Being a self-taught designer has been something that made me unconfident.
I hated how I never specialized in anything in particular—illustration, UI design, typography, color, animation, coding,… whatever. I always saw my work as average but later realized that I acquired many more skills.
I admired people who found their careers at an early age. I thought they were lucky people because they knew what they wanted to do. But it’s only what I assumed.
But after reading the book Range, I realized that not knowing what I should do at an early age is a gift.
I think about what I dreamed of when I was a kid and what I’m working on now. Am I living my childhood dream? Absolutely not. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a gardener. Growing older, I wanted to be a cartoon movie maker. And now I’m a product designer.
When not knowing what you want to do, you experiment with many different things, then find a career that you want to pursue. Not only that, when you experiment with different things, you combine that different knowledge to create a valuable combination that only you can make.
“I feel sorry for those people who know exactly what they want to be at 19.”
— Phil Knight (The founder of Nike)
We need specialists to push the limits in each field. But we also need people who can see the big picture, find unexpected connections, and guide the efforts.
And this is a LinkedIn post that I stumbled upon last week. It emphasizes my belief about being a generalist.
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