'I' Shapes and 'T' Shapes


In IT (but it just as-well applies to any industry) you'll hear of 'I' shaped people and 'T' shaped people. 

The shapes represent the depths and breadths of your knowledge and talents. The thinking has been that while you'll always want people with a lot of knowledge depth, it's increasingly important to identify individuals who can bridge the divide - therefor, breadth of knowledge is important.

This concept is often expressed as two mutually exclusive types of people, I or T. The truth is, everyone is a T shaped person - and we're seeing it more these days as people change careers, draw from a broader range of what is considered 'applicable' experience. IT has not been a strictly academic pursuit for years - and so varied experience has become more valuable.

This is all great news for anyone who has gone through a coding bootcamp, or changed careers - provided you can showcase that breadth of experience and why it is valuable. That's exactly what makes a good T shaped person: leveraging that ability to transcend categories and explain why your experience is relevant to someone who may not intuitively understand. Hiring Managers are always looking for those who can bridge gaps. 

Whether you were a baker, electrician, musician, waiter, teacher, magician, or whatever else: don't be afraid to cover your "prior" experience, but generalize and show how it makes you uniquely valuable.


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