Came across an interesting post here on skills for employability from Lynda Gratton. The emphasis on deep skills does tie in with what I’ve been seeing in the local job market of generalist skill sets being desirable for more junior posts while “deep” skills are required for the higher value/ better paid jobs. Also, this finding does seem to suggest that the notion of the icicle based skill-set is currently less desirable than I previously thought. Or is it a question of presentation whereby an icicle person presents themselves as t-shaped (on the basis of targeting your application) yet the icicle skill-set remains desirable for the longer-term career as it enhances the individual’s adaptive capacity?
Most of my work has been short/ fixed term contracts and covering a fairly varied range of domains (but generally with a learning slant) – I’ve worked in projects involving higher education (including teaching), management development, community media development, e-learning development, creative industries support, research work, public sector improvement (mmmmmmm interesing), business start-up support. Its not an easy cv to sell as I’ve not been engaged in a tradiitonal career path – something I can post-hoc rationalise thanks to Po Bronson and his What Should I Do With My Life. So I was pleased to come across this post that nicely summarises the problem as not being a generalist and not really being a specialist but having some ‘depth’ in a number of domains – illustrated as a sort of icicle/ comb (this kind of makes sense if you’ve come across the notion of T-shaped people from Ideo before). The problems are: (a) does the ‘icicle’-shaped person represent a ‘desirable’ talent of value in the market place or (b) is it short hand for “nothing of value here”?