Is it better to be a generalist or a specialist?

By Josefine Kinnvall

Is it better to be a generalist or a specialist?

Digital specialist, social media manager and marketing coordinator are a few titles of many that show up in job advertisements within the media and communication field. After analysing different job advertisements, most of them have a common detail; the never-ending bullet lists with required competencies. This has awoken the question, am I supposed to be a generalist or a specialist?

 

It's not striking news that digitalisation development is changing rapidly, continuing to do so. If you work with marketing, you must keep updated with the newest tools, strategies, and methods if you want to have a chance to reach your target audience most efficiently. It is an enjoyable challenge to embrace, but it also sparks questions for a soon newly graduated student like myself. 

Communication and marketing have a broad meaning, and depending on who you're asking, the definitions vary. This means there are opportunities without limits when you're working with media or communication today. Can this be the reason behind the never-ending bullet lists of competencies? 

New titles and job opportunities are a part of an evolving society, especially within marketing. But when companies request a copywriter, content creator, art director, photographer, videographer and coordinator in one single individual, I get feelings of both excitement and hesitance. 

I am thankful for all the new job opportunities and creative tools that come with digitalisation development. But I also believe it's essential for companies to question it now and then to analyse if their current marketing organisation is sustainable and up to date with the change. 

When it comes to working with social media and digital communication, maybe the time of being a specialist has passed, and the future is all about being a generalist specialist? Either way, I believe we can agree that we all want a sustainable workload. 

At the beginning of my internship, I asked: "Am I supposed to be a generalist or a specialist?". And my wise mentor, called Anders, told me I should aim to be a generalist specialist. So from now on and forward, this is my mission.

Until next time! 

/Josefine 

Josefine Kinnvall
Media and communications student at Jönköping University, and Zooma intern. Started in March 2022.
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