How AI is giving generalists some hope

Hey everyone,

I’m back for another weekly email this month, this time with a prediction for 2024.

There’s also some interesting news and finds, if you make it to the end.

Time to read: 2 mins

How AI is giving generalists some hope

The universe keeps nagging. Do you hear it? It constantly says we should be specialist workers. We must niche down, be valuable. It feels like the generalists among us have, for the longest time, had to defy the ‘conventional rules of success’ to stay true to who we are.

There’s been so much talk about specialising for many years, the world seems to have forgotten the value of being a generalist. At school we’re told to “figure out what you’re good at”. But what if what we’re good at is joining up lots of things, or seeing the big picture? In the job market we no longer fit ‘shopping list’ job descriptions. Automated screening processes now tick boxes before any human assessment is made on a candidate.

I’ve never seen myself as a specialist. I enjoy being a broadly useful, curious, problem-solving type. I like to work on a variety of things, albeit with a common thread. Typically, many generalists end up running companies, or being middle managers. But that’s not me either. I’m more of a creator. 

AI gives creator-generalists some hope that the ‘conventional rules of success’ will reverse. I say ‘hope’ because there’s a lot of doom and gloom over job and business prospects with AI’s advance. I don’t feel gloomy about it myself, but I do worry I don’t have a deep specialist skill to cling to for comfort.

Having had a transformative (pun intended) year in 2023, AI is adding to the no-code movement of recent years. Both are swiftly changing the potential for stacking versatile skills to rapidly build ideas, or just ‘get stuff done’. This allows knowledge workers to become more valuable, cross-discipline problem-solvers.

In Q4 I’ve been seeing this exact sentiment repeated across all my timelines (examples below). So it seems a clear realisation of where we’re potentially heading in 2024.

In 2024, we will see more AI + No-Code Creator or Operator roles in marketing/comms/product teams. These will be multi-disciplined, adaptable generalists that can leverage tools and knowledge, most likely in operations and product development. 

They will not need to know any one discipline in-depth. They will need to know how to combine just enough knowledge, tools, insights and soft skills to solve the problem at hand.

I think the future belongs to the masters of tool leveraging, and I want to explore this more in 2024.

What did you think? Do you see (or hope for) this trend too?

If you enjoyed this issue, you may be interested in – which I’m considering turning into newsletter in 2024, curating ideas on the topic.

Other interesting news and finds

I hope you enjoyed this week’s issue – did you like it being more writing than news? Tag me on X if you did. I will reply to every mention.


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