Become a T-Person
|May 31, 2012||Posted by Bill under Ayurveda Job Information, Ayurveda Job Training||
I’m the guardian of my soon-to-be 16-year-old sister. She’s entering her junior year in high school and we were recently chatting about her plans after graduation. I think college is one of her best options, but college isn’t for everyone. While she’s definitely smart enough for college, smart people don’t always excel in college for a number of reasons. Some individuals are too immature. Others aren’t ready for the fast paced learning environment. Some folks aren’t properly motivated or have poor time management skills. It’s also hard to keep pushing forward through all those classes. Let’s face it- college is a gamble and many people end up losing.
My sister and I were looking at the course catalog for our local university and she remarked about how many classes each student has to take. Many of these have little to no use in the student’s respective field. “Why do they make you take all that extra crap? Why don’t you just take the classes you’re interested in?” she asked.
Instantly, I recalled having that same conversation with my mother when I was about a year and a half into my bachelor’s program. I was burning the candle wick at both ends; living on my own, working 30+ hours a week, and taking about 14 credits in school. It was hard. By my second year, I was approaching burnout. I thought, “This would all be so much easier if I only had to take the classes in my major.” During a rant with my mom, I blurted out the same thing my sister asked me, “Why do they make us take all this crap?”
The answer I gave my sister is the same one my mother gave me. “They make you take all that crap so you’ll become a well-rounded person.” To tell you the truth, I don’t know if those extra classes contribute much to anyone’s well-roundedness. I think our experiences in life are what turn us into well-rounded individuals. But it is true that those extra classes expose each college student to a number of schools of thought that they otherwise wouldn’t explore. It’s debatable if classes like Introduction to Theater, Introduction to Logic, and Symposium on African Women actually affects our personalities, but they do provide a breadth of knowledge that we would otherwise lack.
I guess the goal of all those extra classes is to become a T-Person. I was introduced to the concept of T-People while listening to a CD version of Scott Belsky’s book Make Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles between Vision and Reality. At a certain point in the book, Belsky recaps an interview with Diego Rodriguez of the design consulting firm IDEO. When asked about the ideal employee IDEO is searching for, Rodriguez said the company looks for T-People. The “T” is a diagram of a candidate’s skill set. The horizontal line of the T represents an employee’s breadth of knowledge and the vertical line represents the depth of knowledge the employee has on a specific topic.
The concept of companies hiring T-People is so important and I’ve seen it work itself out in a number of different ways. In my job field, archaeology, people with the greatest breadth of skills and experiences usually have no problem finding a job. But the people with a wide range of skills AND extensive knowledge in a specific area typically have more secure employment. The T-archaeologists are the ones that companies can’t do without. Archaeologists with extreme specialization in a single area have the most difficulties finding employment. The hyper-specialized archaeologists don’t have enough to offer that would make them invaluable to their employer and they have to learn many things after they’re hired.
I think the T-Person concept plays a significant role in all job fields, especially in Ayurveda. Ayurvedic practitioners that specialize in a particular area or field of Ayurvedic medicine will always be important. However, the doctors that have a breadth of knowledge and a useful specialty are more likely to have steady and permanent employment.
Keep this concept in mind no matter what Ayurveda job you’re looking for.
- If you are currently studying Ayurveda, try to develop a specialty while also expanding the number of treatments, medicines, and techniques you know.
- For those of you that are already working in Ayurveda, always seek to expand your knowledge base and be willing to learn new things.
- Ayurveda practitioners and doctors should also be willing to find new products that you can endorse, sell, or create as a means of diversifying your practice (check out my article on creating informational products that you use to create a stream of residual income).
Becoming a T-Person benefits all of us in our job search. The breadth of topics in Ayurveda means there is a nearly limitless number of things you can use to diversify your practice. I highly recommend you read Belsky’s book if you’re looking for that special idea that will pay dividends or if you’re having trouble executing the numerous ideas flowing throughout your head.
I’m always interested in hearing from you. Send me an email or write a comment below.