Freelance machine: I will never be a specialist

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Many times people have asked me why I never pursued a PhD in anything. I have given it some thought, and I realized that I am an MA-level kind of woman. That is about the extent of expertise that I can undertake myself. For most of my adult life, I have been enrolled in higher education pursuits – because I was interested enough to learn formally but not interested enough to get too deeply into all the subjects.

My work in many ways has been the same thing. I stick with one profession (communications/writing/content) but never with one topic. I like to dig deeply – but temporarily – into in-depth subjects. I actually have to learn fast, absorb a lot of new and diverse information and act on it. Get in, become an overnight amateur expert, get out. This is how and why I switch industries periodically. It is also why I was drawn to freelancing and self-employment after I did not really need to do it anymore. The more subjects and topics the brain accumulates, the more of a jack-of-all-trades one becomes, the easier it is to get bored – or at least want to branch out all the time.

It is for this reason that I realize I will never be a specialist. At least not in the sense that I would likely become a doctor of anything. I can be a specialist without being a specialist. I don’t want to get too bogged down in a specialization. There are individuals who know everything about their field of expertise, and we need those people. I am just not one of them.

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