11,741 Don’t stop learning
When I was younger, I thought I’d be great with science and math because I had that annoyingly inquisitive mind. I would get hooked on a subject, like Greek and Roman mythology, and I would methodically read every book I could find at the library. I still remember going to Barnes and Noble and reading through books on random subjects just to educate myself.
I was quite the little nerd.
In the end, this served me quite well since I did end up going into a scientific field where I can continue to expand my knowledge of various subjects. As I get older, I find that I still have a thirst for knowledge, but at the same time, I have a quite short attention span when it comes to delving deeper into a topic. For example, I have spent some time learning various languages, but when it came to the point where I needed to buckle down and learn a language more fluently, I just gave up.
Jack of all trades, master of none.
That’s what someone said about me in high school with regard to the many musical instruments I could play. (I might say that I somewhat mastered playing piano, but honestly, I was never outstanding at it.) that pretty much sums up my entire life. At my job, I’m considered a "generalist" that has dabbled in just about every topic, but doesn’t specialise in a single one. This is both good and bad. If I’m too specialised, then it becomes difficult to get a job in certain industries. On the other hand, if I don’t understand at least one topic very well, I can’t speak intelligently enough to convince people that I know what I’m doing. Then again, maybe it all works out for the best since I can easily switch from one field to another to another without skipping a beat. Besides that, I can get pretty bored working on the same thing all the time. I prefer to have a variety of projects (and fields) to work on.
What’s funny is that I got my current job because my boss was looking to hire someone exactly like me. He said they already had plenty of specialists, but they needed someone who could support multiple groups with whatever they needed done. Ha. Seriously, that’s me: flexible, easy to work with, and moderately knowledgeable, with extra support from the more specialised engineers when there are technical questions beyond my ken.
When people ask me what my specialty is, I have an answer, but truth be told, I don’t often work on that kind of stuff at all! Eh, whatever. As long as life and work continue to stimulate and excite me, what do I care how deeply I understand a single topic?