Advantage of Being a Specialist
Excluding those at the very top or bottom on the employment spectrum, society, in general, seems to place a premium on specialists over generalists. So it’s understandable that when fresh graduates enter the workforce, they're naturally inclined to seek a specialty in their field of choice.
In fact, one marketing study after the next reveals that we're indeed a “boutique” society. Consumers of services and products greatly value and are willing to pay for something unique. So it certainly seems to be a “no-brainer” for a therapist to specialize.
Beyond choosing what appears to be “financially intelligent,” another key benefit to specializing is that specializing allows therapists to develop an expertise through study and clinical experience, thus reducing risks of making mistakes in their work.
Rural Schools Require Generalists
However, this discounts an important market for therapists to consider. Whereas in the past Rural America was beyond the pale of consideration for many, teletherapy for rural schools has changed all that. The accelerating need for qualified therapists in Rural America coupled with online therapy has completely transformed the equation.
These same clinicians who wouldn’t think of moving to a small town can now provide those residents therapeutic services from the comfort of their home at their convenience. What’s more, since rural areas require the therapist to serve the needs of a diversified clientele, it is the generalist, not the specialist who is more valuable.
Advantages of Generalist
But don’t think that the benefit of becoming a generalist is limited to providing teletherapy for rural schools. It is important to become a generalist for other reasons as well.
Becoming a generalist provides exposure to multiple dimensions. Generalizing helps the therapist gain significant insight into different types of prognoses and develop an array of modalities to serve various types of clients. Generalizing is invaluable to developing one’s career–irrespective of what direction it will end up going in.
Additionally, what isn’t appreciated is that being a generalist is a specialty itself. Generalists are forced to be more creative, flexible, and comfortable with change. These are valuable skills. Lastly, being a generalist cultivates the need and ability to be open-minded and attack new problems with a fresh perspective.
A fringe benefit is that being a generalist protects the therapist from getting bored and even more importantly significantly reduces the risk of burn-out. There is always somewhere new to turn to try previously unexplored options when you're a generalist.
Perhaps most importantly, being a generalist is one of the greatest insurances against being sidelined by changing markets, which is particularly relevant in our uncertain times. Whereas there is security in knowing a specialty, should the situation dictate a lateral move, while the specialist may be ill-prepared, the generalist is poised and ready.
Even in the animal kingdom, certain species can only survive in a specific environment, where the conditions must be perfect. If those conditions are sufficiently altered, they risk extinction. However, more adaptable species, which aren’t bound by the same limitations to survive and thrive can “go with the flow.” Employment is no different.
Teletherapy for Rural Schools
To make it simple, Rural America’s diverse needs are advantageous for generalists. Now, with the wonders of technology, these therapists can provide teletherapy for rural schools from the comfort of their homes. It’s a win-win-win: for the therapists, clients, and school administrators. Are you ready to become a generalist?