You may have recognized that typical “specialist” jobs don’t fit your experience and the “generalist” side of the Generalist Spectrum is more your professional style.
You may have read about the value of professional generalists in Range or heard about a new and burgeoning generalist community, and, after much searching, identified that you’re not alone in that you want to define yourself as a career generalist.
Fantastic! ...now what?
The easiest place to start is to either find a company that will hire you as a generalist or join a community. Between the companies looking specifically for “generalists” and marketplaces with job listings geared towards generalists, there are plenty of options. However, if job searching in the sea of marketplaces and recruiting platforms seems exhausting, you can always find a digital community.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve seen an uptick in communities. LinkedIn and Facebook groups, Discord and Slack channels keep cropping up as people seek new ways to connect. More than ever, people want a group where they can feel at home. While communities are a valid way for like-minded people to gather, there are alternate approaches that can provide a new and more ideal way of working in this “future of work.”
Enter the “collective.”
“The core idea that separates communities and collectives is that investments in communities are structured to flow from the individual to the institution (e.g. structures), while investments in collectives are structured to flow from the institution to the individual.”
Collectives and communities share the common goal of bringing people together. They create a space where people can feel like they belong.
When defining a community vs a collective, there are 3 primary differences: motivation for interaction, cost of entry, and exclusion.
While collectives and communities bring like-minded people together to form a group, marketplaces were created so that talented individuals could find one-off jobs with companies looking for people to complete project-based work.
Generalists can use marketplaces to find short projects and get the variety they crave, however, often if working with a freelance marketplace, they’re not building partnerships with the startups they’re working for. A collective focuses more closely on this relationship piece, allowing generalists to get to know the founders they’re working with.
We chose to create a collective to give generalists a place to learn earned secrets about how to be successful and accelerate learning and growth opportunities – straight from the most vetted group in the generalist profession. This curated group allows for stronger connections as well as a true generalist career in startups.
Communities and marketplaces can be excellent ways to find jobs as a startup generalist, but collectives represent significant differences that allow for meaningful ways of working.
The primary motivation of a collective is to build relationships. Whether that is the relationships between those in the collective or the startups they serve, relationships take center stage.
As a part of the collective, our generalists meet regularly to collaborate and share their breadth of knowledge with each other. For example, our collective is made of generalists with diverse backgrounds, excited to collaborate and learn new things together. During our weekly meetings, we discuss the future of work, learn about new tools, and talk about how generalists can show up authentically and be valuable in the workplace.
Beyond this relationship between members, our selective collective also allows for strong bonds between our generalists and the startups they work with. When an oAT generalist works with a startup, they are working closely with the founder every day for months or even years. oAT serves as an operating partner for all of our startups, working in the trenches with founders to help startups succeed.
Our collective is a group of ambitious generalists excited about what we do. We give our full selves to whatever we’re working on. Instead of securing a single job at one startup, the collective allows for generalists to stretch into new skills and roles by helping them secure jobs with multiple startups in different industries, playing (at least slightly) different roles at each. As generalists, we thrive in ambiguity, thrilling at the opportunity to jump in and try something new.
A collective is not a marketplace for contract work, it is where your career begins and grows.
We’re not the only ones thinking about new ways of working. Consider A.team, a company who realized that there were people who wanted to work in the gig economy but also have the collaborative “team” feel. They enabled people to have both at the same time. They created a new way to work that helped people find both fulfilling careers and fulfilling professional relationships.
It's amazing to recognize that there are more fulfilling ways to work for generalists than staying on a specialist path! We're excited to be building an entirely new model for people like us.
And we're just getting started.
Interested in joining the collective? We'd love to consider your application here.