T-Shaped Marketer

TL:DR | Being a T-shaped person means that of a deep level of knowledge, as well as of wide ranging too. It is crucial for success towards solving the world's complex wicked problems.


4 min read
T-Shaped Marketer

I love this channel on YouTube called GrowthTribe, as they are the defacto creators in the growth hacking space. I know that there are others, and the person who even coined growth hacking, but GT has broadened it to such a wider audience, that they come to mind first.

This video is special for many reasons actually. For one they do a great job at getting into the concept of specialization with the 10,000 hour "rule", as well as the width of marketing. You DON'T become a marketing specialist, but rather a marketing generalist.

Growth hacking is for marketing, but the concepts behind it can be applied to most other disciplines. Making it extremely valuable to learn, and to contextualize your life with.

"So being a generalist AND a specialist... is key"

In my post on the Jack of All Trades...

I talk about people who dabble in a wide range of skills and areas, and discuss why it is not a negative action to take. If you are pursuing multiple things, then surely there is a lack of focus right? Not quite, as the ability to transcontextualize knowledge allows you to level up quicker in the new areas.

This wide range approach is actually very similar to the T-Shaped person, as you have spent time specializing then going wide, or you went wide in order to find what you like best to specialize into.

Jack of All Trades - The Multidisciplinary Spectrum S01E02
Master of one, or the master of none, is how the saying goes. Although does it really have to be that way? A JoAT is just one step in the Multi-Disciplinary Spectrum. Letโ€™s see how it fits in!

Hybrid Jobs of the Future

When you are employed at a company they expect you to work on a couple tasks or so. All within a defined scope, but as you stay there longer your jobs start to get more and more complex. During this time you may communicate with other departments, as the challenges get even tougher; The skills you currently know just aren't enough, so you start to learn a new skill. Making your job two skills in one.

That is the hybrid job, and is a natural course for the workplace environment. Especially in a digital age, for most programmers are just good Google users. #stackoverflow

Being able to learn is key for the future of jobs.

Future Jobs are more Complex and Multidisciplinary

The landscape for digital jobs are getting more and more difficult to keep up with. You have to have a wide range of knowledge to keep up with various aspects of the digital literacy needed.

By taking a T-shaped approach you allow yourself the flexibility, not only in your own title/roles, but also in your brain to think in more complex or wicked ways.

Wicked problems are what this generation is facing more and more of, and long gone are the days where mild innovation is going to gain us further progress.

Hybrid Jobs
The Hybrid Job Economy: How New Skills are Rewriting the DNA of the Job Market | Fast-growing, high-paying hybrid jobs combine different skill sets

Measuring your Depth and Width

The old mindset of the 10,000 hour rule is not fully true. Even Gladwell who wrote the book Outliers even changed his mind due to David Epstein's work in Range. It is fascinating to think about. The aforementioned rule was put in place to try and measure the specialist level of expertise. However much like the BMI Index for bodies, it turns out to be not the greatest level of indication.

One CAN become an expert at something in less than 10,000, whether due to a really amazing coach/instructor, or perhaps a more optimized deliberate practice methodology.

By also going wide across the board instead of just deep, then you also get the transcontextualized knowledge from multiple sources. Allowing you to tackle things like wicked problems in new and innovative ways.

Modular Learning Approach

This is also the inspiration of my Modular Degree concept, and in that note the Skill Tree Based Learning approach I talk about a lot. By having a tree of paths to choose from, rather than one module after the other; Then you get to choose a path that is more conducive to your own curiosity, and allow yourself to learn more deeply.

It also implements the benefits of an interleaving approach to learning, which is switching between topics at intervals. Catering towards a more divergent cross-discipline learning.

By going deep and wide you may seem to think you are wasting time, but eventually something will click. One skill or knowledge point from one skill will come in handy in your specialty.


Growth for a New Age of Skillsets

The one big problem with college is that it is too slow, which is why Growth Tribe and bootcamps exist online. Allowing for you learn things like Growth hacking or coding at a much quicker pace. Keeping you up to date with the ever changing landscape that is the digital frontier.

Sometimes coding languages change in as little as six months, or platforms for social media too. You have to be able to keep up with the changes, as well as dabble in many areas to keep informed.

"We're here to empower you with the digital skills you need to adapt, grow and succeed in a rapidly changing world."
T-Shaped Marketer | Growth Tribe

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