I can do anything you want me to……

A young man, armed with letters of introduction from prominent men, one day presented himself before Chief Engineer Parsons, of the Rapid Transit Commission of New York, as a candidate for a position.  “What can you do?”  Have you any
specialty?” asked Mr. Parsons.  “I can do almost anything,” answered the young man.  “Well,” remarked the chief engineer, rising to end the interview, “I have no use for anyone who can ‘almost’ do anything.  I prefer someone who can actually do one thing thoroughly.” *

One thing I see repeatedly is people who are “generalists.”  They attempt to do a little of everything.  But even in today’s workplace you will advance more by being a specialist.  If you are dependable, show up for work on time and do what’s expected of you, you can get a job at WalMart or Burger King before the sun goes down.  But those characteristics do little to separate you from thousands of other job seekers.  What is it that you do uncommonly well?  What is your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)?  Define that and you will rise to the top of your field quickly.

*Source:  Og Madino’s University of Success

Share this Post

  • After 23 years of work I would expect to have tangible skills to present to an employer. I don’t. I am exactly what the young man was, a generalist. My specific talent would be vreative problem solving but nobody knows what to do with that skill set. They want an additional identifier. Creative problem solving electrical engineer or creative problem solver for change management. In the end I expect to flounder into oblivion as a generally lower paid dependable worker who does an amazing job with whatever I am given but never really had a specialty. I am trying to set my children up to do life differently.

  • Cliff Feightner

    You may be a jack of all trades
    But that’s just a game of charades
    You will progress faster
    If one thing you master
    With that always getting upgrades