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If I were in need of a pharmacist in my startup and two people showed up with almost same performing ability with one bagging a degree and masters in pharmacy while the other had a first degree plus other qualifications such as marketing, being multilingual and other non-related qualifications. I will pick the latter over the former. 

I remember my mentor once saying she would prefer to employ someone who had diverse skills or qualification as against one who had just one skill or qualification set. I didn't totally understand this at first.  

However, looking at the rise and fall of careers and businesses. It is obvious that the trend of activities change on a daily basis. This paves a way for diversification. 

Diversification is an act of branching out, expanding or broadening one's resources. This is also applicable in investment. However, my focus is on how it applies to human resource. 

Gone are the days when you can rely on one source of income to survive. There is no secure full-time job anymore because the economy is too unpredictable and there are many external factors that you can’t control. You can’t control if your company goes into bankruptcy or if it’s acquired or even if they decide not to sell your product line anymore. 

It’s even possible that you may be replaced by a robot. Ask the folks who were replaced by chatbots like Leo of UBA and Ada of Diamond Bank.

One of the most common inquiries we receive from someone who is looking for the next step in their career path is, “Should I diversify or specialize my skills set?”  It’s a tough question to answer because there are differences, benefits, and disadvantages to both options. 

As much as specialization is not a bad thing. Specialization means you’d be performing in one of these areas of expertise explicitly.

Choosing diversified roles in your career means that you will “wear many hats” when it comes to the job duties you perform. 

If your goal is to move up the corporate ladder, then you’ll want to diversify your skills because leaders generally need to have knowledge in many areas.

But like I often say skills are pebbles, whatever path you decide to run on, ensure to pick enough pebbles to keep you playing for a long time while you run. 


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