In the Moment of Contribution
Penelope Trunk on Authenticity

Guy Kawasaki interviews Brazen Careerist Penelope Trunk

I'm convinced that EVERYONE IS IN TRANSITION.  It doesn't matter who you are, what you do, where you live or what stage of life you are in, you are in transition from what you once were to what you will be.  With this thought in mind, read this inteview by Guy Kawasaki with Penelope Trunk, author of Brazen Careerist.

Here's one question and answer that I find insightful.

Question: Is being a generalist or a specialist the path to the executive suite?

In Hollywood, the best way to get your pick of any role in the industry is to become a specialist—funny guy, tough girl, action hero—get known for being the best at something, and then use that star-power to branch out. The same is true in business.

Jobs that don’t require a specialty are low level. To move up you need to be great at something, and you have to let people know what you don’t do. No one is great at everything. Even if your goal is not to get to the executive suite, you should specialize. When you want to take five months off to hike in Tibet, if you are easily replaced, you will be. If you have a skill that is hard to duplicate, your job will be there for you when you get back.

Read the whole interview.

Send it to every college student that you know.

Read Penelope on parental career advice.

UPDATE: Guy continues his conversation with Brazen Careerist Penelope Trunk - The Nine Biggest Myths of the Workplace.  Even though I've not read her book yet, I like her realistic approach to career thinking.   It's a healthy perspective to have.

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