Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World.

Why should you read it?

Why can broad experience be an advantage? In a world where we all feel the pressure to specialise very early in our career and become “experts” in a narrow field, David Epstein shows the real value of diverse experience and a broad spectrum of interest and their impact on the professional career. This book has been recommended to me by one of the mentors at the Mentoring Club. It has definitely changed my perspective on early specialisation and the value of the broad experience in professional life.  It gives hopes to everyone who struggles to focus on one idea in their career:) 

What is the book about?

The author gives examples of professional athletes, science, and business people to illustrate the difference between deliberate training and more broad experience and explain the latter’s advantages. According to the author and his research, the “tendency to rely on the experience of familiar patterns can backfire horribly”. Experience and interest in different fields give us perspective and develop abstract thinking and problem-solving skills, which are highly required in the current job market. Problem-solving skills are linked to the wicked learning environment where rules are not clear, and you can’t find any familiar patterns. In that unfamiliar environment, narrow experience does not improve outcome or performance but leads to poor choices.  To develop abstract thinking, you have to gain knowledge in different areas. What’s more, broad experience drives innovation and shifts the attitude towards learning. 

The book is a great inspiration and encouragement for anyone to experiment with different things in their career before choosing your speciality early in your life.