Just like the timeline that shows development of the human race, there is a timeline for what we call the ‘industrial age’. On the timeline of the industrial age, the human race today stands at the point that is known as the age of personal responsibility.
This age comes after many milestones on the timeline including the rise of the information age and that of the knowledge worker. Having said that, it becomes essential that a career-driven society understands why the focus today is on personal responsibility and subject specialization. To assume total responsibility for your success and failures in professional arenas is a broad definition of personal responsibility. Narrowing it down to the aspect of career choices, it means, depending solely on your knowledge, skills and ability to choose the best alternatives. An important aspect of personal responsibility relates to subject specialization.
As per a study conducted by the Brookings Institute, personal responsibility in one’s career is not just about making career choices, but also about taking the blame for not making the right ones.
CareerBuilder culls out five reasons why specializing in the age of personal responsibility is important.
1. There Are More than One Career Paths
Whether it’s reassuring or confusing, the fact is that there is an overwhelming variety of jobs in the market. You might wonder where the concept of specialization comes into play here. The point is that only when you specialize in a subject of interest, do your choices become more defined. After simple graduation, you can apply for any job that you wish to take up. However, only when you have considered subject specialization will you be able to make better choices.
2. Specialists are Committed
When you have an expertise in a particular field, it makes commitment all the more rewarding and profitable. There is a scope to think out of box, as you are more at ease with experimenting. Putting untested ideas to application seems less like gambling, more like innovation. Yes, there are minor slip-ups, but they come as a package with the go-for-broke ambition, and thus can be forgiven and improved upon. Your ideas may sound a tad too outrageous, but then, that’s the whole point of being a specialist. You shoot a bow in the dark because you can afford to. On the other hand, lack of specialization in a specific subject does not necessarily imply a shortcoming in the area of dedication, but merely a gap in opportunity.
3. Specialists Can Tell…
Specialists never cease to surprise you. They arrive in a boardroom, walk over to the projector, scroll through the slides and in less than 11 minutes, they spot each and every loose end in your plan of action, which took you more than 11 hours to create. And then they start doling out ideas faster than you can blink your eyes. You bet, every single one of those ideas is a crackerjack!
4. Specializing Makes You More Responsible
Just as you become more committed, you also become more responsible. Achieving success in a project goes beyond impressing your seniors; you are challenging yourself at every step, and testing your specialization.
5. Specializing Makes You Less Answerable
You can be excused for believing that being responsible and ‘answerable’ are one and the same thing. There is, but just a small difference. Now this might sound very anti-corporate, but specialists know more than men who lead them (bosses anyone?). And trust your not-so-expert bosses to realize the harsh truth. They sure would want to interfere and challenge your ideas, but deep down inside, they want you to go about your business uninterrupted.