I Can Do Almost Anything – So?

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.”  (Og Mandino’s University of Success)

One thing I see repeatedly is people who are “generalists.”  They attempt to do a little of everything.  There is the underlying belief that being multi-talented will open more doors.  But even in today’s workplace you will advance more by being a specialist.  If you are courteous, 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.

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