Vinci had the same issues in his time?  He is revered for his variety of interests, yet today we would pigeonhole him into one task and berate him for wanting to learn anything else.  It is ridiculous.

If I am capable of more and willing to do the job at hand as well, what is the harm?  This has been vexing me throughout my career.  Always being told to choose.  I have chosen – I have chosen to pursue whatever I am interested in at the time!  How’s that for a choice?  Not on your list?  Sorry.  But I am not asking you to do the same.  I am just requesting that I be allowed to follow my passions and not be told I want to too much.  There is never enough – trust me smiley

Growing up my mom was a hair dresser, she has since moved on to Accounting, but during all of my school years I had a constant “partner in crime” to change my hair style as often as possible.  She didn’t let me color my hair until later and unfortunately I did grow up during the “perm” craze, but only one time did it not go well.  If she does NOT want to cut your bangs – do not beg relentlessly.  That’s all I am saying smiley

This has been a curse as well as a blessing.  Once I moved out of state (which was a while ago) I lost my in-house designer.  In all the years since I have left I have rarely gone to another hair cutter.  Sometimes it has been absolutely necessary, but it’s always awkward.  I have tried numerous approaches – pictures, descriptions, just saying do what you want…nothing has quite worked.  Each time I have been amazed at what I actually end up with.  My hair is fine.  I have a lot of it, but even my mom has struggled with its fierce determination not to comply with the new cut.  Strands appear out of nowhere, it lays funny.  The fun continues.  I am used to it and luckily I am not anal about every hair being in place in anymore.

I say anymore because I spent so much time in high school on my hair.  It’s quite funny now.  I am definitely not the same person.  I also matched everything – underwear, nail polish – every hair in place.  I think it is hilarious now, but then it was absolutely crucial.  Have you changed any of your personal habits over the years?

Since I am working at home currently I haven’t worried much about how long my hair was getting.  I was highly annoyed at the amount of hair on the floor and in the drain, but otherwise it was in a ponytail most of the time.   I had not had a haircut since last July.  This was the result:

9 inches

She cut off nine inches by putting a rubber band in my hair and cutting.  It was awesome.  I always wanted to do that.  Better yet, it came out pretty cute just doing that.  It is still long, but so much better!  I think it was the shortest duration haircut I’ve ever had and that’s always good.  I don’t have a lot of patience with the “checking’ process.  It’s a running joke in our family.  Don’t even ask if she washes my hair…

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